Sometimes when I have a PSD I'm working on, and I flatten it and do an incremental save, I save as PNG instead of PSD because (1) the file can be opened even without Photoshop on another machine, (2) it is obvious that it's flat from the file extension alone, and (3) PNG will result in a much smaller file size.
What I would like to know is, am I losing any image quality by doing this? I am wondering about color data, or possibly other data I haven't considered.
Considerations & details worth mentioning:
- Let's assume saving in the same bit depth, 8-bit PSD to 8-bit PNG, or 16-bit PSD to 16-bit PNG. (32-bit PSD to PNG doesn't work through the Save As menu, and using Export produces an 8-bit PNG)
- I am aware that guides are lost once the PNG is closed and re-opened.
- I am also aware that CMYK color space is unsupported in PNG, so this question only applies to RGB PSD files.
- I realize paths won't be saved in a PNG file.
- I realize additional channels (from saved selections, etc) won't be saved in a PNG file.
- Let's assume saving with the "Large file size" setting in PNG Format Options. (Other settings have caused problems when trying to re-edit later)