Open PNG Files With Photoshop or Elements On A Mac

A lot of my digital files that have transparent areas such as overlays, frames, tape are saved in the .png file format. The problem is that a Mac is set to open these types of files in the Preview application. To open in Photoshop, I’ve been dragging them to the Photoshop icon. Sometimes I would forget and double-click a file to open it and it would open in Preview. This has been driving me nuts for some time, so I finally did a search on how to change the default application that opens a specific file format.

Of course, it’s easy-peasy.


Change the Default Application That Opens .PNG Files On A Mac

  1. Just select any .png file in your finder window. (See Above)
  2. Open up the Get Info window (Command + i).
  3. Select which application you want to open .png files with. (For me it was Photoshop CS6 – you can choose your version – or Elements)
  4. And then Click on the button that says Change All.
  5. Sigh in relief.

Get Info

I’m not sure how to do this on a PC. Anyone want to write a PC version?

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9 Responses to Open PNG Files With Photoshop or Elements On A Mac

  1. Anne June 3, 2012 at 10:56 am #

    To choose the default program for viewing png files on a PC (I am using Windows 7) : right click on the file and select Open With, then select the program you want to use to open the file or you can set the default program by selecting Choose default program. This will then open up a box with the various programs you have installed on your PC that are capable of viewing .png files. I use Picasa to store all my digital files and have this set as my default viewer. I have PSE8 and have found it takes a while to actually open the program whereas Picasa viewer is almost instant. You can also drag files from Picasa into PSE8 – I use this option a lot :). Hope this helps.

    • Leslie Nicole June 3, 2012 at 11:48 am #

      Thank you. Sounds pretty similar to the way it works on a Mac. Thanks for the tip about Picasa is well.

  2. Katherine June 7, 2012 at 3:17 am #

    Photoshop Elements is a little less sophisticated editing program that works great for most users.

  3. sharon September 15, 2012 at 3:20 am #

    Thank you thank you thank you!!!!!! I needed that!!!

  4. Ros July 26, 2013 at 8:44 am #

    I agree with Sharon – thank you, thank you, thank you – and yes, am sighing with relief!!!

    Do you know how to download and open a .pack file so it can be used in Photoshop and on a mac?

    • Leslie Nicole July 26, 2013 at 1:09 pm #

      You’re welcome, Ros! I’m not sure what a .pack file is. Can you fill me in?

  5. Londa Coy December 29, 2014 at 11:22 pm #

    i just got a new imac….first time with an apple computer. I have always used a pc and picasa, which I love. I was able to have both programs open and drag files from picasa to elements and have them open…easy. Now with a mac it doesn’t work by dragging from Picasa to elements. Does anyone have a way around this? Also used to be able to right click on an item and choose find on disc, don’t have this option anymore…..

  6. Lis McDermott January 10, 2015 at 5:03 pm #

    Hi Leslie, Thank you so much – I was just about losing the will to live trying to open some png files someone had sent me. Very clear and helpful info, thank you SO much. 🙂 Lis

  7. john mason June 12, 2016 at 8:56 pm #

    Many thanks!

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