Many years ago, the Photoshop ‘Save as’ dialog would only show options like TIFF and PSD when you added layers to your image, or used 16 bits/color. The reason was simple: because JPEG does not support layers or more than 8 bits/color, that could not be an option because that would require Photoshop to flatten the image and/or decrease the bit depth. As a result, people could lose their layers thinking they saved the image before quitting Photoshop. Many people did not understand this, so the question why JPEG was suddenly not an option in the ‘Save as’ dialog (after they had added a layer, that is) was one of the most frequently asked Photoshop questions of that time.

Adobe solved this problem by adding some routines that would analyse the image when you used ‘Save as’, and add ‘copy’ to the name if you tried to save such a layered file as JPEG, keeping the image in Photoshop as ‘unsaved’. That way users were protected against losing work because they chose a non-compatible file format, and could still quickly save a JPEG copy.

Unfortunately, in MacOS Catalina Apple removed the API that was used in these routines. The result was a strange bug when you tried to overwrite an existing JPEG file. Photoshop would ask you permission to overwrite the file, but then it would not do that even though you said ‘yes’. The only way that Adobe could restore the option to save a copy in a non-compatible file format, without introducing a serious risk of people losing work, was to split up the dialog in ‘Save as’ (with compatible formats only) and ‘Save a copy’.

And so now people are asking again why the ‘Save as’ dialog does not show JPEG as option with their layered file. It is quickly becoming the most frequently asked Photoshop question again…

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