I have put together a large display case backdrop roughly 7'x4' with 200 resolution in photoshop which is now 21gb and it will not save! I tried compressing and saving as a tiff but it takes hours and has yet to be successful. I have roughly 50 greyscale linked images all with layer masks evenly placed with a colour overlay not very complicated. The only way I can save is deleting sections saving that then puzzling it back together later then trying to export as a tiff again. Any help would be greatly appreciated!



  • I've recently created banners that were 2' x 16' finished print size and I created files that were 1' x 8' at 300dpi. This resolution allowed for the printer to print at 200% size cleanly without much pixelization. Maybe half the canvas size and try double the output size when printing?
    – Phlume
    Commented Oct 27, 2017 at 0:28
  • 1
    in 30 years of working I've never had call for any file above 4-5GB unless it was a video file. If you have an image file that is actually 21GB when closed (not what reads in the Photoshop window), you've done something to create that issue.
    – Scott
    Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 11:48

3 Answers 3


If high resolution images are required, then I think you are going about this the wrong way, with the wrong software.

I'd suggest possibly laying it out in something like InDesign, or even Illustrator - with placed/linked image files. Obviously you can edit the individual image files in PS, but don't do the actual layout in Photoshop.

Then you can give your printer all the linked images and the native INDD or AI file. Note: If using Illustrator, make sure you switch off PDF compatibility when you save your AI file - otherwise the file size will balloon.


The images that you are linking are most likely high-res images.

At the size that you are printing, your individual images only needs to be around: 12" in Height at 200 DPI. I'm basing that on the attached image.

I suggest checking your linked images and making sure they are not larger than the required size and DPI.

enter image description here


An image file of your size and resolution would usually not be larger than 615.2 MB uncompressed (eg. as TIFF). If you want to save everything as an image, try flattening all layers into one.

If you need to keep working on the file with all layers intact, just flatten the linked images if that's an option. This way they will get reduced to the size needed for the layout.


enter image description here

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