I'm working on web-apps and frequently have to slice designer-made PSD files as HTML.

However, I'm a GNU/Linux user, and in Gimp, PSD files look different than in Photoshop, so I'm forced to use a computer that has Photoshop installed to check design consistency.

I would like to export layered PSD files in some compatible format which Gimp, Inkscape, or any other free software package can open. I've tried Layered TIFF, and basically every single file format that Photoshop can export, but to no avail - the best Gimp can import is still PSD files.

Perhaps there's some open format that can handle layers, or some combination of format/application that supports Photoshop layers. Then I'll tell all the designers to send all design files in TIFF, or whatever the format, files.

In the answer I provided an update about Gimp's PSD support, but the compatible file format question remains - though the trend to use Photoshop isn't likely to vanish for the next couple of years, it's absolutely necessary to have a standard, interoperable file format to exchange editable images.

P.S. I found a similar question here, but the answer is barely suitable.

  • The reason to why I posted it here is that the vast majority of users who deal with image file formats are gathered here, and there's more chance anyone will have an answer here, than on superuser or stackoverflow, where, while this would still technically count as a programming question (way to open PSD file, or write your own code), those sites are focused on very different types of questions (and fields of experience).
    – Luka Ramishvili
    Jul 21, 2012 at 14:55

1 Answer 1


I see that PSD support in GIMP 2.8 is vastly improved, perhaps to the point that sans-photoshop experience is possible. Ironically, the new version is easier to try on Windows than on Ubuntu (they have outdated version in the repository), so I tried it on Fedora, on previously problematic PSD files and maybe PSD support is not an issue anymore.

Update: Here's a link on how to install the latest version in Ubuntus: http://howtoubuntu.org/how-to-install-the-latest-version-of-gimp-in-ubuntu#.Ui3Tp9-B31c

Though, if the PSD problem persists and no other options will be available, I will try to work with the Gimp team on the PSD import module to see if I help can improve anything (I can program both Lisp and C).

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