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Maximizing PSD compatibility in Photoshop

From: Using Lightroom and Photoshop Together

Video: Maximizing PSD compatibility in Photoshop

Lightroom is not designed to read layers. So If you save a layered PSD format file from Photoshop, it has to include a special composite layer that Lightroom can read, if you plan to use the file in Lightroom or other programs that can't read layers. The way to get a composite layer like that embedded in a PSD file, is to enable Photoshop's Maximize Compatibility preference, as I'll show you in this movie. This is an issue that you may have run into when you were using Lightroom's Import command to import layered PSD files from your operating system.

Maximizing PSD compatibility in Photoshop

Lightroom is not designed to read layers. So If you save a layered PSD format file from Photoshop, it has to include a special composite layer that Lightroom can read, if you plan to use the file in Lightroom or other programs that can't read layers. The way to get a composite layer like that embedded in a PSD file, is to enable Photoshop's Maximize Compatibility preference, as I'll show you in this movie. This is an issue that you may have run into when you were using Lightroom's Import command to import layered PSD files from your operating system.

It also can come up in the course of using Lightroom's Edit In command to integrate Lightroom and Photoshop, the workflows that we're following in this course. Let's a take a look at Photoshop's Preferences. I'll go to the Photoshop menu, that's the Edit menu on a PC, and choose Preferences, and I'll choose the File Handling preferences. This is the preference at issue, Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility. PSB just refers to Smart Objects. We're interested in the PSD portion right now. And by the way, TIFFs aren't an issue, because a layered TIFF automatically has the kind of composite layer that Lightroom can read.

So the default preference here is Ask. If you leave this to set to Ask, then you'll decide on a case by case basis whether to have Photoshop embed a hidden composite layer in the File. When a layered PSD file is saved for the first time in Photoshop, a dialog box, which I'll show you in a moment, will pop up and ask whether you want to leave Maximize Compatibility enabled or not. Now leaving the preference here at its default at Ask can't hurt, as long as you don't mind being faced with that dialog box each time that you're in this situation.

If you're in the middle of a Photoshop Lightroom integration workflow, the correct choice will always be to leave Maximize Compatibility enabled or turned on, as I'll show you in a moment, or else Lightroom won't be able to use the resulting file, if that's a layered PSD. So that's one option. The other option is to change this preference form Ask to Always, which is a good choice in this situation. With Always selected, Photoshop will automatically embed the necessary composite layer in your layered PSD files without popping a dialog box. That will stop you from being needlessly interrupted in the middle of a Photoshop Lightroom integration workflow.

When you are doing other kinds of work with layered Photoshop files that you don't plan on bringing into Lightroom, then you might want to switch back to Ask, because adding the composite layer when you don't need it can increase file size needlessly. The other choice here, Never, is not an option when you are using Photoshop and Lightroom together. So I definitely wouldn't choose that. I'm going to set this back to the default of Ask, for purposes of this course, because since it is the default, I know that many of you will have it that way and I want to be able to show you what happens.

I'm going to click OK to cancel out of Preferences, and let's go back to Lightroom to see what happens with that preference set to Ask. I want to get to that Ask dialog box quickly, so I'm going to take this PSD file through one of the workflows that I'll be covering later in the course. So please don't worry about the steps of this workflow here, I promise to cover it in more detail later. I just don't want you to be wondering where the Ask dialog box comes from. So with this file selected, I'm going to go up to the Photo menu, I'll choose Edit In, I'll choose Edit in Adobe Photoshop, and in this dialog box, I'll choose Edit a Copy, and click Edit.

And I do promise to explain Edit a Copy. Now that opens the image here in Photoshop. I'm going to add a layer to the image, over here in the Layers panel, by clicking the Create New Layer button. There are many things I could do on this layer, I'm just going to leave it as is, and I'm going to save the image with the layer. File > Save. And that's what causes the Maximize Compatibility dialog box to pop up. What you want to do here is to leave the check mark next to Maximize Compatibility showing. If you don't, if you turn that off like this, then the layered PSD that will result from this workflow is one that Lightroom won't be able to read.

I obviously don't want that, so I'll click this checkbox. The other thing I could do here is to check Don't show again. If I check Don't show again, then that will reset Photoshop's Maximize Compatibility preference, the one we just looked at, to Always. And as you know that means that if you come across this same situation with another layered file, you won't see this dialog at all, the composite layer will just be added behind the scenes. So having a check mark up here alone is fine, checking here is fine too. I'm going to leave Don't show again, just because that's the default, and I'll click OK, and that will dismiss this dialog box, and I could continue on with my workflow. And Lightroom would have no trouble reading the resulting file.

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This video is part of

Image for Using Lightroom and Photoshop Together
Using Lightroom and Photoshop Together

32 video lessons · 13453 viewers

Jan Kabili
Author

 
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  1. 10m 38s
    1. Welcome
      36s
    2. Using the exercise files
      4m 4s
    3. Why use Lightroom and Photoshop together?
      5m 58s
  2. 16m 37s
    1. Setting Lightroom preferences for editing in Photoshop
      6m 20s
    2. Setting file naming preferences in Lightroom
      4m 27s
    3. Maximizing PSD compatibility in Photoshop
      4m 40s
    4. Matching color settings
      1m 10s
  3. 24m 25s
    1. Passing raw files from Lightroom to Photoshop
      8m 17s
    2. Handling mismatches with Open Anyway
      6m 21s
    3. Handling mismatches with Render using Lightroom
      4m 43s
    4. Updating your software
      5m 4s
  4. 19m 41s
    1. Passing non-raw photos from Lightroom to Photoshop
      4m 9s
    2. Choosing Edit a Copy With Lightroom Adjustments
      5m 26s
    3. Choosing Edit a Copy
      3m 59s
    4. Choosing Edit Original
      3m 34s
    5. Revisiting edits
      2m 33s
  5. 17m 9s
    1. Creating presets for editing in Photoshop
      4m 51s
    2. Passing photos to Photoshop with presets
      4m 48s
    3. Creating presets for editing in Elements
      3m 4s
    4. Passing photos to Elements with presets
      4m 26s
  6. 10m 44s
    1. Sorting and stacking edited photos in Lightroom
      5m 1s
    2. Synchronizing metadata between Lightroom and Bridge
      5m 43s
  7. 56m 22s
    1. Building a panorama with Lightroom and Photoshop
      6m 57s
    2. Creating an HDR image with Lightroom and Photoshop
      5m 51s
    3. Creating a Photoshop Smart Object from Lightroom
      6m 32s
    4. Opening as layers in Photoshop from Lightroom
      4m 47s
    5. Applying photographic filters
      5m 33s
    6. Photo compositing
      7m 30s
    7. Making precise local corrections
      5m 28s
    8. Retouching and removing content
      6m 36s
    9. Enhancing photos with text and graphics
      7m 8s
  8. 39s
    1. Goodbye
      39s

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