The Ultimate Guide for switching from a PC to a Mac
(Part 2 - coming soon)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Export RAW from Aperture to Photoshop or Pixelmator!

RAW files are great for the flexibility they offer in post production adjustments. They work great in applications such as Lightroom and Aperture, but it is not the best for Photoshop and Pixelmator. You really have to convert files to either PSD or TIFF. I choose to go with TIFF because it is really compatible at a high-quality. What is great is that it is very well implemented in Aperture. To add the external editing application in Aperture:

1. Go to Aperture, Preferences...
2. Click on the Export tab.
3. Click Choose in the External Image Editor.
4. Choose the application (Photoshop, Pixelmator or whatever editing application you use).
5. Choose the External Editor File Format. (TIFF or PSD)
6. That's it. You can now right-click on any photo, go to "Edit with" and choose the application. It will create a copy in either TIFF or PSD and launch it in the application. You can then do the edit, save it and when you go back to Aperture, the change should appear in the second copy of the picture (the TIFF or PSD file).


Blogger Unknown said...

Nonsense! Photoshop's (CS4), or Adobe Camera RAW is way more powerful and accurate than Aperture's RAW converters. Your best bet is to open RAW files directly in Photoshop.

I actually landed on this post looking for a way to open my RAWs directly from Aperture without having Aperture convert them to TIFFs.

May 27, 2009 at 4:36 PM  
Blogger Editor said...

It's not nonsense at all, Rodrigo. Sometimes Aperture is preferable to Adobe.

For example, no Adobe product can read a Canon T1i's RAW files (as of this writing), but the Mac OS and by Aperture can handle it flawlessly.

If the choice is getting work done (Aperture+Photoshop) versus doing nothing (a pure Adobe route), then I'll take the one that gets me paid.

June 5, 2009 at 2:29 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Dear editor, I clearly see your point when working with other external editors, and the convenience of Aperture's RAW decoder. However, in going from Aperture to Photoshop directly, you do get much more bang from your RAW if you open the RAW though Adobe's camera RAW. I still wish I could call 'Open in Photoshop' from Aperture and have Photoshop open my RAW directly. Evermore, I wish I could select which RAW decoder Aperture would use and have it use Canon's Digital Photo Pro so I could take advantage of all the proprietary lens correction.

I think we both agree that Aperture's RAW decoder is the most convenient for everyday use but less powerful. Adobe's Camera RAW is less convenient yet more powerful, and finally Canon's (or Nikon's)RAW decoders are the least convenient but most accurate and powerful converters.

As of this posting, the candid version to open RAW files from T1is (and others) is downloadable from

June 5, 2009 at 5:36 PM  

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