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In this course, photographer and author Jan Kabili shows how to combine both programs. The course begins with details on how to set up the two programs for maximum compatibility. The course then covers strategies for working with photos in a variety of formats, sending them from Lightroom to Photoshop to viewing the edited results in Lightroom. The final chapter demonstrates several real-world scenarios for using Lightroom and Photoshop together.
- Setting the Lightroom preferences for editing in Photoshop
- Passing photos from Lightroom to Photoshop
- Handling software version mismatches
- Viewing and organizing Photoshop-edited photos in Lightroom
- Creating Lightroom presets for external editing
- Using Lightroom with Photoshop Elements
- Building a panorama with Lightroom and Photoshop
- Passing multiple photos to Photoshop for compositing
- Sending photos to Photoshop for retouching and removing content
- Bringing photos into Photoshop to add text and graphics
Skill Level Intermediate
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.