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"GOD WHAT IS WRONG WITH MY PAINT TOOL SAI? everytime i want to save something it says "failed to save canvas" EVERYTIME!! except if I save it as psd file! I already tried deleting it and downloading again but it says again "failed to save canvas"! can someone help me, please?"

from Jan 5, 2012

Ok so I have been getting a lot of messages recently from people saying they have the same problem with paint tool SAI so I decided to update this journal so everyone can go on working and saving files in SAI.

I don't know if there is a way to completly fix this bug but there definately is a way to avoid it!
I would like to thank FlumpyDuck for her very helpfull response:

"If you open a PSD in SAI for some reason it has a meltdown and won't save anything as .sai, so if - like I had - you've just done a couple hours' work and you don't want to lose everything, you /can/ save it as a .psd file and keep editing it from there. If you absolutely need it to be a .sai file, never open a psd while you're working on it. Otherwise I'm afraid it's start from scratch!"

so summarized:
- never open a .psd file before if you want to save a .sai, .jpg, etc.!
- if you already did without noticing and the message "failed to save canvas" appears save it as .psd and open it in photoshop or gimp or any other program which opens .psd files and save it there (as .jpg or whatever you need).

if you still don't understand, there are lots of good answers in the comments just have a look!
I really hope this helps you to fix your problem and good luck finishing your artwork c:

  • Listening to: Twenty One Pilots - Ode to sleep
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Saimeleion Featured By Owner 4 days ago  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Wow, this is such a simple mistake to make, it's kind of ridiculous xD. I can't believe that within all of the years I've been using SAI and transferring my artwork to Photoshop as a PSD, this is my first time making this mistake. Just one wrong click and now I can't save my artwork properly Abandonement I guess having to save as a PSD from now on isn't the worst thing that could happen, but still, it's going to be super annoying getting that error message whenever I forget that I can no longer save my files as SAI. Thanks for the help, though xD.
theWolfdragon21 Featured By Owner Jul 18, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
hi i have a full ver of paint tools sai
but i have a problem

ever time i try to save it as a .sai it will save it as a blank page
now when i try to open it it asks " how do you want to open this file" so when i try to pick the paint tools sai it will open it with a different program all together and to let you know i do not have photoshop on my laptop yet and it isn't working right
please i really want to save on sai so i can still work on any pictures <=/
IriKnox Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2016  Student Digital Artist
Literally saved my life thanks QwQ
S-socool-Ans Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2016
this problem never happened to me nor I want it to happen : p. But I have this small problem ... Whenever I open Sai, it just give me a blank screen. Like it's just gray. And I can't do anything. Also, when I put new canvas, The only thing that shows is the canvas! And nothing ales! I don't know the problem! I tried to reinstall it but it also didn't help!!!! Please can someone help!!?? QnQ 
SEXB0MB Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
try going into window at the top and clicking 'hide command panels', because you might've accidentally hidden them by accident (i do this a lot !)

if that doesn't work, i cant help, sorry :c
cov3t Featured By Owner Jul 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
omg i had the same issue and this comment save my life thank
S-socool-Ans Featured By Owner Jul 12, 2016
Holy crab on crack! Thank you very much! It worked (^∇^)
midnighteclipse02 Featured By Owner Jul 1, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Oh man I don't even know what I did 
I normally draw on Photoshop CS6, sometimes I use SAI
And I wanted to use my picture that was originally made in PS on SAI
So I pressed "Open With" and I selected SAI
Now all of my .psd files have the SAI icons on them, and when I open them they open
in SAI but if I go to "Open With" and select PS it works fine
but I have no clue what happened, it hasn't done anything bad yet. But I'm confused XD
Ak4neh Featured By Owner Jun 6, 2016
Omg, you just saved my life (and my files, lol). Thanks !!
stickyfing3rs Featured By Owner Edited Jun 1, 2016

Edit: Oops didn't read the OP's message 100% clearly. Still upgrade to the latest version if you can. Original not quite on topic message is below.

Basically that you should go get the latest version of SAI from which should be version 1.2.5 (as mentioned in the mail I got from SAI customer support below). This version is less strict on what it considers a corrupt file. WARNING! If the file is completely corrupt, there is no real way to save it... hence why saving regularly to dropbox is superior solution for every version. (better to loose a little progress then everything)

(below, response to my mail to customer support)

Sorry, I have not prepared an inspect tool and a repair tool for .sai file.

Would you please try to open the corrupted file by SAI Ver.1.2.5?
I modified the error detection for .sai file as lax from Ver.1.2.5.
If the corrupted file was not able to open by Ver.1.2.5, there is no way to open it.

On the future, I may prepare some kind of recovery tool for .sai2 file on SAI Ver.2.

Thank you.

-Koji Komatsu"

P.S.… is also a good place to look for a collection of solutions.
sonnio Featured By Owner May 26, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
The thing I don't get is I always save all files as .PSD (rather than .SAI just to avoid not being able to open it in PS) and I open other formatted files all the time but that error only pops up about 20% of the time.

Maybe I'm lucky?
LemurGavel Featured By Owner May 22, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Omg, thank you! You're a life saver. <3
KenotheWolf Featured By Owner May 17, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Is anyone here who can't even save it as PSD?
I can only save it as png...
dylan3784 Featured By Owner Apr 8, 2016
BIGColors Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016  Student Artist
This is my way to fix this error. Hope it work for you guys. _(:3j Z)_…
ReekiDutchAngelDerg Featured By Owner Jan 23, 2016  Hobbyist Artist
Is there a way you can open something you downloaded on Deviantart on sai?
KeviddicusX Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016   Digital Artist
nope its the rest of them too 
KeviddicusX Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016   Digital Artist
So it's just this one file which i read might be corrupted because if i open any other psd file i can save to jpeg. need help
BIGColors Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016  Student Artist
Let try my tutorial. I hope this will fix your error :D…
KeviddicusX Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016   Digital Artist
oh oi got it to work. Deviant art still accepted the psd files but now i think it may have been becauseit turns out  i had a pirated version of paint tool sai, i bought the actual version a little bit ago and not having any problems but thankyou
KeviddicusX Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2016   Digital Artist
i just saved a picture about 2 weeks ago and only saved it as psd until i was ready t share it a jpeg. i didn't have this problem then and really don't want to start over now. is photoshop free or is there a free program that can open psd files?
captainfrisus Featured By Owner Jan 6, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you so much! this is very helpful!
CattheCowardlyLion Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Whoa I've been having this problem for months. I just assumed it was a bug that came with SAI. Thanks for this! Extremely helpful!
OrokanaKiti Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2015  Professional General Artist
oh my iv been having this problem majorly i'll try the no psd method thank you so much iv discovered there are diffrences between sai n group your layers n flatten them people if you have to,,,screen shot your drawing too just in case
Sweetdeer Featured By Owner Edited Nov 23, 2015  Student General Artist
Hi I'm having a major meltdown right now. I had been working on a picture for about 3 hours and I definitely saved countless times in between. Then on one save my computer turned off, while saving (idk why). Now I get the "failed to open canvas message " and also my size of the picture has changed to 0x0 as if it doesn't exist. Is there any way to recover my picture. My computer has crashed before while saving but it always has still worked afterwards but now I'm freaking out and idk what to do, it's a psd I was working on in sai
JimmaB Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hi im not sure if you're having the problem still or if its sorted out but i had a similar issue and I found i could open the corrupted picture through Windows explorer rather than opening through SAI and then re-save it as a new image, I'm not sure if this will work for you but it did work for me with a few images that also went through an unexpected computer shut down!
Sweetdeer Featured By Owner Feb 9, 2016  Student General Artist
Yes thank you!!!!!
I will try it out!
OrokanaKiti Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2015  Professional General Artist
im sooo sorry this happend to you i had a similar occurnce happen to me it totally kiled my enthusiasim to finish on of my drawings..i know how this is best thing i can say is keep only one program open try not to over size a canvas beileve me and save ofteen just make sure never open or save a psd otherwise close the program and reopen
Takfloyd Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
This is why you always keep backup files. If something goes wrong while saving in any program the file will usually become corrupted and there's no way to fix that. This has nothing to do with Sai in particular.
N-Gikko Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2015  Student Artist
My problem is a little different ... every time I try to save any image, it immediately closes. If I try to change the brush settings, also closes. I am desperate and do not know what to do!
I've tried uninstall, install, get new versions ... but do not know what it is!
kurukurimoshon Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
This just happened to me, like very recently u n u

I was able to open .psd files in PTS and can save .sai files without any problem until like an hour ago. All of the sudden, just like everyone else, I couldn't... And I think I know why. Well, for my case, at least. Prepare for long comment

I was curious and opened a .psd file I haven't worked on for ages (probably for two or three years), just to take a look at it, and closed it without making any changes. I worked on my other files, and tried to save it (.sai), and that's when it started happening. I've done changes to the files at a point where I wouldn't like to lose what I've worked on, so I googled the problem and saw this journal. Then I saved the files to .psd, but I really preferred all of my drawing files to be .sai for some reason.. and yeah, I couldn't save it back to .sai. I've read the other comments, and it's also said in the journal that after every time you open PTS after experiencing this, you shouldn't open a .psd file if you want to work on files you would like to be saved as .sai files. And I tried that out, just to confirm, I reopened the recent file I worked on that I've just saved to .psd. Tried converting them back to .sai, and also tried making new files to save as .sai, and they all failed. 

I tried restarting PTS again and saved a brand new file as .psd, opened another new canvas and saved as .sai, which did work. I restarted PTS again to make sure, I opened a .psd file I use often in PTS (which is just a file with a bunch of different gradient styles in different layers since SAI doesn't really have gradient fill tools =w= ), and I made a new file to save as .sai... and I didn't see any error messages as it saved without any problems. And when I reopened the other .psd file (one of the files I converted into .psd after seeing the error message for the first time) and tried to save the .sai file again, the error message appeared again. 

My theory is (also tl;dr): Once you save something as .psd after seeing the error message for the first time, you can't save anything else as .sai (or .png as some people have said) when you have that .psd file opened (or had opened it in the current PTS session). You have to restart PTS and refrain yourself from opening that .psd file if you want to continue with working on .sai files. That file might be corrupted in some way, and is preventing you from saving as .sai.

Notice that I used that .psd file instead of any .psd files, meaning that you can open the .psd files you had before getting the error message.

It might have been that old .psd file I told about that caused all this to happen to my PTS.

But then again, this is all from my experience and might be different for the others. Hope this helps for some of you!
Villian-KucingKecil Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2016  Professional Traditional Artist
NICE!!!! this one i need!!!
Yinxabell Featured By Owner Oct 3, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Omg, thank you so much!!! TT3TT
You really saved my live ~
Your way worked for me. This proves your theory, that the .psd file must be corrupted.
Again, thank you! You saved me and maybe many more people!
NeroNova00 Featured By Owner Sep 13, 2015  Professional General Artist
YOU ARE A BOSS, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS LITTLE THING YOU DID HERE, HAVE A COOKIE!!!!Blushed Super Happy Flailing Cookie Blushed Super Happy Flailing Cookie Blushed Super Happy Flailing Cookie Blushed Super Happy Flailing Cookie 
ThatOnePaul Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
But... What if i wan't to save it as PNG...?
Genisay Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Hmm....I'm not sure what is going on with this.  I work back and forth from SAI to PSD to SAI again all of the time, and I've never had the problem in the several years I've been using SAI. Some of the projects I do would be hard to complete if I couldn't work on PSDs in SAI, and then change them back to SAI again.
mangogorgeous Featured By Owner Aug 5, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
my problem is when I want to save in a specific folder,and it will not let me save! what do I do? 
All my drawings are not to be saved because of not to put in the folder... and not important what kind of file it is I can not save! help plz...
BIGColors Featured By Owner Mar 3, 2016  Student Artist
LadyFiszi Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for the solution! I've just run into this problem, but I could fix it easily :D
Pastelbleuy Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2015   Digital Artist
what do you normally save your SAI drawings as? to upload to dA? bc irdk what works best for me?? and not everything is accepted by dA, either XD
acidarteries Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015  Student Digital Artist
if you ever intend to print it, a jpeg with high resolution. if not, a png will be fine
Pastelbleuy Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2015   Digital Artist
thanks <3 that's very helpful

I've heard multiple ways, a few saying PNG wasn't accepted :0 which is a lie so
Blackstar2705 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Student General Artist
GODBLESS YOUR SOUL CHILD!! I was actually doing a request and had three heart attacks and a breakdown cos I thought I lost it or something ;_;

btw, do you know any way that sai can work again? Most features I use like layer masks and things like that which do not appear in Photoshop... And it still won't let me save as a sai file either only psd.

healp pls..
Blackstar2705 Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Student General Artist
Nvm I found it *idiot*
DrCronut Featured By Owner Jul 10, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You saved me paise you
DashiePlotism Featured By Owner Jun 13, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Oh my fucking god, you saved me. I thought my SAI got corrupted because I've been sitting here for 10 minutes wondering why it wouldn't let me save. Now it does, hopefully I don't accidentally open another PSD file.
Astrior Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist
It won't let me save it as anything ;_;  I havent opened up any PSD files while drawing
jgaray1 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2015
when you save the doc in .psd ext, you dont loose any details new with sai 
A-kija Featured By Owner Jun 3, 2015  Student Digital Artist
I'm trying to save it as a JPG tho...
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January 5, 2012


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