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Photoshop Can’t Save As PNG: Step by Step Instructions

As a graphic designer using Photoshop, you’ll work with a variety of image types. It’s essential to understand the various saving formats for different image types like the PNG and know what each image type is most suitable for. Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to save your image as PNG.

PNG or Portable Network Graphic is an image type on Photoshop used commonly in web designs. It provides a transparent/semi-transparent background. It is suitable for logos as one can place the image on any background.

If you can’t save as PNG files in Photoshop, chances are you’re missing a step somewhere.

Step-by-Step guideline on how to save as PNG

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Step 1: Create a new canvas

Before you can save any file or work, you have to begin something or do something; for that, this step starts by showing you how to create a new canvas to save the work done on it. To create a new canvas, open your Photoshop, scroll to the left-hand side of your screen, click on File, and proceed to click on New from the drop-down options you get.

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Step 2: Fill in the necessary details for the new canvas created

If you intend to save your file in a PNG format, the following information is crucial for achieving that. Once you click on New, a dialogue box appears, with some information for you to fill in. The dialogue box contains Width and Height Ratio, Resolution, and the PNG format save mode’s vital factor, the Color mode.

To save your image in PNG format, your Color mode must be in RGB. When you click on the Color mode, you’ll find an option as RGB, CMYK, and others. Also, note the bytes size with relations to the RGB Color mode. The options available are 8byte, 16byte, and 32byte. For PNG, the byte size that supports it is both 8byte and 16byte. Once done, click ok to create the new canvas.

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Step 3: Create something on your canvas

To save an image, you need to create one. In this step, the designer decided to create a layer, and afterward draw a rectangle on the new layer with the help of a rectangle tool, creating the rectangle image on the screen.

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Step 4: Close your background

Because PNG does not save with background, you need to remove your background layer. To get the background layer off, first, highlight the design you wish to save, go to the right-hand side of the screen, and scroll to the Layer side. There, you’ll find your Background layer and the Rectangle layer. Right on the Background layer, there is an open “eye”, simply click on it to lock it up and close the background.

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Step 5: Saving your file as PNG

Note that, for PNG saving format, such an image has no background layer; this means that the image above when saved as PNG will only save the drawn and highlighted rectangle without the background layer in it. With this in mind, proceed to the left-hand side of your screen, go to Files once more, and then click on Save as.

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Step 6: Saving process continued

Once you click on Save as, a dialogue box appears. In it, there is the Save as type, which displays different examples of saving format; Jpeg, PSG, and PDF. Click on the PNG format, pick your saving location, here the location is the Desktop, then click Save.

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Step 7: Compression set

Once you click save, another dialogue box will appear showing PNG compression options of Non-compression, Fast compression, and Slow or smallest compression. Non-compression means no compression.

The final file size is the largest; the Fast compression does the compression faster, and the final file size of the image is more prominent, while the slow compression is, of course, slower with a smaller final file size of the picture.

Note: The more an image is compressed, the lower the quality of the final image saved. If you still intend to edit your image or design it, use non-compression to save at first so that when further editing comes up, the file opened still retains its original image quality/ number of pixels.

On the other hand, if you are done editing and working on the image and wish to share such a file online, you can use small compression to save storage space and to get the image uploaded faster on the internet for usage on any front.

Once you are done with information filling, your design/file is ready for usage and sharing anywhere and anytime.


As a graphic designer, the type of project you are working on determines the image type you’ll be saving your work at the end of the day. If what you desire is a sharp image with a transparent/semitransparent background fit for the web, PNG is the best type for you to work with.

This post is a part of our series on Photoshop tutorials