Sign up ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am researching vector based graphics and I know people use Illustrator for these, but if you are drawing in Photoshop, does it also produce vector based graphics? Would you still save it as a .psd? Then export as a SVG or EPS?

share|improve this question
My comment is off-topic for super user (since it's a product suggestion), but if you need a free alternative to Illustrator, you could look into the opensource Inkscape. –  nerdwaller May 1 '13 at 18:14
Thanks. I will look at it. I have Illustrator but look for good open sourced alternatives to support. –  Jason May 1 '13 at 18:48
@nerdwaller Product recommendations in answers are usually no problem. More about that here. –  Daniel Beck Jun 30 '13 at 19:56
@DanielBeck - Thanks! I didn't see that in my quick search of Meta - great reference, again thanks! –  nerdwaller Jun 30 '13 at 20:25

4 Answers 4

Yes, but you should use smart objects. It has specific usages, mostly when you are working with a mixed Raster-Vector-Font objects. Usually, when you import objects from vector creation software, they are first converted to raster. But, as Adobe says Photoshop supports Smart Objects that "preserve image’s source content with all its original characteristics".

For example when you want to create a website using Photoshop, if you design everything in Raster, then you can't easily scale things and create a responsive web site.

But, using smart objects, you can use vector objects like UI elements and icons in Photoshop. When exporting to output formats like PDF, etc., these vector elements will be exported as vector objects, along with the raster images and pictures.

Read more here about smart objects here:

Genius Ways To Use Photoshop Smart Objects

At last, for selecting appropriate software, you should know exactly what you want to achieve. I can't see this in your question.

share|improve this answer

Photoshop is primarily intended for bitmap graphics not vector graphics.

In general, it is far easier to produce bitmaps from vectors than vice versa. Therefore, if you need vector graphics it is best to start the creative process using a vector graphics package.

share|improve this answer
so Illustrator if the person has it. Gimp, etc. –  Jason May 1 '13 at 18:06
and isn't it that using Vector based graphics it becomes easier to deal with different screen resolutions layout wise? Where as bitmaps need to be resized for each resolution? –  Jason May 1 '13 at 18:07
Small correction, the term of art is Raster Graphics, not Bitmap Graphics. Using the correct term makes it easier for people to find out more information on their own. –  Scott Chamberlain May 2 '14 at 5:23
@Scott. Interesting. The usual English dictionaries associate "raster" with old-fashioned/obsolete CRT technology. Raster: Oxford Mirriam-webster; Bitmap: Oxford Mirriam-Webster. Which better references should we be consulting? –  RedGrittyBrick May 3 '14 at 10:14

What you export from Photoshop will be bitmap images primarily.

In case you are forced to use Photoshop instead of Illustrator then you can use vector-ish tools in Photoshop, depending on what you are after. Creating a shape, for instance, or a path, will be scalable to any size without loosing quality (inside of Photoshop, before exporting a bitmap).

If you have a shape that you need with higher resolution, then Photoshop can do that for you, but to export .pdf, .eps or other vector file types with the properties of vector graphics then you need something else than PS.

share|improve this answer

There is a third-party plugin which can export your PSD layers as SVG. You can have a look: Photoshop SVG Exporter Plugin

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.