I know a "general export" Photoshop PSD file => GIMP, preserving all features won't be possible (for example I can imagine that Adjustment layers from Photoshop won't be available in Gimp), but is there an export that would work for this specific case:

  • I want to preserve the image layers (just bitmap layers)
  • I want to preserve Text object layers, i.e. the text should be modifiable in Gimp

enter image description here

PS: this is linked to this question but more specific, i.e. it's not a duplicate.


1 Answer 1


GIMP can open PSDs, but the format is not fully compatible with GIMP. PSD is a proprietary Adobe file format. It's not GIMP's native file format. Here's a list of the issues, and a possible solution which will require some manual work.

  • Text layers in PSDs won't be editable in GIMP. Any text layers you have will be rasterized when opening the PSD in GIMP.
  • Only GIMP's native XCF format supports editable text layers in GIMP. Photoshop can't export XCFs.
  • Adjustment layers aren't supported in GIMP at all

So, the only real solution to your problem is to open the PSD in GIMP, and then create an XCF file using GIMP.

To prepare your PSD, in Photoshop you would need to merge down any layer adjustments so that you just have simple layers. When you open the PSD in GIMP, the text layers will be rasterized. But you could replace those text layers in GIMP with editable text layers. This would obviously mean retyping them or copy and pasting the text from Photoshop into GIMP, reformatting the font/font size/line spacing/kerning etc, and repositioning, then you could delete the rasterised text layers, and save the finished file as XCF.

Other things to be aware of:

  • Raster layer masks seem to work OK when opening a PSD in GIMP. Vector layer masks aren't supported. Vector shape layers aren't supported either - so these would need to be rasterized.
  • GIMP's layer blending modes are different from Photoshop's. So, when opening the PSD in GIMP, if you have layer blending modes, you may need to experiment with GIMP's native blending modes to get the desired effect.
  • GIMP doesn't support CMYK, so the image would need to be RGB, and GIMP only supports 8bit per channel images, although there are development versions of the software currently which support higher bit depths. If you have Windows or Mac, and want access to these development versions google "Parthas place"
  • Do you know if the situation is improved in 2022? In particular I am looking for a solution to preserve editable text layers.
    – student
    Apr 3, 2022 at 15:56
  • @student - GIMP's own XCF format supports saving editable text layers. There's no improvement in PSD support as far as I know.
    – Billy Kerr
    Apr 3, 2022 at 17:37

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