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Reading Adobe Photoshop images

, 3 Jul 2005 CPOL
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Simple C# library for opening and displaying Adobe Photoshop images.

SimplePsd Test program


Most of the image editors and viewers do not allow to open Adobe Photoshop images directly. Adobe Photoshop is a bitmap graphics editor (with some text and vector graphics capabilities) developed and published by Adobe Systems. It is the market leader for commercial image manipulation. Adobe Photoshop native file format (*.psd) is not documented well and quite complicated.

Having noticed that there isn't any decent C# sources for opening Adobe Photoshop files, I decided to focus my efforts on this library. The aim of this library is to provide quick opening and displaying of Photoshop images and to provide ability to convert images to other formats.

A number of web search efforts brought no results for .NET platform, but I have found a few C\C++ codes regarding Adobe Photoshop imports, including a great C++ article MyPSD class of Iosif Hamlatzis.

Having extensive C\C++ experience and beginning C# experience, I have created the SimplePsd class library that allows you to open images saved in Adobe Photoshop native format (*.psd) so it may be easily included in any other projects. Currently, the following formats are supported: RGB, Lab, CMY, CMYK, Indexed, Grayscale, Duotone. These formats can be uncompressed or compressed with RLE.

Using the code

Usage of SimplePsd library is very simple:

using SimplePsd;
private SimplePsd.CPSD psd = new SimplePsd.CPSD();
    int nResult = psd.Load(openFileDialog.FileName);
    if(nResult == 0)
        int nCompression = psd.GetCompression();
        string strCompression = "Unknown";
            case 0:
                strCompression = "Raw data";
            case 1:
                strCompression = "RLE";
            case 2:
                strCompression = "ZIP without prediction";
            case 3:
                strCompression = "ZIP with prediction";
        label1.Text = string.Format("Image Width: {0}px\r\nImage Height: {1}px\r\n"+
                    "Image BitsPerPixel: {2}\r\n"+
                    "Resolution (pixels/inch): X={3} Y={4}\r\n",
        label1.Text += "Compression: "+strCompression;
        pictureBox1.Image = System.Drawing.Image.FromHbitmap(psd.GetHBitmap());
    else if(nResult == -1)
        MessageBox.Show("Cannot open the File");
    else if(nResult == -2)
        MessageBox.Show("Invalid (or unknown) File Header");
    else if(nResult == -3)
        MessageBox.Show("Invalid (or unknown) ColourMode Data block");
    else if(nResult == -4)
        MessageBox.Show("Invalid (or unknown) Image Resource block");
    else if(nResult == -5)
        MessageBox.Show("Invalid (or unknown) Layer and Mask Information section");
    else if(nResult == -6)
        MessageBox.Show("Invalid (or unknown) Image Data block");


I would like to thank Iosif Hamlatzis for his article and permission to use some of the converting functions from his project.

SimplePsd License

You may include the source code, modified source code, assembly within your own projects for either personal or commercial use with only one restriction: don't change the name of the library "SimplePsd.dll".

Finally, if you improve any part of this library or want to discuss something related to the sources, please feel free to contact me by e-mail.


This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)


About the Author

Igor Tolmachev
Software Developer (Senior)
Ukraine Ukraine
No Biography provided

Comments and Discussions

GeneralMy vote of 5 PinmemberNStn1-Sep-13 4:12 
Questionthe lage file not be rendered. Pinmembernamo10334-Jul-12 23:42 
Questionnot working for image greater than 1GB of size Pinmemberprojectgirish11-Apr-12 4:08 
GeneralMy vote of 5 Pinmemberkitsemen20-Oct-11 17:53 
QuestionChange psd resolution? or dimensions? Pinmemberz1freeride29-Oct-09 13:43 
GeneralLoad error - stream open Pinmemberdomagoj barisic16-Jul-07 10:39 
GeneralSmall bug in ReadImageData() Pinmemberjf36725-Apr-07 12:53 
Generaladding menu in photoshop Pinmemberfarschadnaji17-Nov-06 7:14 
GeneralViewer works great, but need to print Pinmemberhorton332-Aug-06 15:44 
Jokesome psd file could not be rendered Pinmembercodeprojectnatwar10-May-06 22:04 
Generalimages could not be rendered Pinmemberayunlonglongago26-Dec-05 23:46 
GeneralReading layers PinmemberJonas Beckeman28-Jul-05 10:54 
GeneralRe: Reading layers PinmemberIgor Tolmachev2-Aug-05 2:17 
GeneralRe: Reading layers PinmemberJonas Beckeman2-Aug-05 6:16 
GeneralRe: Reading layers Pinmemberpgruzdev30-May-06 17:24 
GeneralRe: Reading layers PinmemberJonas Beckeman1-Jun-06 8:08 
GeneralRe: Reading layers PinmemberJonas Beckeman8-Oct-06 23:21 
GeneralRe: Reading layers Pinmembervish_mak18-Apr-07 5:04 
GeneralRe: Reading layers PinmemberMember 371981423-Nov-11 4:55 
I need to decode PSD layers, info.
Did not find the content at Endogine to be of help.
The photoshop class is empty. There is no PSD decoding capability there.

It appears my options are one of the following:
1) extend libPSD and add a C# wrapper.
2) extend ImageMagickNET and add a C# wrapper.
3) append layer functionality in your simplePSD class.

Extending your simplePSD looks most promising.
I will forward you any worthwhile addition if/when completed.

Generalview PSD in ASP.NET Pinmemberpyroalpha10-Jul-05 18:14 
GeneralRe: view PSD in ASP.NET PinmemberIgor Tolmachev2-Aug-05 2:24 
Generalgood, but some psd files could not be rendered... PinmemberUnruled Boy4-Jul-05 1:12 
GeneralRe: good, but some psd files could not be rendered... PinmemberIgor Tolmachev2-Aug-05 2:27 
GeneralRe: good, but some psd files could not be rendered... PinmemberUnruled Boy2-Aug-05 6:01 

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