Every week I’m inundated with the question “Why when I download your free flyer templates are the PSD files empty?” – or in some other variation. Here’s why:
WATCH the video to see why, what, where and how ››››
Key points summarised from the below jargon:
- Turning off layer visibility reduces file size
- Lower file size = quicker download for you
- Lower file size = lower server cost for ‘Heroes
- To “FIX” – you just need to turn layer visibility back on
- You can toggle layer visibility with the “eye” icon in the layers panel
Super Hero powers initiated! Let’s give an explanation:
I love providing free content for our users. Even more so, I love providing flyer templates with as much flexibility – i.e as many editable layers – as possible.
I hate rasterising layers or merging groups in order to “save space”. True, merging together and rasterising layers is a killer space saving tip. If you’re looking to put your PSDs on a diet, that is one of the best routes to go (but make sure you save an original backup first).
Every so often I have to do this. I slim-up most of our free PSDs in one very limited form or another (merging content you won’t need to customise), but I do try to avoid this wherever possible.
I find it much more valuable to offer you guys a PSDs where every element is left editable so you can either customise to the max or dissect every single layer to better understand how the file was constructed.
So why do we turn off layer visibility? Are the files REALLY blank?
No, the files are not blank, empty, fake, invisible or stolen by aliens in the night. They just appear this way as “layer visibility” is switched off.
Many newcomers to the site (or to Photoshop) do not recognise this straight away – which is totally understandable. So I need to give ya’ll an explanation.
Turning off layer visibility reduces file size WITHOUT losing quality or flexibility.
Let me explain what this means…
Basically, when you turn off the visibility of layers in a PSD and save the file, the file size reduces – and can reduce drastically.
It does not in anyway affect the usability of the file. All you gotta do is turn the layer visibility back on and hey presto, you got a fully functioning PSD.
So it saves a few MB’s. Big whoopie
Every PSD varies in how much this technique reduces it’s final size. Sometimes it’s just 1 megabyte and sometimes it’s 50.
This may not seem like a huge benefit on the surface, however when you multiply that by the hundreds of thousands of downloads we serve every month, it definitely adds up.
But it’s not just benefits for us – it’s a benefit for you too!
If the overall file size is smaller, your download is quicker. (the less time waiting around the quicker you can get to work on that PSD right? )
Also, smaller file sizes are less likely to time out.
+ (one final benefit for the both of us) if we serve less bandwidth and keep the costs of our servers down, the more free stuff we can provide!
I hope that explains why we do it!