Awesome Open Source
Awesome Open Source


A C++ library that directly reads Photoshop PSD files. The library supports:

  • Groups
  • Nested layers
  • Smart Objects
  • User and vector masks
  • Transparency masks and additional alpha channels
  • 8-bit, 16-bit, and 32-bit data in grayscale and RGB color mode
  • All compression types known to Photoshop

Additionally, limited export functionality is also supported.

For more information, please go to:

Directory structure


Contains a Photoshop PSD file used by the sample code.


Contains Visual Studio projects and solutions for VS 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019.


Contains the library source code as well as a sample application that shows how to use the SDK in order to read and write PSD files.


At the moment, the SDK compiles for Windows and MacOS. The MacOS port was kindly provided by Oluseyi Sonaiya.

As we are primarily a Windows developer, we don't plan on supporting Linux or mobile platforms ourselves. We would gladly accept pull requests though, if anybody wants to help out.

Porting to other platforms

98% of the code is written in a platform-independent way already. If you want to port the SDK to other platforms, here are the things that need porting:


Uses a few SSE2 intrinsics at the moment, should be fairly straightforward to port to C++.


Provides an implementation of the PsdFile interface and uses native Windows functions for async operations.


Uses either _byteswap_* or __builtin_bswap* functions. Either of those should be supported by MSVC, Clang, and GCC, but this needs porting for compilers that don't offer any of these functions.


Provides an abstraction over certain compiler/preprocessor features, and should already work for MSVC, Clang, and GCC.


When building and debugging the PsdSamples command line utility under Xcode, you will need to edit the current scheme's working directory so that it can locate the supplied PSD file. Set the working directory to be the build/Xcode directory inside of wherever you have checked out the psd_sdk source code.

Running it directly from the command line is a little trickier; copy the binary from whatever output location it is in to build/Xcode, and then execute.

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