I have a problem with file size. I have a iMac 27 5k with Retina, so I decided to create layouts @2x. If I want to create 1200px width graphic, I create 2400px in Photoshop - better view quality for me during projecting.

I have iMac 2015 Late with 16GB RAM, 3,5Ghz, 2GB Graphic, 256GB SSD and I notice that if I spend a lot of time on one .psd file, I start feel lags during scroll, selection, etc.

I also notice that .psd file which has 80mb, after opening in File info menu I see 1,2GB!...

Could you explain me what should I do? Is my workflow bad? I try to delete unneccesary layers, etc.

Look at screen, thanks for answers. enter image description here



Document Sizes Displays information on the amount of data in the image. The number on the left represents the printing size of the image—approximately the size of the saved, flattened file in Adobe Photoshop format. The number on the right indicates the file’s approximate size including layers and channels.

Your workflow shouldn't matter as long as the artwork looks good. Nobody cares how you did it. Only how it turned out. I can see that your artwork there has a lot of objects. You can try to group them into separate layers. Check your layers for objects that would contribute a big chunk of data to the .psd such as vectors and tons of text.

I use Illustrator in my PC (i5 4690k, 16gb RAM & 4gb Graphics), and when I spend a lot of time working on a file, I can also notice lags when scrolling and panning through the screen. What I do is I save the file and re open and it fixes it. I believe that the problem that's causing this is the clipboard which holds all your copied and pasted data which is cleared when you exit the program.

It's only natural that the .psd file would have such a big size since you have all the raw data in that file, and especially when you are working with high resolution images.

  • The OPs numbers indicate a document size of about 7000px x 5500px. Perhaps using a compositor such as inDesign would be more efficient.
    – Yorik
    Mar 18 '16 at 15:39
  • We're tying to make the most of what OP have. Since OP didn't mention if he is mainly working on vector or raster, let's just assume he deals with raster since he uses Photoshop which makes InDesign unnecessary or maybe even inappropriate.
    – knnku
    Mar 18 '16 at 16:13
  • 1
    Just a side note about the cache: Using app (on Mac: fiplab.com/apps/memory-clean-for-mac) such as "memory clean" is great and you don't need to close/open the software. Also, if there's a web browser opened when you work, it's horrible and the cache definitely needs to be cleaned (very often actually). I agree with Yorik though, A PSD file with hundreds of layers at big size will be heavy and sometimes it's worth using a layout/publishing software. Also, sometimes it's not necessary to make the mockup at 2x... most elements will end up in css anyway (should).
    – go-junta
    Mar 19 '16 at 9:39

One point I want to make. Regarding:

If I want to create 1200px width graphic, I create 2400px in Photoshop - better view quality for me during projecting.

Working at x2 scale for digital projects is a very good habit to get in to—but not for that reason. If you're output size is going to be 1200px wide don't work at 2400px wide. You're setting up unrealistic expectations. You'll spend hours working at that size, output at half the size and wonder why your image looks terrible!

As I said though, working at x2 scale is a very good habit to get in to. High pixel density screens are becoming the norm for newer screens so you should be taking that in to account when designing.

Just to note—this does depend on context and some people will disagree with me. I know people who design web layouts at ridiculous scales, the reasoning being that downscaling later is easy, upscaling isn't. That to me is a terrible idea, and you should be working with shapes/paths etc that negate the problems of upscaling anyway.

Regarding the large file size—Over a GB is a very large file, but definitely not unheard of. I often get lag when scrolling in large documents regardless of my hardware specs. Restarting Photoshop/Illustrator/whatever usually solves the problem.

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