Adobe Photoshop gets special attention in this course because it has emerged as the standard software tool used among web design and development agencies. Learning to use Photoshop to its fullest potential will take a hefty investment in time, but it is well worth the effort. Because of its ubiquity, sharing Photoshop comps between different designers, developers, and clients creates an efficient workflow.
While there are other contenders such as Adobe Fireworks, which was purpose-built to create web comps, none of them has gained enough market penetration to convince designers to use them on a large scale. As stated earlier, web comps look real, but they really serve as a source for graphics and as a layout guide. The comp gets handed off to a developer who must open the file and extract what they need to recreate the page in code languages.
Therefore, developers need to be comfortable working within the software and navigating the source file. As you can see in above, Photoshop source files, or “.psd” files (named for their file extension), have numerous layers that contain potentially hundreds of individual graphic elements.