Open and edit photos in Photoshop Elements

You can perform additional editing to your photos using Photoshop Elements from within Lightroom. You must have Photoshop Elements installed on your computer for this feature to be available.

  1. In the Library module or Develop module, select the photo you want to edit. Then, choose Photo > Edit In Adobe Photoshop Elements.
  2. (JPEG, TIFF, and PSD only) In the Edit Photo dialog box, select one of the following:

    Edit A Copy With Lightroom Adjustments

    Applies any Lightroom adjustments you’ve made to a copy of the file and sends that file to Photoshop Elements for editing.

    Edit A Copy

    Edits a copy of the original file without Lightroom adjustments.

    Edit Original

    Edits the original file without Lightroom adjustments.

    Note:

    Select Stack With Original to stack the edited photo with the original.

  3. (JPEG, TIFF, and PSD only) Click Edit.

    If you edit a copy of the photo, Lightroom automatically adds the copy, with -Edit appended to the filename, to the catalog as you open it in Photoshop Elements.

  4. Edit the photo as desired in Photoshop Elements and then choose File > Save.

    Edited camera raw and DNG files are automatically added to the Lightroom catalog with Join up appended to the filename. The file format is either TIFF or PSD, depending on what is specified in External Editing preferences.

    JPEG, TIFF, and PSD files edited as copies with adjustments are also saved according to the format specified in External Editing preferences.

    Note:

    When saving changes to JPEG, TIFF, and PSD images in Photoshop Elements, make sure the filename and format are the same as the copy or the original in Lightroom if you want the photo to be updated in the catalog.

  5. Switch to Lightroom to see the edited photo in the catalog.

    Note:

    When saving from Photoshop Elements, be sure to turn on the Maximize Compatibility option so that Lightroom can read the images.

Open and edit photos in Photoshop

You can perform additional editing to your photos using Photoshop from within Lightroom. You must have Photoshop installed on your computer for this feature to be available.

  1. In the Library module or Develop module, select the photo you want to edit. Then, choose Photo > Edit In Adobe Photoshop.

    If you’re opening a camera raw or DNG file in Photoshop CS3 (10.0.1) or later, it opens directly.

  2. (JPEG, TIFF, and PSD only) In the Edit Photo dialog box, select one of the following:

    Edit A Copy With Lightroom Adjustments

    Applies any Lightroom adjustments you’ve made to a copy of the file and sends that file to Photoshop for editing.

    Edit A Copy

    Edits a copy of the original file without Lightroom adjustments.

    Edit Original

    Edits the original file without Lightroom adjustments.

    Note:

    Select Stack With Original to stack the edited photo with the original.

  3. (JPEG, TIFF, and PSD only) Click Edit.

    If you edit a copy of the photo, Lightroom automatically adds the copy, with -Edit appended to the filename, to the catalog as you open it in Photoshop.

  4. Edit the photo as desired in Photoshop and then choose File > Save.

    Edited camera raw and DNG files are automatically added to the Lightroom catalog with -Edit appended to the filename. The file format is either TIFF or PSD, depending on what is specified in External Editing preferences.

    JPEG, TIFF, and PSD files edited as copies with adjustments are also saved according to the format specified in External Editing preferences.

    Note:

    When saving changes to JPEG, TIFF, and PSD images in Photoshop, make sure the filename and format are the same as the copy or the original in Lightroom if you want the photo to be updated in the catalog.

  5. Switch to Lightroom to see the edited photo in the catalog.

    Note:

    When saving from Photoshop, be sure to turn on the Maximize Compatibility option so that Lightroom can read the images. Photoshop CS3 and later automatically save PSD files from Lightroom with maximum compatibility.

Additional information

The primary external editor feature of Lightroom has functions designed to work specifically with Photoshop. While Photoshop Elements has limited support for some of these functions, it does not meet the requirements for the intended use.

  • Open as Smart Object - Photoshop Elements does not allow for the creation of Smart Objects.
  • Merge to Panorama - Make sure that you're in the Expert edit mode in Photoshop Elements to create Panoramas.
  • Merge to HDR - Photoshop Elements does not support 32-bit images or have a Merge to HDR function.
  • Open as Layers - Make sure that you're in the Expert edit mode in Photoshop Elements to work with layers.

Open photos as Smart Objects in Photoshop

Note:

You must have Photoshop CS3 10.0.1 or later installed on your computer for this feature to be available. Instructions are for Photoshop CS5.

  1. In the Library or Develop module, select the photo you want to edit.
  2. Choose Photo > Edit In > Open As Smart Object In Photoshop.
  3. Edit the photo in Photoshop and then choose File > Save.

    The newly saved photo is automatically added into the Lightroom catalog as a TIFF file.

Open photos as layers in Photoshop

Note:

You must have Photoshop CS3 10.0.1 or later installed on your computer for this feature to be available. Instructions are for Photoshop CS5.

  1. In the Library or Develop module, select two or more photos to edit.
  2. Choose Photo > Edit In > Open As Layers In Photoshop.

    Photoshop opens the photos as one layered file.

  3. Edit the image in Photoshop and then choose File > Save.

    The newly saved photo is automatically added to the Lightroom catalog as a TIFF file.

Merge photos as panoramas in Photoshop

Note:

You must have Photoshop CS3 10.0.1 or later installed on your computer for this feature to be available. Instructions are for Photoshop CS5.

  1. In the Library or Develop module, select two or more photos to merge to a panoramic image.
  2. Choose Photo > Edit In > Merge To Panorama In Photoshop.
  3. In the Photomerge dialog box, check your source photos and specify other options, and then click OK.

    Photoshop merges the photos into a multi-layer image, adding layer masks to create optimal blending where the photos overlap.

  4. Edit the panorama as desired in Photoshop and then choose File > Save.

    The saved panorama is automatically added to the Lightroom catalog as a TIFF file.

You can also learn how to assemble individual frames into a seamless photograph with a tutorial on creating composite panoramic images in Photoshop.

Merge photos to HDR in Photoshop

High dynamic range (HDR) images combine multiple photos captured at different exposures. HDR images allow you to represent a wider and more realistic range of dark and bright regions of a scene in a single photo.

Learn how to assemble the individual frames of an HDR (high dynamic range) composition with a tutorial on creating HDR images using Photoshop and Lightroom.

The merge-to-HDR feature in Lightroom requires that you have one of the following combinations of Photoshop and Camera Raw installed on your computer:

  • Photoshop CS3 10.0.1 and Camera Raw 4.6 or later

  • Photoshop CS4 and Camera Raw 5.7 or later

  • Photoshop CS5 and Camera Raw 6.2

  • Photoshop CS6 and Camera Raw 7.1

Note:

The following instructions are for Photoshop CS5 and CS6.

  1. In the Library or Develop module, select two or more photos to merge to HDR.
  2. Choose Photo > Edit In > Merge To HDR Pro In Photoshop.
  3. If one or more photos lacks exposure metadata, specify values in the Manually Set EV dialog box.
  4. If you plan to tone map the image in Lightroom, choose 32 Bit from the Mode menu in the Photoshop Merge To HDR Pro dialog box and click OK. (Lightroom 4.1 and later.)

    Note:

    You can also tone map the image in the Merge to HDR Pro dialog box and then choose 32, 16, or 8 bit modes.

    Photoshop merges the photos into a background layer in one HDR image.

  5. Choose File > Save.

    The saved photo is automatically added to the Lightroom catalog.

Open and edit photos in third-party imaging applications

  1. In the Library module or Develop module, select the photos you want to edit and then do one of the following:
    • Choose Photo > Edit In > Edit In [Name of Application].

    • If you have created an external editor preset, choose Photo > Edit In > Edit In [Name of Preset].

    Note:

    If you’re editing using another application for the first time, choose Photo > Edit In > Edit In Other Application. Navigate to and choose the application you want to use. Once you choose the application for editing photos, the name of the application is added to the Edit In command. You can always choose a different editing application in the External Editing preferences.

  2. In the Edit Photo With dialog box, specify the editing option you want to use and click Edit.

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