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I'm working on a 300 DPI (print) Photoshop document.

I imported a medium quality .JPG file (~ 3 MB) into a layer of the Photoshop document.

Problem: the size of the Photoshop file has now grown from 4 MB to 13 MB ! (If I do the same for all images that I want to embed, the document will end 3 times bigger as it should)

I know that Photoshop is a bitmap/picture editing software and not a page-layout software like InDesign, etc. and I know it's usually a bad idea to use Photoshop for something else than photo editing. But still:

Is it possible to import a 3 MB image into a new layer of a Photoshop file, such that the size of the Photoshop file won't grow more than 3 MB?

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    Misconception on your side: a "3MB JPEG" is not equal to "a 3MB image". JPEG is famous for its compression, and Photoshop must decompress it for you to work on. Otherwise you could not change a single pixel. – usr2564301 Mar 15 '16 at 0:17
  • @RadLexus Of course, "a 3MB JPEG" must be decompressed in RAM and probably takes ~ 20 MB in RAM while working. However, when storing the .PSD file, Photoshop could embed the "3MB JPEG" in the .PSD, as an untouched layer, taking ~ 3 MB for storage (by keeping compression). Do you see what I mean? – Basj Mar 15 '16 at 7:51
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Photoshop file will just about double with each layer added. The actual size in memory may be even larger as you can see on the lower left corner. All said, the sizes you are talking about are not really "large", I can sneeze bigger than 20MB files!

If performance is an issue, add more RAM. Other than that, keep adding those layers. You are not in the "big and large" territory yet.

  • Yes, "a 3MB JPEG" must be decompressed in RAM and probably takes ~ 20 MB in RAM while working. However, when storing the .PSD file, Photoshop could embed the "3MB JPEG" in the .PSD, as an untouched layer, taking ~ 3 MB for storage (by keeping compression). Is this possible? – Basj Mar 15 '16 at 7:54
  • The problem will be when I'll embed 30 layers of a "3 MB" JPEG in my big document (ok it's my fault, I shouldn't use PS as a page layout software...) : the .PSD file will end with 600 MB instead of just ~ 90 MB. – Basj Mar 15 '16 at 7:56
  • You need to try and see what happens. Load a single 3MB JPEG and create new layers from it 30 times then save it. It may not reach the size you speculate at 600MB. Even then it will be well within the PSD file format limits. After that, there is the PSB format for "large" files. – user45605 Mar 15 '16 at 12:38

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