How to place / open PDF document in Photoshop tutorial

How to open / place PDF files in Photoshop and use as a layer tutorial

Opening PDF files

how to open / place a PDF document in PhotoshopThe PDF file may come in a variety of formats, such as single page PDF or a multi page PDF. How they are opened will not vary but the initial dialog will be slightly different with a multi-page document showing thumbnails for all the items included in the file and a single one, just a single image of the included vector.


There are many sets of PDF vector documents or shapes sets available on this site such as star and starry shapes and spiral shapes and shield and heraldic shapes etc


PDF Panel

Once you have opened the PDF, you can then copy the item to another open document or perhaps save the item to the CC libraries for use in other apps.


With PDF Photoshop open, you will also have to specify


crop to







bit depth

as well as the thumbnail size


Place PDF shapes in Photoshop

You can also use the place embedded or linked menu command to add the item to an existing document. There is no additional dialog if the item is a single page file but there is a dialog for a multiple page (you can set the thumbnail size) to allow for the selection of a particular vector (sadly it does not allow for multiple items)


Re-sizing the placed / opened PDF

Once the PDF has been opened in Photoshop, the artwork can be re-sized from the default size which may be the same size as the document or smaller - to bigger or smaller than the current document. You can re-size at any point. You can also then add effects (it is a smart object)


installing and loading and opening

Loaded as a placed item

Once you have the PDF as a layer, you can then duplicate the layer as well as combine the result with blending modes in Photoshop as well as using opacity


Other tutorials

You can find many different tutorials on the site such as how to use Photoshop shapes in different color modes / image modes and how to use the shapes to create amazing displacement maps / textures


Yotube Video tutorial

Video tutorial on the subject [Youtube]