I recently wrote an introduction to Camera Raw in Photoshop, briefly outlining what Camera Raw is, and what the raw file format is. In this follow-up, we’ll take a look at how to open up images in the Camera Raw plug-in. We can work with Raw, JPEG and TIFF files.

You can open a raw file in Photoshop, in much the same way as you would open any other type of image file. The difference is, the raw file opens in the Camera Raw window instead of the main Photoshop workspace.

Open Raw Files From The File Browser

To open a raw file from your Windows File Explorer, or Mac Finder, you can:

  • Double-click the file’s icon. If Photoshop isn’t already running, your computer will launch it and then open the Camera Raw window.


  • Ctrl + Click (Mac) or Right-Click (Windows) on the file and then choose Open With > Adobe Photoshop CC. This will open Photoshop if it’s not already open and then open the Camera Raw window.

As Camera Raw was originally made to process photos taken in raw format, if you double-click on a raw image on your computer it SHOULD automatically launch Photoshop and open the image within Camera Raw. If the raw file doesn’t open, check that you have the latest version of Camera Raw from Adobe’s Creative Cloud if you’re using Photoshop CC. Or check the Adobe website for updates if you’re using an older version of Photoshop.

Open Raw Images in Camera Raw From Bridge

It’s simple to open Raw, JPEG and TIFF files from Adobe Bridge. Here are three different ways to get your photo from Bridge to Camera Raw:

  • Double-click a raw file in the Content panel. The image opens in Camera Raw.


  • Click once on any image – Raw, JPEG or TIFF, then press Ctrl + R (Windows) or Cmd + R (Mac).


  • Activate an image in the Content panel and then choose File > “Open in Camera Raw.”

Open From Bridge To Camera Raw

Open JPEG or TIFF images in Camera Raw

You can open JPEG or TIFF files from Bridge (as mentioned above). You can also open a JPEG or TIFF from Photoshop, directly into Camera Raw, by doing the following:

  • In Windows: From Photoshop’s File menu, choose Open As. Browse through your folders to find the JPEG or TIFF image you want. Click on the file you’re interested in, then change the pop-up menu at the bottom right to Camera Raw, then click Open.
  • On a Mac: From Photoshop’s File menu, choose Open. The Open dialog appears. Browse through your folders to find the JPEG or TIFF image you want. Click on the file you want. In the Format pop-up menu at the bottom it will say JPEG (or TIFF if you chose a TIFF file), now click on that menu, then choose Camera Raw. Then click the Open button and your image will open in Camera Raw.

Open A JPEG or TIFF into Camera Raw

How to Make JPEGs and TIFFs Always Open In Camera Raw

If you’d like to set up so that every time you open a JPEG or TIFF, it opens directly in Camera Raw, you can do that in the Camera Raw preferences. I would recommend this for photographers, but I don’t recommend it for designers.

1. Go to Photoshop > Preferences > Camera Raw (Mac) or Edit > Preferences > Camera Raw (Windows)

2. At the bottom of the Camera Raw Preferences dialog, under JPEG and TIFF Handling, set both JPEG and TIFF to Automatically Open All Supported JPEGs and Automatically Open all Supported TIFFs, respectively.

3. Click OK. Note that this change won’t kick in until the next time you start Photoshop.

Camera Raw Preferences - JPEG and TIFF

Opening more than one file at a time in Camera Raw

You can open multiple files in Camera Raw from either Bridge or Photoshop, and you can apply the same edits to multiple files simultaneously. This can be really handy if you have a pile of images that were all taken in the same environment and require the same sort of adjustments, such as creating more contrast or removing colour casts.

To open multiple files from Bridge, into Camera Raw, do the following:

1. In Bridge, open the folder holding your photos.

2. Shift + Click all of the images you want.

3. Choose File > Open In Camera Raw.

Open Multiple Files From Camera Raw

Your files open inside Camera Raw. Notice the film strip along the left side. Choose any photo to edit by simply clicking on the thumbnail.

Multiple Images Open In Camera Raw

And that’s how you can open in Camera Raw.  Now you can start to have fun editing your Raw, JPEG and TIFF files.

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