How To

How to Open PSD Files without Photoshop for Free

Need to open a PSD file but you don’t have Photoshop? Don’t worry let’s see 5 ways to do so for free!

What if your major work involves working with PSD files and you do not have the Photoshop app or what if you take the files to your office or at a place where Adobe Photoshop is not installed or simply you got PS files but you do not have Photoshop installed on your system. In such cases, you will need ways to open PSD files without Photoshop. The expense of a Photoshop is not worth for an occasional dabbler unless you are not a dedicated photographer or graphic designer.

Undoubtedly the Photoshop app is the best image processor that you will find in the market which comes with various image editing features. The Photoshop files come with .PSD extension and since is not an open format so you cannot open it in any other editor like the jpeg or png file. And so if you do not want to invest in Photoshop, there are some options available by which you can complete this task.

What is a PSD File?

The Adobe Photoshop document file has the.PSD file extension which is the default format used by Adobe Photoshop to save the data. Apart from storing just an image, the PSD file also offers various other functions.

The PSD documents on Photoshop supports the storing of multiple objects, pictures, text, filters and more. It uses different vector paths, layers and shapes, and transparency. And so in the PSD file, you can work on an image, edit it and then save it. Afterward, you can reopen it and start working on it again, without flattening or saving it in a way that doesn’t allow you to edit further. After you complete your job, you can convert it to BMP or JPG format.

How to Open PSD Files without Photoshop

Opening PSD file without Photoshop is possible. There are so many ways with which you can open PSD files without installing Photoshop. Here we are sharing the top 5 ways by which you can open PSD files. So don’t worry guys as we are here with the best alternatives to the expensive Photoshop application.

You will see how to open PSD Files With the following free image editors:

  • GIMP
  • Paint.NET
  • PSD Viewer
  • Google Drive
  • XnView

Use GIMP to Open PSD Files

Use GIMP to Open PSD Files

Gimp aka GNU Image Manipulation Program is an accomplished program that works best with PSD files. GIMP is also regularly updated and is available for free. The program has a steep learning curve but offers a lot of features. It is compatible with both MAC and Windows. The opening of PSD files with GIMP is set as default and apart from this, you can also create GIFs easily.

And so there is no need to download any plugins for using GIMP to open PSD files. Once you master the art of GIMP as it is a bit tricky, you will be able to enjoy the services of this amazing image editor.

GIMP comes with a lot of benefits and a few downside. To try it, download GIMP now.

Open PSD Files using Paint.NET

Open PSD Files using Paint.NET

Paint.NET is an image editor which is free and light on resources. The Paint.NET can work with almost all kinds of image formats including PSD and is also updated regularly. The program allows you to play with the layers nicely and gives you the freedom to edit, undo or add effects or text. You can bring a lot of changes with this powerful graphics editor. Though the software doesn’t open the PSD file directly, they do support plugins. So you can download the PSD plugin and open PSD file without Photoshop by following these steps-

Step 1: Download the PSD Plugin.

Step 2: Now extract the content of the ZIP file.

Step 3: In the next step, copy the Photoshop.dll file.

Step 4: Now move to the folder that contains the Paint.NET and paste the above file in the subfolder.

Step 5: Lastly, you can launch Paint.NET.

Now you can easily open files, without any hitch due to the installed plugin. Though with Paint.NET you might face some issues, it is still one of the best alternatives.


PSD Viewer to open PSD Files

PSD Viewer to open PSD Files

The next possible tool that you can use is the PSD Viewer. It not only allows you to open PSD file without using Photoshop but also permits the conversion of its type. You can also open .EPS and .Al files with PSD Viewer. After you open PSD file, you can make changes like resizing and then save it as either JPG or BMP or Gif format. Also, you get to use various zooming, panning and rotating options so as to view the file.

The multi-layered files are also displayed by this viewer though you cannot look through the individual layers. You can use the PSD viewer on Windows XP and above OS with.NET Framework 3.

Download the PSD Viewer from here.


How to open PSD files using Google Drive

How to open PSD files using Google Drive

You might think of this next alternative to Photoshop as unusual. But you can actually use Google Drive to view files though cannot edit it. Google drive is handy when you are sending a PSD file, and you do not have Photoshop installed on your system. Hence you can open the PSD file, but cannot do anything further like resizing or editing of any kind.

You can open the file by uploading it on Google Drive and then click it to open. The file will display on your screen. It is the easiest method that opens the file in a way which looks exactly as in Photoshop. And with Google Drive, you wouldn’t even need to download any extra application.

To visit the official page of Google Drive, click here.


XnView – PSD File Opener

XnView - PSD File Opener

The last application that you can try to open PSD file is XnView. It is a freeware image viewer with which you can arrange your images in different views as you browse through them. With the help of image editing tools like filters, rotations, color palettes, you can insert many effects. Though this app is not known to many people, then also it doesn’t change the fact the XnView can export to over 70 formats, out of 500 formats that it can read. So with XnView, you can not only view the PSD file but also convert them.

You don’t need to download any plugin to run the XnView, image and graphic editing software; you can open PSD file using XnView. Follow the given steps.

Step 1: Go to the File option> Open.

Step 2: Now find the PSD file. Select it.

Step 3: Click Open.

The XnView offers three options from which you can choose- Minimal, Standard, and Extended. You can select the Minimal type as with it, you can view the PSD file, and it occupies the least space on the disk as well. So you can give XnView a try as it doesn’t need any plugins, or add-ons and can open PSD file without Photoshop.

Download XnView from here.

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All of these are the best alternatives to Photoshop for opening PSD files. Try using them and whichever suits you, keep using them. Keep a checklist of the functions that you want, and choose the appropriate option from the list. For any further information or query, you can hit the comments section.

About the author

Jeff Peterson

Jeff is a tech geek whose hobby is to learn about the latest developments in the tech world. When he is not writing at you may find him coding or playing his favorite video games