What would be a good format to share editable graphics for the web with a community of professionals that uses different editing software? Most users will need to translate and adjust only.

The type of graphics are banners, social media graphics, illustrations and logos.

SVG renders reasonably well in current browsers but is it a good format to edit? Or is PDF a better choice? Or should we use PSD's?

  • 3
    SVG, PDF, or PSD should all be fine for "professionals". The bigger issue may be fonts.
    – Scott
    Commented Nov 5, 2014 at 19:34

3 Answers 3


SVG would be the one. All major vector editors can read them just fine, and they can easily be turned into raster images if need be.

Its a non-proprietary format, too, which I feel is best for sharing with (it can fit into anyone's workflow, and be viewed on the go without a proprietary application).

  • There seems to be some problems opening svgs in Photoshop. Even if it's possible it's not quite straightforward.
    – Osvaldo
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 7:59
  • I've always been able to just drag and drop them into a document. You wouldn't want to edit them in Ps anyway. Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 14:25

SVG is an open format. Open source software can edit it. This would be my first choice.

PDF is an open format, though proprietary.

PSD is a closed format, and would require PhotoShop to open.

I'd prefer SVG.

That said, it really depends on the type of file we're talking about. SVG files are mainly vector based. PSD files are mainly raster based. If you need to share raster images, PSD might be OK, but if you don't need layers, I'd say it's overkill and would prefer a high quality JPG or PNG instead.

  • Thanks. As it's to distribute graphics to translate and adjust, they rarely can be jpg or png. Svg is my favorite too. My only doubt was if popular graphics software can handle it well.
    – Osvaldo
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 3:52
  • There seems to be some problems opening svgs in Photoshop. Even if it's possible it's not quite straightforward.
    – Osvaldo
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 8:00
  • @Osvaldo I wouldn't want to edit SVGs in Photoshop anyways (you'd want to use Illustrator for that). The nice thing about SVG is that there is a great, open source, powerful SVG editor: Inkscape. So anyone can edit the SVGs you provide. The converse isn't true. There's no open source software that can reliably open PSD files.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 16:48
  • Thanks. @Da01 Svg is a strong candidate. My comment on tools is that people have it's own favorite tools and they have been working with them in the last years, so they are very productive using them. It's not as simple as saying: now you need to learn to use another tool.
    – Osvaldo
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 7:34
  • On the other hand, these aren't foreign tools to a professional. Any professional dealing with graphics should be able to use a raster program or a vector program--even if just to convert it to a preferred file format.
    – DA01
    Commented Nov 9, 2014 at 17:40

If it's something that can be a vector graphic, then an SVG would be best. I can't imagine there being any worthwhile argument against that. I can see from comments you suggest Photoshop wouldn't open it well anyway, but Photoshop isn't for vector graphics, someone looking to modify an SVG would favor a vector editor like Inkscape.

If you have a raster or bitmap image, then it depends on what takes priority.

I recommend reading the question and answers here:
What are the best open image formats that support layers?


For accessibility OpenRaster (.ora) is best because it has an open-spec and can be opened with free software. However, software like Photoshop or Clip Studio Paint don't support it. If one was keen on using Photoshop for example, they'd have to open it in GIMP, Krita or some other free software, and export it as a PSD first.

OpenRaster also has limited support for tool-specific features, a lot of things get rasterized, including text. They are rasterized to their own layers though, so it's easy to delete and re-add different text.


If you're looking to retain as much information as possible, i.e. clipping masks, text boxes, etc, then the proprietary format of the editor you're working with is probably best. Presumably Photoshop in your case since you named PSD. However, PSD is a closed-format and not all software has great support for it.

For example, if you have clipping masks in your PSD file, those that use GIMP, Krita, or ImageMagick won't be able to open it properly.

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