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Before importing your files in the Lightroom there are a few topics that are worth briefly considering. For starters, what type of files can we actually bring into Lightroom? Well this has changed a little bit in Lightroom 3. As far as file formats, we can bring in TIFF files, PSD, any type of a RAW file, as well as MOVIE documents. Now this is brand-new to Lightroom 3, and it's a real welcomed enhancement. We'll be talking more about that later. Now this isn't necessarily a file type, but it is something that's kind of significant.
We can now import and access and view and even process CMYK files. We'll talk about working with this a little bit later but I just want to point that out here. Now what are some of the considerations? Well, the first consideration has to do with how we work in Photoshop? One of the things that we need to do, if we're going to save our files as .psd documents is if we want these files to be visible inside of Lightroom, i.e. if we want to import them, one of the things that you have to do is you have to maximize PSD and PSB file compatibility.
Now I'm going to go ahead and open up the Photoshop Preferences and talk a little bit more about this. In Photoshop, if you navigate to File Handling, you'll notice that you have this line here, Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility. Now previously to using Lightroom typically the best way to go was Never. And why this was is what happens when you maximize compatibility is you actually save your layered file and you also save a flattened version of the same thing. Now this is all wrapped up inside of the PSD file, so you'd never really know it except that it increases file size.
And for that reason most people would choose Never here. They would only turn this on if they knew that this file were to be sent to someone who is using a much older version of Photoshop. But for the most part this has become really irrelevant. But now with the advent of Lightroom, in order for Lightroom to be able to handle the file, what you need to do is make sure that this PSD compatibility has been turned on. Now you may think then, well you should put it on always. Well not necessarily, because not every Photoshop document that you work on will you also access and work on in Lightroom.
So in my particular case, here is what I do. I leave it onAask. That way whenever I save a file, it will ask me and if I know I'm going to Lightroom, I'll simply click Yes. If I'm not going to Lightroom with the file, I'll simply click No. Now your own preference setting here is entirely up to you and your own workflow. Yet this is the one that has worked well for me. All right. Well, I'll go ahead and click OK. Now another consideration has to do with our RAW files. Now we all know the each camera manufacturer has a different type of RAW file.
Now you can of course work on that file and a lot of people argue that you should keep your images, or your RAW files, in their native format, meaning if it's a canon.cr2, leave it that way. Because there may be something in that file that Canon knows about, that you'll be able to access with Canon software. Now there are other people who say, "you know what I convert everything to DNG." Now this is a format that was put together by Adobe. You can kind of think of it like a little Tupperware container that wraps around the RAW file.
Some of the advantages for using this are archival confidence. What Adobe articulates here is that because this is a non-proprietary open source file type, 50 years from now people will be able to access and open and use and process this file. It also decreases your file size significantly and it doesn't require sidecar files. Now in Lightroom sidecar files aren't really relevant but if you're using Bridge occasionally, this then does become relevant. Now the debate continues.
There are those in favor of DNG, and there are those who don't use DNG. So what I want to do here is I want to pull up Adobe's site briefly and this is a location where you can go to find some more information about this file type. If you navigate to adobe.com/products/ dng, you can learn a little bit more about this file format. Now in my own particular workflow, what I do is actually convert all of my RAW files to this DNG format. Yet one of the things that you're going to want to do is to dig into this issue a little bit in order to determine what file format is best in your own particular situation.
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