How can I save layered files over 4 GB?

Community Beginner ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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I'm so frustrated! I'm trying to save a file with many layers and it won't let me save in TIFF format because it's over 4GB. I tried saving multiple ways (LZW/ZIP and ZIP/ZIP) without luck. I also obviously can't save in PSD because that has a limit of 2GB. I currently have Elements 21 running on Windows 10. I used to work with Elements 11 and NEVER EVER had this issue. I was forced to upgrade because I could not install Elements 11 on my new computer. I assumed I was upgrading, but I'm not understanding why 21 has this limit and 11 doesn't. It's imperitive I save this as a LAYERED file. What can I do?

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Feature request, How to, Problem or error, Windows

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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Are you trying to save to a FAT32 formatted drive?  What are the pixel dimensions of the image?  If you are over the 30k x 30k limit, will reducing the dimensions allow you to save the file?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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If you are saving to an external hard drive, make sure it is not formatted to FAT32.

(Don't reformat it unless you have its contents backed up well, as reformatting deletes the data.)

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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I think you must be mistaken that Photoshop Elements 11 allowed you to save TIFF files bigger than 4GB in size as the TIFF file format has always had a limit of 4GB (it uses 32bit offsets).

 

- What is the total file size of the image?

- Do you have the correct image size dimensions?

- Are there any layers which are not visible and not needed any more?

- Can you merge any layers together which won't really affect future editing?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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Plus, is the image you're working on for print or for screen? You can reduce the resolution down if it's just for screen (72 Pixels/Inch). Print needs between 150 and 300 Pixels/Inch, depending on your printer. Most professional printers use 240 or 300 Pixels/Inch. Some online photo services get away with 150 Pixels/Inch. My old, cheap inkjet printer produced good-enough results at 150 Pixels/Inch.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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I do digital scrapbooking for albums for my kids so I do print them. The pages are 12x12", but I make them as double pages so they match - the dimensions are 7200x3600 dpi or 24x12". The resolution is 300 dpi for printing purposes. I've always used that - I thought that was the standard for printing, but it's good to know I can go a bit lower if needed. I save the pages periodically while I'm working so the layers need to be saved. Also, I like to save them in the layers until I'm completely done in case I see mistakes. I've been doing this for over a decade and never had an issue with the files being too large until today - which is coincidentally the very first time I did scrapbook pages in PSE 21. I was able to merge some of the layers to bring it down to 3.62 GB in size. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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Wow! Lucky kids! 🙂

 

Out of curiosity, I've just done a quick experiment with a 24x12" image to see how many layers I can get away with at various resolutions and keep under the 4GB limit:

 

300 pixels per inch = 55 layers (3.98GB)

240 pixels per inch = 69 layers (3.98GB)

150 pixels per inch = 165 layers (3.97GB)

 

Notice I'm talking about pixels per inch (PPI), not dots per inch (DPI) - they are not the same thing. Here's an excerpt from a great article on the difference and how you can get away with decent-enough quality prints at less than 300 pixels per inch:

"Today's photo-quality ink jet printers have DPI resolution in the thousands (1200 to 4800dpi). They will give you acceptable quality photo prints of images with 140-200ppi resolution, and high quality prints of images with 200-300ppi resolution. Typically inkjet printers have three standard output settings:


- normal: 300 x 300 or 320 x 320 dpi
- high quality: 600 x 600 or 720 x 720 dpi, 1440 x 720
- photo quality: 1200 x 1200, 1440 x 1440 dpi, 2880 x 1440 and up

 

You might also have a draft or economy setting for printing text and rough drafts.

 

At one time, a good general rule for inkjet printing was that you needed half to one-third of the PPI of the printer's DPI setting that you intend to use. So if you're using your printer's "normal" setting (300dpi), your image needed to have at least 150ppi. When using the higher quality printer settings (720dpi and up), you can bring the PPI down to about 1/3 of the output resolution. That would be 240ppi for your printer's 720dpi setting."

Here's the article in full: Inkjet Printer Resolution - DPI Printer Guide 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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Phil DC said:

I think you must be mistaken that Photoshop Elements 11 allowed you to save TIFF files bigger than 4GB in size as the TIFF file format has always had a limit of 4GB (it uses 32bit offsets).

 

@boomersgirl, Phil is clearly correct about this.  So can you confirm that was the only problem with saving the file? 

 

Phil DC said:

Out of curiosity, I've just done a quick experiment with a 24x12" image to see how many layers I can get away with at various resolutions and keep under the 4GB limit:

 

300 pixels per inch = 55 layers (3.98GB)

240 pixels per inch = 69 layers (3.98GB)

150 pixels per inch = 165 layers (3.97GB)

 

I haven't tested this, but it seems to me that the size of the file and the number of layers will depend on the content of the layers.  So, for a scrap book page, an otherwise transparent layer with a small embellishment is going to have less weight than a full layer with a complex color pixel gradient.

 

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 26, 2021 Feb 26, 2021

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Hi Greg,

 

Yes, you're absolutely correct - I should have said that if any of the layers contain transparent pixels this would reduce the total file size. Thanks for pointing that out 🙂

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