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Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw

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  16. Adobe Camera Raw
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    9. Radial Filter in Camera Raw
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    11. Open, process, and save images in Camera Raw
    12. Repair images with the Enhanced Spot Removal tool in Camera Raw
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    14. Adjust color rendering in Camera Raw
    15. Process versions in Camera Raw
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Process, compare, and rate multiple images

The most convenient way to work with multiple camera raw images is to use the Filmstrip view in Camera Raw. Filmstrip view opens by default when you open multiple images in Camera Raw from Adobe Bridge.


The Filmstrip view is not available when importing multiple images into After Effects.

Images can have three states in the Filmstrip pane: deselected, selected (but not active), and active (also selected). In general, adjustments are applied to all selected images.

You can also synchronize settings to apply settings from the active image to all selected images. You can quickly apply a set of adjustments to an entire set of images—such as all shots taken under the same conditions—and then fine-tune the individual shots later, after you’ve determined which you’ll use for your final output. You can synchronize both global and local adjustment settings.

  • To select an image, click its thumbnail. To select a range of images, Shift-click two thumbnails. To add an image to a selection, Ctrl-click (Windows) or Command-click (Mac OS) its thumbnail.
  • To change which image is active without changing which images are selected, click a navigation arrow  at the bottom of the preview pane.
  • To apply settings from the active image to all selected images, click the Synchronize button at the top of the Filmstrip pane and choose which settings to synchronize.
  • To apply a star rating, click a rating under the image thumbnail.
  • To mark selected images for deletion, click Mark For Deletion .

    A red X appears in the thumbnail of an image marked for deletion. The file is sent to the Recycle Bin (Windows) or Trash (Mac OS) when you close the Camera Raw dialog box. (If you decide to keep an image you marked for deletion, select it in the Filmstrip pane and click Mark For Deletion again, before you close the Camera Raw dialog box.)

For a tutorial on synchronizing edits across multiple Camera Raw photos, see Synchronizing edits in Adobe Camera Raw by Dan Moughamian.

Automate image processing

You can create an action to automate the processing of image files with Camera Raw. You can automate the editing process, and the process of saving the files in formats such as PSD, DNG, JPEG, Large Document Format (PSB), TIFF, and PDF. In Photoshop, you can also use the Batch command, the Image Processor, or the Create Droplet command to process one or more image files. The Image Processor is especially useful for saving image files in different file formats during the same processing session.

Here are some tips for automating the processing of camera raw image files:

  • When you record an action, first select Image Settings from the Camera Raw Settings menu  in the Camera Raw dialog box. In this way, the settings particular to each image (from the Camera Raw database or sidecar XMP files) are used to play back the action.

  • If you plan to use the action with the Batch command, you may want to use the Save As command and choose the file format when saving the camera raw image.

  • When you use an action to open a camera raw file, the Camera Raw dialog box reflects the settings that were in effect when the action was recorded. You may want to create different actions for opening camera raw image files with different settings.

  • When using the Batch command, select Override Action “Open” Commands. Any Open commands in the action will then operate on the batched files rather than the files specified by name in the action. Deselect Override Action “Open” Commands only if you want the action to operate on open files or if the action uses the Open command to retrieve needed information.

  • When using the Batch command, select Suppress File Open Options Dialogs to prevent the display of the Camera Raw dialog box as each camera raw image is processed.

  • When using the Batch command, select Override Action “Save As” Commands if you want to use the Save As instructions from the Batch command instead of the Save As instructions in the action. If you select this option, the action must contain a Save As command, because the Batch command does not automatically save the source files. Deselect Override ActionSave As” Commands to save the files processed by the Batch command in the location specified in the Batch dialog box.

  • When creating a droplet, select Suppress File Open Options Dialogs in the Play area of the Create Droplet dialog box. This prevents the display of the Camera Raw dialog box as each camera raw image is processed.


Open images

  • To process raw images in Camera Raw, select one or more camera raw files in Adobe Bridge, and then choose File > Open In Camera Raw or press Ctrl+R (Windows) or Command+R (Mac OS). When you finish making adjustments in the Camera Raw dialog box, click Done to accept changes and close the dialog box. You can also click Open Image to open a copy of the adjusted image in Photoshop.
  • To process JPEG or TIFF images in Camera Raw, select one or more JPEG or TIFF files in Adobe Bridge, and then choose File > Open In Camera Raw or press Ctrl+R (Windows) or Command+R (Mac OS). When you finish making adjustments in the Camera Raw dialog box, click Done to accept changes and close the dialog box. You can specify whether JPEG or TIFF images with Camera Raw settings are automatically opened in Camera Raw in the JPEG and TIFF Handling section of the Camera Raw preferences.
  • To import camera raw images in Photoshop, select one or more camera raw files in Adobe Bridge, and then choose File > Open With > Adobe Photoshop CS5. (You can also choose the File > Open command in Photoshop, and browse to select camera raw files.) When you finish making adjustments in the Camera Raw dialog box, click Open Image to accept changes and open the adjusted image in Photoshop. Press Alt (Windows) or Option (Mac OS) to open a copy of the adjusted image and not save the adjustments to the original image’s metadata. Press Shift while clicking Open Image to open the image as a Smart Object in Photoshop. At any time, you can double-click the Smart Object layer that contains the raw file to adjust the Camera Raw settings.

    Tip: Shift-double-click a thumbnail in Adobe Bridge to open a camera raw image in Photoshop without opening the Camera Raw dialog box. Hold down Shift while choosing File > Open to open multiple selected images.

  • To import camera raw images in After Effects using Adobe Bridge, select one or more camera raw files in Adobe Bridge, and then choose File > Open With > Adobe After Effects CS5. (You can also choose a File > Import command in After Effects and browse to select camera raw files.) When you finish making adjustments in the Camera Raw dialog box, click OK to accept changes.
  • To import TIFF and JPEG files into After Effects using Camera Raw, choose the File > Import command in After Effects, and then choose All Files from the Enable menu (Mac OS) or Files Of Type menu (Windows) in the After Effects Import File dialog box. Select the file to import, choose Camera Raw from the Format menu, and click Open.
  • To import Camera Raw images into After Effects as a sequence, choose File > Import in After Effects. Select the images, select the Camera Raw Sequence option, and click Open. Camera Raw settings applied to the first camera raw file upon import are applied to the remaining files in the sequence unless an XMP sidecar file is present for any subsequent file in the sequence. In that case, the settings in the XMP file or in the DNG file are applied to that specific frame in the sequence. All other frames use the settings that the first file in the sequence specifies.

If you have trouble opening Camera Raw files, see Why doesn't my version of Photoshop or Lightroom support my camera?

Save a camera raw image in another format

You can save camera raw files from the Camera Raw dialog box in PSD, TIFF, JPEG, or DNG format.

When you use the Save Image command in the Camera Raw dialog box, files are placed in a queue to be processed and saved. This is useful if you are processing several files in the Camera Raw dialog box and saving them in the same format.

  1. In the Camera Raw dialog box, click the Save Image button in the lower-left corner of the dialog box.


    Alt-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac OS) Save to suppress the Camera Raw Save Options dialog box when saving a file.

  2. In the Save Options dialog box, specify the following options:


    Specifies where to save the file. If necessary, click the Select Folder button and navigate to the location.

    File Naming

    Specifies the filename using a naming convention that includes elements such as date and camera serial number. Using informative filenames based on a naming convention helps you keep image files organized.

  3. Choose a file format from the Format menu.

    Digital Negative

    Saves a copy of the camera raw file in the DNG file format.


    Specifies the versions of Camera Raw and Lightroom that can read the file.

    If you choose Custom, specify whether you want compatibility with DNG 1.1 or DNG 1.3. By default, the conversion uses lossless compression, which means no information is lost while reducing file size. Choosing Linear (Demosaiced) stores the image data in an interpolated format. That means other software can read the file even if that software does not have a profile for the digital camera that captured the image.


    JPEG Preview

    Embeds a JPEG preview in the DNG file. If you decide to embed a JPEG preview, you can choose the preview size. If you embed JPEG previews, other applications can view the contents of the DNG file without parsing the camera raw data.


    Embed Original Raw File

    Stores all the original camera raw image data in the DNG file.



    Saves copies of the camera raw files in JPEG (Joint Photographic Experts Group) format. To specify the amount of compression, enter a value from 0 to 12 or choose from the menu. Entering a higher value, or choosing High or Maximum, applies less compression and increases file size and image quality. JPEG format is commonly used to display photographs and other continuous-tone images in web photo galleries, slide shows, presentations, and other online services.


    Saves copies of the camera raw files as TIFF (Tagged-ImageFile Format) files. Specify whether to apply no compression, or LZW or ZIP file compression. TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. TIFF provides greater compression and compatibility with other applications than does PSD format.


    Saves copies of the camera raw files in the PSD file format. You can specify whether to preserve cropped pixel data in the PSD file.

  4. Click Save.
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