Clipping Path in PNG File?

Community Beginner ,
Dec 16, 2020

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Hi All,

When I save a Jpeg with a clipping path as a PNG file in Photoshop, why doesn't the clipping path save as well?
(when I open the PNG file the clipping path has disappeared)

Thanks

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Conrad C | Adobe Community Professional

What is happening is exactly what’s expected. Each file format like PNG and JPEG handles its own specific list of features, no more and no less, regardless of what software you use to make them.

 

What clients want is a subject with the background cut out. There is more than one way to hide the background. You can apply a mask, which turns into a transparent alpha channel when you save. Or you can apply a clipping path.

 

The JPEG file format can store a clipping path, but cannot store a transparency mask (an alpha channel).

The PNG file format is the opposite: It can store a transparency mask as an alpha channel, but it doesn’t provide any way to store a clipping path.

 

This is not a problem in Photoshop, because whichever way you cut out the background, you can convert it to an alpha channel or a clipping path depending on the file format the client asked for.

 

For example, if I’m cutting out a background for your client and I used the Pen tool to create a clipping path, and the client is asking for PNG, then I know that when I’m done drawing the cut-out path, I must choose Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path to convert the path into a transparency mask, that PNG is able to store. Then, when exporting, I must make sure the Export settings are saving a PNG with transparency.

 

Again, this is because of the capabilities of file formats, not anything to do with Photoshop, so all of this would still be true even if you were using a different photo editor.

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Clipping Path in PNG File?

Community Beginner ,
Dec 16, 2020

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Hi All,

When I save a Jpeg with a clipping path as a PNG file in Photoshop, why doesn't the clipping path save as well?
(when I open the PNG file the clipping path has disappeared)

Thanks

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Conrad C | Adobe Community Professional

What is happening is exactly what’s expected. Each file format like PNG and JPEG handles its own specific list of features, no more and no less, regardless of what software you use to make them.

 

What clients want is a subject with the background cut out. There is more than one way to hide the background. You can apply a mask, which turns into a transparent alpha channel when you save. Or you can apply a clipping path.

 

The JPEG file format can store a clipping path, but cannot store a transparency mask (an alpha channel).

The PNG file format is the opposite: It can store a transparency mask as an alpha channel, but it doesn’t provide any way to store a clipping path.

 

This is not a problem in Photoshop, because whichever way you cut out the background, you can convert it to an alpha channel or a clipping path depending on the file format the client asked for.

 

For example, if I’m cutting out a background for your client and I used the Pen tool to create a clipping path, and the client is asking for PNG, then I know that when I’m done drawing the cut-out path, I must choose Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path to convert the path into a transparency mask, that PNG is able to store. Then, when exporting, I must make sure the Export settings are saving a PNG with transparency.

 

Again, this is because of the capabilities of file formats, not anything to do with Photoshop, so all of this would still be true even if you were using a different photo editor.

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Dec 16, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Dec 16, 2020

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Not all file formats support everything that’s possible in Photoshop. 

 

Why do you need a Clipping Path in a png?

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Dec 16, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Dec 16, 2020

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Interesting to hear that.
A client has asked for images to be cut out and supplied as PNG files.
It would be helpful to explain to her why there is no clipping path along with the image.
cheers

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Dec 16, 2020 0
LEGEND ,
Dec 16, 2020

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png supports Transparency (preferably png-24, I guess), so what do they need the Path for once the Layer is clipped? 

 

In any case you should keep the original layered file in a less limited format like psd or tif. 

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Dec 16, 2020 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 16, 2020

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Adding to what c.pfaff said, I'm curious as to why she needs the clipping path as well. Future modification would be my guess, but you never know.  xD

 

If she's OK with it, just give her the PSD or TIFF (with layers) if she still wants it. If supplied with a PNG, she could also use Photoshop's shortcuts to select a layer's content up to the pixel edges for a particular layer. (Like Ctrl/Cmd + clicking on a layer's thumbnail. She can then store that selection as an alpha channel via the Channels panel to bring back up on command later.)

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Dec 16, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Dec 16, 2020

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Thanks for the advice folks.

Still doesn't answer the question 'why there is no clipping path along with the image' on a PNG file?

There is a path on the original jpeg but it seems really odd that it disappears when saved as a PNG.

Maybe I'm missing something.

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Dec 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 16, 2020

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JPEGs can have clipping paths if saved in the proper manner. (e.g., Using Photoshop's "Save As" but *not* "Save for Web".) PNGs simply don't have that luxury.

 

Technically, if you save an image as a PNG with transparency, it already has a "clipping path" anyway that you can easily create and select.

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Dec 16, 2020 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 16, 2020

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What is happening is exactly what’s expected. Each file format like PNG and JPEG handles its own specific list of features, no more and no less, regardless of what software you use to make them.

 

What clients want is a subject with the background cut out. There is more than one way to hide the background. You can apply a mask, which turns into a transparent alpha channel when you save. Or you can apply a clipping path.

 

The JPEG file format can store a clipping path, but cannot store a transparency mask (an alpha channel).

The PNG file format is the opposite: It can store a transparency mask as an alpha channel, but it doesn’t provide any way to store a clipping path.

 

This is not a problem in Photoshop, because whichever way you cut out the background, you can convert it to an alpha channel or a clipping path depending on the file format the client asked for.

 

For example, if I’m cutting out a background for your client and I used the Pen tool to create a clipping path, and the client is asking for PNG, then I know that when I’m done drawing the cut-out path, I must choose Layer > Vector Mask > Current Path to convert the path into a transparency mask, that PNG is able to store. Then, when exporting, I must make sure the Export settings are saving a PNG with transparency.

 

Again, this is because of the capabilities of file formats, not anything to do with Photoshop, so all of this would still be true even if you were using a different photo editor.

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Dec 16, 2020 2
Iain0101 LATEST
Community Beginner ,
Dec 17, 2020

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Thank you Conrad!

Exactly what I was looking for.

I appreciate you taking the time to explain this clearly.

This is a great help to me and also when getting back to my client, who is probably being advised by her inexperienced designer.

have a good Xmas everybody,

Iain

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Dec 17, 2020 1