Opening Adobe PSD files in Ubuntu

Despite having a Linux advocate for a brother (or maybe because of it), my sister insists on using Windows and its bevy of proprietary software. She has her computer and I have mine, so for the most part we stay out of each other's way.

This morning, though, she needed to open some Adobe Photoshop files. And only I had my laptop with me. My Ubuntu laptop. Ha! I said, I can open that easily, regardless that it's a proprietary format.

It turns out I was wrong.

Obviously, my first choice was The GIMP. GIMP recognized the .PSD extension straightaways, but for some reason it croaked when I attempted the transfer. I figured it didn't have the required library, and I wasn't Net-connected then.

Next, I tried Inkscape. No go, either. Inkscape doesn't even recognize Adobe Photoshop's .PSD extension. It promised it could do Adobe Illustrator (.AI) but that wasn't what I was interested.

Well, certainly ImageMagick. I ran convert from the command-line, opting to change the Photoshop file into a PNG. Lo and behold! it worked. Well, sort of. I ended up with several small PNG files, which I assumed to be the component images to the Photoshop image. But they were all transparent images!

So basically, I was out of ideas. Sorry, I told my sister. I went away chagrined, and I could trace a hint of gloating on my sister's part.

Later on, I was working on a presentation in I needed to import a graphic into my document and then the thought hit me: "Surely couldn't do what GIMP, Inkscape, and ImageMagick couldn't. Could it?"

So I clicked on Insert->Picture and there it was -- dagnabbit! -- the option to import PSD. A couple of clicks later, and I had the file in my presentation. After which it was an easy step to export it back to PNG using so I could edit it in GIMP.

Harrumph! I wish I'd known earlier. It just doesn't feel as satisfying to gloat a few hours after.