Making the Save button less dangerous

I assume the way Krita saves and exports projects was inspired from Photoshop (although I’m not sure, it’s been many years I haven’t used PS).
I personally don’t mind or care for that approach. However, I find GIMP’s way of doing it much less risky and more logical : Saving being reserved only to the project file format and exporting being reserved to other formats.

In Krita, I’ve lost my work several times this way :

  • I save a work in progress in a flat format like jpeg (e.g. to show my WIP or to import it in some other program for some back-and-forth work) (I know I can use the export button and I think of it more otften, but other less experienced users may not)
  • I continue working in Krita
  • I’m done for the day, hit Save and close. No popup window warns me of anything, even though I just saved only a flattened image.

Almost an entire day of work can be lost this way, whereas in GIMP, this can’t happen because when you save, you can only save as a GIMP project file.

If the reason Krita behaves this way is to appeal to Photoshop users, I would like to suggest at least either :

  • showing a popup window to warn me I’m about to save in a different format
  • giving an option in the preferences to constrain the Save button to kra files (even though I think it should be the default).

What do you think?


Gimp’s way is not really a standard or widely loved, it does get some negative feedback as well.

Generally in Krita it’s recommended to use File -> Export for non-.kra formats. That way Krita will recognize that the file hasn’t been saved yet.

I would like to have a better solution for that though, for example what you say, an option to constrain Save to .kra files. However I know there are other people who disagrees that this kind of saving is dangerous and just blame it all on user error. Which is true - but for example I am nearly always using Save Incremental Version (which doesn’t ask the user anything, just create a new filename and save), so when I, not so long ago, opened a .jpg file and started to make changes, and then used Save Incremental Version a few times and closed Krita, later I realized that it was all filename.jpg, filename_001.jpg, filename_002.jpg. Useless. And there was no “checkbox” to check that I want the .kra file as well (which is present if you use Save for the first time), so there was no time I had to make a conscious decision whether I want .jpg or .kra.

This means it basically needs a solution that won’t be annoying for naysayers.

Oh btw - “If the reason Krita behaves this way is to appeal to Photoshop users” - nope, it’s never the reason, in this case it’s because that’s what people expects. There was also a thread on that already: Option to get a warning message if saving to non-.kra file and here: Save function to show the .kra option by default

Thanks. I added my vote there. I hope it gets implemented.

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And I don’t get how you manage to do this: you say you’re flatting your image, saving as png or jpg, and then continue to work. If you’d undo the flattening and you press save again, Krita does show a warning in the jpg or png options dialog that there are layers and that Krita will only save the flattened image. And if you don’t undo the flattening, you should notice you only have one layer?

And you don’t even need to flatten the image when saving as jpg or png – and in that case, there is a warning, too, when you save.

If you’re prone to making this mistake, why don’t you click on the “also save as .kra button”?

I never said I flatten my image and no there is no warning at all.

Let me clarify how this happens:
My projects are photograph-based and I do several per day.
When I start them, I open the base photo. Then I add other images as layers and start adding effects and painting layers.
When comes the time of saving, since I edited similar documents the same day, I may remember having created a kra file for the one I’m currently working on, so I just hit save and that replaces the base jpeg photo without any warning.
Yesterday it happened at the end of a long day of work and I was a bit tired, so, sure I should have paid more attention but I don’t think I’ll ever be safe from this issue for as long as the save feature works like this.

PS : I should also add that about half of my projects have to be done in Gimp, so I very often switch programs and that certainly doesn’t help.

PS2: In case you assume this is a “new user” issue, I should also point out that I’ve been using Krita for about 5 years (and loving it for the most part).

If I open a jpg or a png and add a layer and press ctrl-s, I get this dialog:

With a warning saying “Warning: saving as PNG Image will lose information from your image.” The only way not to see that is by using save incremental, which is kind of intentional.

And at the bottom is an option to always save as kra, which (but that is a bug), would save the image in this screenshot as besjes.jpg.kra – and that option is remembered, so check it once, and you’re always safe.

Ok that warning sign is barely noticeable. I think it should be more pronounced.

I like how Blender does it for example :

Well, that’s intentional, because adding yet another message box simply means people will blindly click that away and not pay attention anyway. It will not do really much more towards making people actually pay attention.

I’m not asking for an additional popup, just making the warning icon more visible.

For example you could re-use the one that shows up when you try to close a Krita document without saving:

This icon is more “old system” looking but I personally don’t mind as long as it’s more visible.

Personally when I have an obvious warning icon in front of my eyes, I’m much less likely to blindly click.

In any case the main thing I would personally prefer is an opt-in preference to reserve “Save” to kra files.

I can imagine that for painters this would not be as useful, as paintings usually start from a blank canvas rather than an existing file, so then you can’t have this accident. But for photo editors, the project creation process is different, and I think Krita’s preferences should account for that.
… Personally :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Problem with the save method is known…
And to have everyone happy I think there’s no real solution except trying to implement options that allows user to determinate how the save dialog will work (like now, like Gimp, like…)

Currently, I’m using another method through plugin BuliCommander.

Rather than having problem with saving non Kra file, open non kra file as Krita document:

Then, when saving, the (opened jpeg or png file) is already converted to Krita document and there’s no problem :slight_smile:

Currently when opened as new document, there’s no name and I may add an option to keep original file name (something like test.png might be automatically named as test.kra or test.png.kra)



So the current icon in @boud’s screenshot is on white theme. On default theme the warning sign is a bit more prominent.

May be we can request to make it a bit big and have the colour changed so that it is a bit more visible on light theme.

Nevertheless when saving files which destroy layers Krita shows warning, so the initial issue of losing layers is mitigated. The issue now is to make the warning a bit more prominent.

I personally am a bit hesitant to make it more dominant and big like shown in blender and windows screenshots, since I work mostly in Kra and not jpg and png, I choose to save in png and jpg consciously and for me the warning sign is not needed and I may get annoyed if it is more pronounced and big. The ones shown in example screenshots are for more destructive actions like closing unsaved document where you would lose everything, where all users, be it painter or user with photo manipulation workflow get affected. Krita shows it like this -

In both cases the icons can be a bit more clear in terms of colour.

Another option is to show save dialog for non Kra files where the user would make a conscious choice of selecting png or jpg or even replacing the exiting file with the file over write warning.

Well I do agree save should save in krita’s native file format and export should use the other file formats. Not to mention linguistically it makes more sense.

It is not as intuitive but is a restriction that would pay off in the users way to use save. It is kinda annoying seeing every day users complaining about saves and loads.

Sorry, but it’s really not useful anymore to argue for Krita adopting the GIMP’s way of handling save and export, or asking for an option. It is not going to happen: even if a few people like the GIMP way, we’d get inundated with “why can’t I save” support requests from people coming from any other application than GIMP.

I’d sooner implement a system where everything is always saved in a database like way, because that’s what tablet/phone users expect these days and take that expectation their laptops – and we sort of need it for the Android port anyway.

But what we have now is a quite carefully designed system that combines warnings with telling the user what the problems are and giving an option to always save as kra, too.

Well as of now save and export for users is exactly the same thing. There is no distinction for them. I have had many people ask me that because there is nothing to indicate any difference. I took quite a long while to learn the distinction myself.

Your still being flooded with people not able to save their work correctly daily though. As they actually loose it.

Gimp method is just, if the file format I want is not here maybe it’s in export? And then they learn how to use export correctly and feel that they are not actually saving the “naturally intended” way. Not to mention redirecting is less of a hassle than solving a issue where something is lost. And still googling how to save correctly in png or jpg or whatever is a less of a leap than going to a forum or file a report.

But if you feel that way is best it is cool.

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In my personal opinion Save Incremental Version should default to .kra, especially since in case of .png it silently loses data, while its whole point of existing is to not lose data, at least to me. I use it precisely to (1) not be bothered by writing down the new filename (which would be needed if I used Save As) or dialogs, (2) save a new file to not overwrite the old ones I want to keep as backup. I expect it to save the whole project.

Tbh I’m kinda annoyed at Gimp’s practices too, but I don’t like the current state in Krita either. Especially the Save Incremental Version was heartbreaking to me when it happened (fairly recently) that I thought it would save my progress but it saved only the flattened files. Between using 3-min autosave and Save Incremental Version (which is generally don’t-lose-data-friendly), that was the only dataloss issue I had in last few years. And because I’m used to just clicking “Save Incremental Version” every time I’m painting (so I have a body memory for that) and because there was simply no dialog I had to click OK on, I don’t think it was necessary my own fault, but a more systematic problem, a bad UX (in that particular workflow: open .png, use Save Incremental (especially since opening a png in a new document without the .png name associated with it has lots of steps)).

I think my ideal solution would be to just prevent silent Save to non-.kra files. Basically make sure than in every situation when the user tried to use Save to non-kra file to have at least one dialog to press OK on. I just checked and it looks like Save Incremental Version is the only place that would need that change anyway.

Yes, and I can get on board with that.

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Saving it to kra by default takes away it’s meaning of saving the current file with same file format but just with a number suffix. If we want to make it to save by default in kra then we should rename it to something else I think.

May be having a warning like we have now, while saving any non kra format by any way (save incremental, save, save as) might help.

I am afraid that to fix user error we are going to slowly remove functionality which works for others, like the case of the wrap around mode. Giving a warning when saving rather than changing the functionality, is in my opinion good to try to inculcate good save habits and educate users.

Not if you use masks on a single layer document (as I just found out), which I sometimes do. Though that seems fixable to me.

No need to make an adaptive icon, a dropped shadow or dark contour would make it pop on any background. But I would also fill the triangle. This contour version makes it discrete.

I have still seen no argument against having an opt-in (not by default) preference to constrain the save feature to kra files.
All I read is about the potential consequences of changing the default behavior, which is not my main request.
Am I missing a point?