Seeing Previews of Clear or White Images

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Seeing Previews of Clear or White Images

Does anyone else have trouble finding a clear or white, or even black, image in their collections? I use Windows Explorer to move through files quickly but cannot see anything in white backgrounds when the image is clear like rain, or white like snow and light rays.

Am wondering if there is a way to color a file without changing the color of the image itself. I have only once seen a clear file entirely colored over with a yellow "something"so that I could see the image but when opening the image it was pure white as expected. All the other white and clear files just show a white blank preview.

Appreciate any advice you may have. Have had trouble with black images on black backgrounds too. I use Photoshop and On1 to process photographs.


One of my tricks for those files is to single-click on them so the file is highlighted--my theme's highlight color then shows through so I can get a look at them.

That said, I've started going through my white overlays and adding a mid-gray solid color layer to them in overlay mode, then saving as a layered TIFF. I can see it when I'm looking through for something, but I can open it and just copy-paste the original layer when I want to use it.

Wow, that is great advice! Thank you Holly! Knew there had to be some way to distinquish between those files. Appreciate you taking time to respond. Yay!

What a simple solution, Holly!

I've just upgraded to Windows 10, and had to reset what programs I want opening different file types.

I use GIMP and Inkscape to work with files, and I mainly have settled on using Picasa 3 to view and organize/manage scrapbooking items, because of it's search, tagging and it's ability to view PSD files!

I have found that I bounce back and forth to quickly view items though.

White and light PNG's are the only thing that doesn't view well in Picasa so I use PHOTO for those.

Photo? Do you mean Photoshop? I have been using Bridge but it has the same problem with white and light PNG's like snow, rain, fog, white ribbons, etc.

There are some suggestions HERE that may help!

Susan, that should have had an s on the end Photos is the program I was talking about, just what came with my windows 8.1

For my png files that are hard to see because they are white, clear or very very pale, I add a layer, move it to the bottom and flood it with medium blue colour. I then save it as an edited pdf file. The edited file is beside the png file and I can see what the png file is and can use it just as is. I'm on a mac so the psd files are viewable.

Shall give it a try. Thanks!

On my Mac, I just click on the preview of the image, then drag it towards the desktop. I get a brief preview of it, before it turns into a "document", then drag it back to the preview pane.

Ahha. Another reason people love Macs. I just never could make the switch--started with computers in 1972 in the Air Force and only once used a Mac my boss got for me--I gave it back. Yeah, I know, I should have tried harder to learn it. However, thanks for that tip for other users!

Since I've started to make layered paper templates, I'm packaging the template kits with PSD files, TIFF files, and JPG previews of each template. Maybe resaving your PSD files as TIFF (which shows up in a preview), or saving a separate JPG preview might be an option?

For clear and faint png files, saving a jpg preview with a color background is my favorite option so far. When there is a set I want to keep together in a folder, I started customizing the folder properties to a representative preview image as well--when necessary because the folder preview image isn't always the one I want to see.

As for PSD files, I had not thought to do a save for them. That would be ever so helpful too. Think jpg is a better option because TIFF's are larger files, aren't they? I really do have quite a collection of both PSD and clear/faint images because I love do digital photomanipulations. Fog, lightening, clouds, snowflakes, powder, dust, lights, sunrays, etc. all are difficult to see as is.

Thanks for taking time to share,

While TIFF is a lossless file format, so is PNG... and adding a second layer with a solid color doesn't add but a few bytes, as it's a vector mask plus a color code. When I save layout templates as TIFF, they usually end up somewhere in the 30-60% range of what the PSD template was, because PSDs have a lot of extra metadata that TIFF doesn't have--which is great if you're processing images for publication, but not really important for personal-use scrapbooking templates!

The JPG preview plus the PNG will usually come close to what a PSD file would take up, while the TIFF will end up only slightly larger than the PNG, and TIFFs are viewable within the folder in Windows, so there's no need to have a second file.

Holly, you read my mind. I have played around some and found variances in file sizes that I cannot explain. Here I am only talking about converting a PSD template or element to a viewable image (not clear images).

1. Took PSD template and saved as JPEG and then another as a TIFF. When comparing resulting file size the TIFF was almost twice as big. Though adding a JPEG means another file to track and keep together with the original, the resulting file sizes together were much smaller than the TIFF I saved.

2. Looked at page templates where the designer provided jpg, png, TIFF, PSD and Page files. Somehow in those the TIFF file was smaller than PSD.

Is there some setting I am missing when doing a Saves As to TIFF? I would like to only have one file to track when possible--meaning keep just a TIFF instead of PSD + JPEG.

Sorry if this seems I am belaboring the issue, but with so many scrapbooking files, I need to find a reliable solution.

When I save layout and paper templates to TIFF in Photoshop CS5.5, I use Image Compression: LZW, Pixel Order: Interleaved, Byte Order: IBM PC, leave Save Image Pyramid unchecked, and choose ZIP compression on the individual layers. That means that the template I just released as a freebie on my blog goes from a 6.93MB PSD to a 1.93MB TIFF, and I also don't need the 306KB JPG to see what it looks like. Obviously, you'll get more savings out of it on layout templates than on overlays where you only have a single layer besides your background color to deal with. And TIFF is awful about transparency, so my element templates remain in PNG for non-square elements.

I've just saved my settings for it in an Action. Click HERE to download it, then unzip it and put the .ATN file in your Photoshop Actions folder. Open the Actions panel (has a Play button on it) in Photoshop. Open up one or more layered PSDs. To get it set up for your system rather than mine, click the arrows next to SaveTempAsTIFF and Save, then double-click on Save and set the folder you want the action to save to. Save as type TIFF, with layers checked and embed sRGB color profile in it, then hit the Save button. Following that, you'll get another dialog box. Make sure the settings in it are the same as above--they should be, but it never hurts to double-check...then hit the OK button. That should save the template/tab you have open. Check to make sure it's saving in the right place, then down at the bottom of the Actions panel, hit the little play button. It'll save the template with those settings to the folder you've chosen, then close the template.

If you open up 20-30 PSD templates at once, you can click the play button once for each template and have it as near to auto-process as it's reasonable to do in Photoshop. And you can process few hundred templates while watching your favorite TV it's way less annoying and time-consuming, and you can spend more time scrapping or downloading new ones! smiley

Oh my goodness, Holly, you are a Tech Master! Love, love, love this help. Thank you so much for going the extra mile. Shall have to find your blog and ensure I am subscribed.


Great suggestion!