I'm currently using Fireworks for image manipulation and preparation, and I do the following tasks:

  • Resizing the canvas
  • Rearranging components, i.e. cutting bits out and putting them elsewhere
  • Resizing components
  • Exporting as PNG32 (an efficient PNG32 export algorithm is essential). Note this should support alpha transparency.

Fireworks is great, but has dramas for canvases over 10,000 px wide, and some slight dramas for canvases over 6,000 px wide. 10,000 px used to be ridiculous, but these days with sprite methodologies and Retina DPI, it turns out it's pretty easy to hit that limit.

Do any applications do the above and support massive resolution (10,000 px ++) canvases?

3 Answers 3


Adobe's Photoshop supports something like 300,000 pixel canvas's. It has a "Save for Web" feature that allows you to save a PNG24 file (which supports your alpha transparency). It too has all the functions you are looking for.

  • 1
    300,000px is spot on for Photoshop's limit, though earlier versions might not like anything over 30,000px. In any case, 10,000px shouldn't be an issue
    – JohnB
    Feb 14, 2014 at 5:29
  • Just gave it a go and it does seem to work. There seems to be some confusion about PNG24 - some places are telling me that PNG24 with alpha transparency is actually just PNG32, but I'm not sure. The compression did seem very similar to PNG32. Definitely some pains with moving from the pixel-exact Fireworks to the somewhat loose Photoshop (rect border in "points" instead of px??), including missing features like numeric transform on a single object. However this does seem like the best option when sprites are too big.
    – andrewb
    Feb 14, 2014 at 6:24
  • PNG24 is RGB (3) x 8 bits per pixel per channel (values 0-255) = "the 24"; PNG32 is most often RGBA, 8 bits per channel = "the 32"
    – horatio
    Feb 14, 2014 at 15:22

Photoshops your best bet, although it doesn't like it if you use Save for Web on humongous images, you can just do a straight save if you want to keep your alpha channel. You don't say what the sprites are being used for but most game development API's support targeting one colour (say 255,255,0) as an alpha channel.

  • Thanks for the reply, sprites are being used on a website inside a canvas.js. It seemed ok with doing Save for Web with the big images, though I haven't tried anything that might break a 16-bit integer limit (around 32,000 px wide/tall). Thankfully they don't need to be that big!
    – andrewb
    Feb 14, 2014 at 23:26

Inkscape has a large limit:

100,000 on my screen (10x what you need). The atual limit is because of zoom capabilities - it can't zoom out any more. The image is still fine in it, and it's using less than 200GB of memory. Even better it's completely free, and works well on all 3 operating systems.

It saves as a .svg format for editing but it has an inbuilt save-as for .png. Sometimes (when you apply "filters" like blur) you have to export it, and that's built in too. You also have to export to add a transparent background - save-as doesn't work for that!

Here is the link for ubuntu:

Install via the software center
(source: hostmar.co)

Here are other Linux distributions. Source code and packaged for OpenSUSE.

Here are the Windows downloads. There is an installer and a portable one - with all features - for USB

Here is the OSX download. I didn't need to do complete all those steps, but they might be important.

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