How to Open PSD Files Without PhotoShop

by James Highland

Adobe Photoshop is a flagship graphics editing package appropriate for a wide range of uses. Its native file format includes the PSD extension. Users looking to share PSD files usually expect all parties to have Photoshop installed. But the program is expensive, and this keeps many people from acquiring it. Fortunately there are alternatives.


Download freeware. There are a few options. Paint.NET and GIMP are robust editing programs available for free. (See the References and Resources section for links.) The programs offer PSD editing support, but some native Photoshop features do not extend outside that program. Another program, IrfanView, is available for PSD file viewing only.


Open the program after you have installed it. A shortcut will appear in the Start Menu's "All Programs" folder.


Load the PSD file in the program by going to "File" and then "Open."


  • check When using Paint.NET, an additional plug-in must be downloaded to gain PSD file support. Install this add-on after downloading it from the link in the Resources section.

Items you will need

About the Author

James Highland started writing professionally in 1998. He has written for the New York Institute of Finance and He has an extensive background in financial investing and has taught computer programming courses for two New York companies. He has a Bachelor of Arts in film production from Indiana University.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Ciaran Griffin/Lifesize/Getty Images