This is my first question here and I'm not sure if this is the appropriate site for my question, but here it goes. If this is not the correct site, please direct me to the correct one.

I have a psd file. I simply want to extract the layers from it into separate image files. I do not have Photoshop and I've already used up the free Photoshop trial.

I am running Mountain Lion on a MacBook Pro. I have installed Gimp, but I can't figure out how to do what I want. I have searched using Google, but have been completely unable to find a tutorial showing me how to do this.

I would really appreciate instructions or a link to an appropriate tutorial. I have seen some answers here, but they simply say use Gimp, which doesn't help me.


If you don't want to install any plugin, do this using GIMP (open source tool):

  1. Select the layer and copy Ctrl+C or Edit > Copy
  2. Then Select > File > Create > From Clipboard, this creates a new document from the copied layer, or you can just make the layer you want the only thing visible.
  3. Then select > File > Save As... then go down to "Select File Type (By Extension)"
  4. In the box where it says "All images select that box and go down to "PNG image (*.png)"
  • Is there a way to select multiple layers at the same time? – Darren Sep 7 '12 at 20:32
  • there is no file > create > from clipboard – max4ever Jun 13 '14 at 13:03
  • simply a File > Create will take the clipboard image dimensions by default. After that just paste. – Tejas Kale Nov 23 '14 at 14:55
  • Instead of Save As you can use Export As option. – arp Mar 22 '18 at 12:37

There is a tool from Telegraphics called PSDParse that should do the trick.

psd2png.exe -w Filename.psd

usage: psd2png.exe [options] psdfile...
-h, --help show this help
-v, --verbose print more information
-q, --quiet work silently
-w, --writepng write PNG files of each raster layer (and merged composite)
-d, --pngdir dir put PNGs in directory (implies --writepng)
-m, --makedirs create subdirectory for PNG if layer name contains \'s
-l, --list write an 'asset list' of layer sizes and positions
-s, --split write each composite channel to individual (grey scale) PNG

Here's a link to the version I used, or you can go to the website for the latest version for your operating system.


  • smal, simple, great tool to extract psd layers! – hpaknia Sep 29 '14 at 7:54
  • Do you know any alternative for Linux? – Jax-p Dec 10 '19 at 9:54

There's a plugin for that: Export Layers as PNG.

It adds an entry to the File menu, Export layers -> as png.

  • That looks like what I want, but can you tell me how to install it? – Darren Sep 7 '12 at 19:33
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    "Save as" to the file export_layers-0.6.py.txt and save it in the gimp sub folder lib/gimp/2.0/plug-ins removing the .txt extension. Perhaps you need to add execution rights to the file after downloading it. – pmoleri Sep 7 '12 at 19:49

You can export layers to assets like PNG, JPG or SVG from a new service called "Extract" that is in Adobe's Creative Cloud. You don't need Photoshop.

You can try it here: http://www.adobe.com/go/extract_tweet1

You'll need a Creative Cloud login, but, even free accounts can use the service.

  1. Login to creative.adobe.com/files
  2. Upload a PSD
  3. Go to the Extract tab.
  4. Select any layer and extract an asset.

You'll need to extract each asset individually, at the moment. No way to do it all at once.

  • 1
    Just to say that now, Extract is not free, cost 40$/month... I'm sad – Metal3d Jul 17 '16 at 10:06
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    @Metal3d I think (and hope) that it is still free. I have Brackets and Extract is built into the editor. I just tried it now and it looks like it still works. In fact it looks like the web-based version still works too. And I am not paying $40/month for it. – Kodos Johnson Sep 20 '16 at 18:00
  • I've seen that. But that's far away the ease of the web interface. That format is a pain for the whole opensource World – Metal3d Sep 23 '16 at 21:48

Go to "File" menu in Photoshop (trial or free, no matter)

Now go to "Export" submenu and select "Export layers to files".

In the opened dialog, choose PNG as file type and browse for destination folder.

  • I'm not seeing this option on Adobe Photoshop CS5. – alex Mar 4 '16 at 21:28
  • At least in the recent versions, it is in the "Export" menu (edited the answer) – Xavier Poinas Jul 15 '17 at 8:09
  • Question: «without using Photoshop», answer : «in Photoshop» : did you read question ? – Denis Chenu Dec 18 '18 at 10:43

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