Photoshop PNG Export Options Explained: Compression and Interlacing

PS Export


The “Smallest/Slow” compression mode does NOT reduce the quality of the image. The PNG file format features lossless compression (smaller file size but the same quality). Its only disadvantage is that compressing the PNG requires a lot more computation, so the export process takes more time (hence “slow”).


Here is the difference between a normal (progressive) image and an interlaced one:

  • When a progressive image is loaded (such as in a web browser), the top part gets downloaded first and the bottom last, so the image progressively appears from top to bottom.


  • When an interlaced image is loaded, you first see a blurry version of it, and then the details come in as the image gets fully downloaded. PNG interlacing achieves this using the Adam7 algorithm. Because you can see an overview of the whole image before all the details are actually loaded in the interlaced image, it can be better for the web as users can determine whether the image is worth waiting for to fully load.


What to use

Unless you have an impossibly slow computer and not 10 seconds to spend waiting, I would always recommend using the “Smallest/Slow” mode to generate smaller files. And unless you are exporting graphics for a webpage design, I would also recommend using no interlace, also to get smaller files.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Jenny Park

This is such a good post! I’ve been curious about this every time I save in png. My question has been resolved. Thank you. 🙂


Thanks questions answered

galih bagaskara

Thank you! I tought that when i export it with smallest(slow) the image quality will be reduced.

Mohamed Ahmed

thanks a lot


Depending on the image, interlace can actually result in a smaller file.


I have a technical question about PS’s compression. How effective is this compression? Is it better than something like XNconvert for example? That program offers 9 levels of compression and its free. I’m want to assume PS has as good or better compression than some of these free alternatives. Can… Read more »


This post just helped me a lot


I’ve been trying to figure out how to do this but I cannot find the PNG option box in Photoshop. Can you explain where that is exactly?


Is there a way to export as a vector file, do you know? I haven’t been able to find that option. Thank you!