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How to move photos from Lightroom to Photoshop and back

How to move photos from Lightroom to Photoshop and back

Lightroom and Photoshop Workflow

Simple tasks shouldn't be time consuming. Today's tutorial will show you how to easily move photos from Lightroom to Photoshop (make some changes) and go back to Lightroom — all while keeping both the original file and the modified one in Lightroom. Speeding up your workflow FTW.

If you often work with photos, when you need to make adjustments or even big changes on them you may choose to work on Lightroom or Photoshop; but most of the times, you probably need to work on both to have a professional result. Fortunately, there is an easy way to work on Lightroom and Photoshop without having to edit your image in Lightroom, save it, then open it in Photoshop, edit it, save it again and then open it one more time in Lightroom for the finishing touches.

Step 1

Open Lightroom in the Library View.

Step 2

Click over the photo you want to edit in Photoshop. In this case I will edit an image with some Lightroom Adjustments already applied, but you can also edit a fresh new one.

Step 3

Go to Photo > Edit In > Edit in Adobe Photoshop (your version), choose ‘Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments’ and click Edit.

Step 4

Now that we have the image already opened in Photoshop and with the Lightroom adjustments already applied, we can do any changes we want in the image. For a better understanding of this tutorial, I will simply remove 2 hot air balloons from the selected photo.

Step 5

After you made all the changes you want in Photoshop go to File > Save. There should be no dialog window with options showing up, the file will be simply saved to Lightroom, so you are free to close Photoshop.

Step 6

Go back to Lightroom, and you will notice that there are now a stacked image in the Library. The new image added to your Library is the one we just edited in Photoshop.


From here, you can keep editing the modified file in Lightroom while the original photo stays intact. Also, after editing the file again in Lightroom, you can go to Photoshop again following the same procedure, and keep track of the changes you have made thanks to the Lightroom feature of saving a copy of the previous file in your Library.

Additional Tip

If you have more than one Photoshop version installed in your computer, and you want to edit your photo in another version (rather than the one by default) you can set another custom application (besides the default Photoshop one in Lightroom) to open and edit your photos. To set a new application follow these simple steps:

Step 1

Open Lightroom and go to Edit > Preferences. Under the ‘External Editing’ tab, click on ‘Choose’ in the Additional External Editor.

Step 2

Locate the executable file ‘.exe’ in your computer, select it and click ‘Choose’

Step 3

Finally, click OK in the Preferences window. Now, the next time you go to ‘Photo > Edit In >’ menu, you will have the other Photoshop version available to edit your Lightroom images.



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