How to Open a PSD File without Photoshop

In this tutorial you will learn how toopen a PSD file without Photoshop on a Mac and PC.

How to open a Photoshop file without Photoshop? As strange as it sounds, very often the person is in need of quickly checking on PSD files without actually editing them in Photoshop. Besides that, not everyone is ready to invest in buying Photoshop, especially if they don’t need to use the program often, however, they may need to edit an PSD file from time to time. If that’s your case and you don’t have Photoshop installed on your computer, listen up.

Depending on the type of your computer, there are different programs that can and will open your PSD files and even perform editing of these files.

Step 1. If you’re using Mac, than you can peek into it by pressing “Space”, or simply open the PSD file with the help of Mac’s native software – “Preview”. Simply control – click the PSD image and choose to open it with “Preview app”. Here you go!

opening PSD file with Preview app on a Mac

Step 2. You can even do minor editing manipulations with PSD file in “Preview” . Take your time to explore the “Preview” menu if you’re not familiar with it. Note that “Preview” will not be able to recognize the image layers and other sophisticated elements of your PSD file.

basic editing of a PSD file on a Mac with „Preview”

Step 3. To have something similar to Photoshop that can work with image the layers on your Mac, you’ll have to download the Mac version of Gimp – free software almost similar in function to Photoshop.

Go to the link you see on your screen to download and install the Gimp program (

downloading GIMP for Mac

Step 4. Launch it and open your PSD file: GIMP not only allows you to do the basic editing on the image, but also works with its layers and saves the result – just like we’re doing now.

editing PSD file on a Mac with GIMP

Step 5. For the PC users, there are several alternative options to open and edit PSD files, and all of them are free.

If you just want to view the PSD file, you can use “IrfanView” – the good old software that knows how to view pretty much any image file. Just follow the link you see on the screen ( ) to download the software, install it on your PC and enjoy viewing your files.

opening PSD files with IrfanView on a PC

Step 6. The Quicktime Picture Viewer that can be downloaded can also view the PSD files.

Step 7. For more complex editing, you can use GIMP on PC, which is similar to the Mac version we’ve just described.

opening PSD file with GIMP working on PC

Step 8. The alternative to GIMP is Paint. NET – the default program of Microsoft with one tweak – a plugin that opens PSD files that a usual Paint program cannot view. Follow the link you see on screen ( ) to download the plugin and install it.

opening PSD file with Paint working on PC