Extract layout from Photoshop files into one of several text-based formats.
C C++ Other
Switch branches/tags
Nothing to show
Clone or download
Latest commit 58dc2fe Jan 26, 2012



psdump is a command line utility which parses Photoshop files and outputs their layer hierarchy as a text, JSON, or XML data. Position and size of each layer are included in the output.

The program has been tested on the following systems:

  • Mac OS X
  • Windows XP, 7
  • Linux (Ubuntu 9.10)

Known issues

When used on Mac OS X with a Photoshop file slightly larger than the most basic one, psdump crashes with Segmentation fault. The reason of the crash is supposedly a bug in the libpsd. Further investigation is planned for an unknown moment in the indefinite future.

Installing psdump

In order to start using psdump you will likely need to build it from source. However, there are precompiled binaries for Mac OS X and Windows family. They can be found on the Downloads page.

Once you've downloaded a binary release for your OS, unzip it and type psdump --help in the terminal window.

Building from source

The UNIX way

Building from source is fairly simple on a UNIX-like system. You just need to run make in the terminal window. The binary will appear in a newly created 'build' directory. (If you are running some kind of minimalistic Linux distribution, you may need to additionally install g++.)

You can also run make test to run the test-suite and make tidyup to remove intermediate object files. (If you don't have python installed, run make shtest instead of make test.)

Instructions for Windows users

To build from source on Windows there are several options.

The first one is to use MinGW with MSYS. With those tools installed, building is as easy as typing mingw32-make (or a similar command) in the MSYS terminal window.

Another way to build psdump is using Cygwin. With 'g++' and 'make' packages installed, you just need to run make in the Cygwin-bash.

Important notice. If you build psdump using Cygwin, it won't work without cygwin1.dll.

Lastly, a Microsoft compiler can be used to build from source. You will find a Visual Studio project file in the 'vcproj' directory. This file has been created in MS Visual Studio 2005 (version 9).


To parse Photoshop files, libpsd is used. You don't need to download it separately since its source code is already included with psdump and it hasn't changed since, I guess, 2007. You may visit its project page on SourceForge.net.

Apart from libpsd, there are no other requirements to be able to successfully build psdump from source.


Feedback, feature requests, and code reviews are most welcome! Please let me know about your experience using psdump.

It has been designed in such a way that makes it easy to add more output formats and even to parse other hierarchical files, not just Photoshop ones.

The following improvements are expected to be introduced in the future:

  • provide more detailed documentation on adding new features
  • check for conformance of JSON and XML outputs to their corresponding specifications
  • tweak the program architecture to make it easy to handle multiple document outputs into a single file in a polymorphic way
  • write unit-tests and create a more elaborate test-suite
  • build and test on as many platforms as possible (your help will be appreciated)

Once the above features are implemented, version 1.0 will be released.