Check Lightrom Preferences for External Editing in Photoshop

There are many reasons to open photos from Lightroom in Photoshop. Although Lightroom is great in organizing and processing photos, creating slideshows and gallery’s, Lightroom is not complete tool for every photo needs You may have. In Lightroom You can not add text, apply filters and many other things You can do in Photoshop. Before open photo from Lightroom in Photoshop there are couple of default Preferences You should check. By default Lightroom makes copy of photo as TIFF file, embeds ProPhoto RGB profile, sets bit depth to 16 and resolution to 240. This is maybe what You do not need or do not want. For example You do not need 16 bit per channel, 240 ppi and ProPhoto if photo going to be represented on screen or Internet. If You have Photoshop installed he is chosen as default External Editor with previously mentioned default settings. To change those defaults You must visit Preferences from Edit > Preferences (Ctrl + , or Command + ,). In Preferences dialog click on External Editing tab and make changes as desired in Edit in Photoshop CS section. Here at screenshot I have set settings for representing photo on Internet:
lightroom_preferences_external_editing
  • File Format: PSD – You have two choices PSD and TIFF. 
  • Color Space: sRGB, here You can choose from ProPhoto RGB which Adobe recommends, Adobe RGB (1998) and sRGB. 
  • Bit Depth: 8 bit/component, second option is 16 bit. 
  • Resolution: 72 for screen viewing, You can type any number. 
In section Additional External Editor You can change settings to open photos with some other program installed on Your computer. Click on Choose button and navigate to software on Your System.

Last section is Edit External File Naming where You can choose from various options for file naming when photo returns in Lightroom after tweaking in Photoshop. Renaming file can make Your life easier to find and not mess original file with edited. When You finish in Photoshop go to File > Save to save changes (don’t forget).

Note that Preferences will remain defaults for editing in Photoshop till You change it even after restarting Lightroom. Off course You can re-visit this dialog at any time and change settings but not after file is sent to Photoshop.

One more thing: change Photoshop Color Space and Color Profile if needed to match settings from External Editing in Lightroom for consistent colors.

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