Just wanted to share this little terrifying moment I had this morning, and what a possible solution might be.

I’ve been working on an artwork for someone over the last few days, and I’m almost done with it. Wake up this morning, go to open it, and I’m met with this:

"Photoshop could not complete your request because the file is not compatible with this version."

You know, you let it sink in a minute. “No, no it’s not corrupted. Hahah good one Photoshop.” — open it again

"Photoshop could not complete your request because the file is not compatible with this version."

So then you don your best “I am not amused” face and try like 4 more times before turning to google. You search the error, and find people talking about how your file has corrupted layers. Search “how to repair corrupt PSD files” and see people saying the work is as good as gone, so cut your losses etc. So then you officially freak out.

At this point, I’ve tried every trial of every app I could think of. CS6 couldn’t open it, so I tried CS5, CS4, CS3, and CS2 all without success. Corel Painter, nope. Tool SAI, doesn’t even try. OSX Preview? Opens it, but completely flattened which doesn’t entirely help me.

And then I remember:

Freaking Gimp.

Never used the program before, never had to. But it was the last one I could think of that’s capable of opening PSD files with layers. I go download it, install it, and, to my complete amazement the file opens — layers intact and able to be re-exported to safety.

So what was the problem? I had a layer in the PSD file that was more than 30,000 pixels wide (or tall.) Adobe never told me this, but apparently the PSD file has a layer limitation of 30,000 x 30,000 pixels — and my artwork had one in it. (A transformed texture layer that, after conforming to perspective, became VERY wide at the base.) How nice of Photoshop, then, to allow me to save the PSD and not inform me of the incompatible layer.

Gimp is just weird enough to simply plow right through the glaring error in the file and display it anyway, go figure. It even informed me that in order to re-save the file, I’d have to remove (or shrink) the oversized layer. How nice of you, Gimp, if only some other big name softwares could follow in your example.

So remember: if you see that error not ALL hope is lost. Give GIMP a shot, it just might save you and your families life.

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