Can Photoshop Open Krita Files? Not All Versions

As a graphic designer, I use Photoshop a lot and regularly receive files that have been generated in Open Source. Let’s look at Photoshop and if it can open Krita files.

Photoshop has the capability of opening Krita files but only in certain formats. .kra is not compatible.

Open Source programs are great and some are as good if not better than what they are trying to mimic. Let’s look at how Photoshop and Krita can work together.

What is Krita?

Krita is an Open Source app for creating digital art. Digital pics can be altered and manipulated. There are a large number of tools available and a selection of brushes. The app is constantly updated as users find different issues or suggest changes that could be added to enhance the program.

This is of course a good thing but can also be a little counterintuitive as it is constantly updating. It is a great alternative to Photoshop as there is no subscription fee or download costs (although you can make a donation if you wish) but they can integrate together.

Opening Krita Files

As a graphic designer, I spend most of my time designing magazines and regularly receive files that come from external sources. Sometimes they can be manipulated but more often unfortunately they can’t. Kita files are sometimes the culprit.

People use Krita because it’s free. If you are not regularly editing or manipulating images there’s no point in paying for Photoshop. It works out at $9.99 per month or $52.99 per month for the whole Creative Cloud suite. A little pricey if you’re not using it.

If you receive a Krita file you will recognize it as it will have a .kra in the file name. Photoshop will not recognize the .kra as a compatible format but all is not lost.

If you are in contact with the file originator then you can ask them to reopen their file and save it as a more compatible format, such as .jpg (or .psd). Although .psd is available in the export and save list it doesn’t always work or transfer correctly. .jpg is always a good format however, any layers won’t transfer, as this format flattens your image.

To try and trace an image back to its original creator can sometimes be more trouble than it’s worth. If you feel this is the case then the easiest solution is to download the Krita app. This will also allow you to make any necessary changes and save it in a format that you can then transfer to Photoshop.

Differences between Krita and Photoshop

There are of course vast differences between Krita and Photoshop but as I say it’s all about what you need as a user. Maybe everything you need to achieve can be done within Krita. However, there are some limitations. The biggest being you can only create Digital Artwork, it can’t be saved for Print.

The output quality would not be good enough and so in this instance, it would have to be brought into Photoshop to be changed to CMYK and even then the resolution may not be 300dpi.

FREE $9.99  per month
Easy to Use Learning curve requiredSteep Learning Curve Required
Very little supportAdobe Support
Creative hobbyistsProfessional Graphic Users
Text added through an extra WIndowText is more cohesive in the app
2D App3D App
User-Friendly InterfaceCan be involved for Beginners
Mac  Windows LinuxMac Windows
Krita vs Photoshop

Things to Watch Out For

There are lots of things you can do with Krita and then bring them into Photoshop to make your creation even better. However, there are a few things you need to watch out for.

Krita is constantly being updated and improved but lots of the time these improvements are being rolled out to users, with little or no testing being applied. This means bugs and errors are more likely to occur.

Certain items such as Dropbox and One Drive can prevent Krita files from saving correctly. They may actually become corrupt and may not be retrievable. Zipping Krita files can result in some information being lost. Often Krita files are very large and the app will crash repeatedly.

You may have to allocate more memory to the app. You can’t run Sandboxie and Krita together. It will freeze your machine. Krita does not currently run on iOS or on iPads. It will run on Android.

In Conclusion

Krita files can be opened by Photoshop but it depends on the final format. Photoshop is definitely the heavyweight in editing and image manipulation apps but there’s never anything wrong with using Open Source apps. They sometimes are easier to use and get the job done just the same if not quicker.

Here are some other posts you might find useful:

Is it worth learning Photoshop?

Which Adobe should I learn first?

Why is Adobe so expensive?

Tara Cunningham

My name is Tara. I am a Graphic Designer for the last 25+ years. Designing everything from Wedding stationery to Magazines. I have been using Adobe products since I was in college and know all the tips and tricks that make life a little easier when completing a project. Hopefully you will find the answer to your question on

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