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Camera raw is tailor-made for processing raw files, but if you have JPEG or even TIFF files, you can open those JPEGs or TIFFs into Camera Raw too and process the photos in the Camera Raw interface. Why would you want to edit a JPEG or a TIFF in camera raw? The answer is to take advantage of the user-friendly sliders and tools there. Now do keep in mind that because a JPEG has already been processed in your camera, if you open a JPEG into Camera Raw, you won't have all the editing tools that you have when you're working on a raw file. For example, you won't have as many options in the White Balance Preset menu.
But for the most part, you'll be able to use the features in Camera Raw on a JPEG or on a TIFF. So how do you open a JPEG or TIFF into camera raw? I'll show you first on Windows and then I'll show you on the Mac. On Windows, I'll go to the File menu, and instead of choosing Open in the Expert edit workspace, I'll go to Open As. That launches the Open As dialog box. Here, I'll navigate to the file that I want to open. This is a JPEG. I'll select it, and this is important, I need to go to the Open As menu and make sure that it's set to Camera Raw, because I want to open this JPEG as Camera Raw.
Then, I'll just click Open, and that launches the Camera Raw window with my JPEG, and you can see it to JPEG down here in the file name. And I can use the sliders in the Basic panel, and the Detail panel, and the Crop Tool, and the Straighten Tool, and other features that I have showed you on this file just as I could on a raw file. Now, I did mention that there are some limitations. So for example, if I come back to the Basic tab and we look at the White Balance Presets, you can see that there are fewer presets than are available for a raw file.
Here I can only change the White Balance to As Shot, to Auto, or set it to Custom, and drag the Temperature and Tint sliders manually. Now let's take a look at how to open a JPEG into Camera Raw on the Mac, where it's slightly different. Here, in the Expert edit workspace on a Mac, to open a JPEG into the Camera Raw workspace, I'll go to the File menu, and this time, I'll choose Open. There is no Open As option in Elements Editor on the Mac. That displays the Open dialog.
Here I'll navigate to a JPEG that I want to open, I'll select it, and although you may not think this is intuitive, the next step is to go to the Format menu and to change it from JPEG to Camera Raw, and that will cause the JPEG to open in Camera Raw when I click this Open button. And there's my Camera Raw workspace open on the Mac, with a JPEG all ready for editing.
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