How to place / open PDF in Photoshop tutorial

How to open and place the PDF files you have in applications such as Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 CS5 etc

Open PDF in Photoshop

how to open / place a PDF document in Photoshop
  1. File menu in Photoshop

  2. Open command for the PDF file

  3. Select PDF file (browse for the file)

  4. Set the name of the opened PDF Photoshop file

  5. Set the width and height - super large or small etc

  6. Set the bit depth - 8bit or 16bit

  7. Set color mode such as RGB color or CMYK etc

  8. Set resolution and then OK

Video tutorial about the subject by (youtube)


Panel - see either a single or multiple file : multiThe PDF file may come in a variety of formats, such as single page PDF or a multi page document. How they are artwork is loaded 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


You can also vary the size of the displayed artwork so you can fill the entire preview or just have very small thumbnails and a lot in between (though there is no slider to set the size just a dropdown at the bottom of the panel)


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Panel information : optionsYou have to specify the following


crop to







bit depth

as well as the thumbnail size


I generally add it as large as possible as well as set it to 300 resolution as well as RGB and 8 bit but you can change those settings as required


Open as smart object : smartYou can also access the file as a smart object. Makes it a lot easier to manipulate the design at a later point as well as applying smart filter effects etc


Go to the file menu open command as smart object in Photoshop


Place command : smart objectYou can also use the place embedded or linked menu command to add the item to an existing document. The Photoshop place for PDF (as well as other files) is found in the file menu


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).


File menu followed by the place command (embedded to increase the size of the document or just linked). Select the design and crop to the bounding box or not and set the thumbnail size (I generally go for fairly large) and re-size as required (bigger or smaller than the document) and you will now see it as a smart object in the layers panel


Re-size artwork : borderOnce the file has been placed 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 the smart object layer at any point. It is a smart object which can be seen via the icon in the layers panel.


Select the object in the layer panel or on the artboard / document. Go to the top bar and make certain the show transform controls are ON if you wish to interactively re-size OR use the edit menu and transform and scale etc and press return


Modify artwork : filtersYou can also then add effects (it is a smart object) as well as smart adjustments. The artwork can still be modified and edited by clicking the little smart object thumbnail. You can add all kinds of effects to the imported artwork such as blurs and oil paint and camera raw filter as well as smart adjustments such as color lookup and photo filter etc


Layers : blendOnce 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


Save the work : Once you have opened or placed the PDF in Photoshop as a layer, you can drag the layer to the CC library and store the design in the library for use in other applications such as Indesign and Illustrator and After Effects. It should be noted that you can generally open the format in those applications directly


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