What Is an ASL File?

How to open, edit, and convert ASL files

A file with the ASL file extension is an Adobe Photoshop Style file. They're useful when applying the same appearance to multiple objects or layers, such as a certain color overlay, gradient, shadow, or another effect.

Since a single ASL file can contain one or more Adobe Photoshop Style files, they're useful not only for backing up your own styles but also for sharing styles with others so they can import them into Photoshop for their own projects.

There are even websites that host free ASL files that you can download. Just do a quick web search for "download free asl files" and you'll find lots of these, like FreePSDFiles.net.

ASL files

Other ASL files could be auto splitter scripts used by the LiveSplit program.

How to Open an ASL File

ASL files can be opened with Adobe Photoshop. Do this by dragging it directly into Photoshop or through the Edit > Presets > Preset Manager menu. Once there, choose Styles from the menu and then Load to import it.

If you don't see the option to import it there, do it instead through the Style palette. This method might be easier for most people anyway since it's also how the style is applied. Toggle this palette's visibility via Window > Styles. To import, use the small button at the top-right of that window to find Import Styles. To use it once it's been imported, select the layer that it should apply to and then choose a style from the Style palette.

If you've downloaded the file, it might have come in an archive format like ZIP, RAR, or 7Z. These can't be imported directly into Photoshop. Instead, extract the file from the archive using a file unzip program (we like 7-Zip a lot).

If you've done everything outlined above, but a Photoshop layer still can't be applied, check that the layer isn't locked. The locking function can be toggled on and off in the Layers palette next to the Opacity and Fill options.

LiveSplit ASL files open with that program.

If, when you double-click on an ASL file on your computer, a program tries to open the ASL file automatically but it's the wrong application, or if you would rather have another installed program open these files, learn how to change the default program for a specific file extension.

How to Make Your Own ASL File

If you're interested in converting your own Photoshop styles into an ASL file that you can share with others, you can do this through the program's Styles palette. Here's how...

Right-click a layer and choose Blending Options. Make the style adjustments you want, choose the New Style button, and then name your style. At this point, it's accessible from the Style palette but isn't saved to an ASL file that you can share.

To build an ASL file, open the Style palette as described above, and when in the menu, choose Export Selected Styles.

We don't believe there's a way to convert a Photoshop ASL file to any other file format and expect it to do anything. Other advanced graphics programs have similar style saving mechanisms but we don't believe they're interchangeable.

Still Can't Open It?

Some file extensions share many of the same letters as others, but that doesn't immediately mean that the formats are related and that they can be opened with the same programs.

AST files are one example where different programs are required for viewing and editing them, ones that don't necessarily work with ASL files. ALS is another that's used for audio projects in a program called Ableton Live.

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