How to Work with Photoshop CS6 Raw Images - dummies

How to Work with Photoshop CS6 Raw Images

By Barbara Obermeier

Some cameras capture images in raw formats. Photoshop CS6 can process these images into formatted images. It also allows you to work with them in different ways than already processed images. Here are some details about Photoshop’s handling of raw images.

  • Camera Raw Preferences: Here are the details on these preferences:

    • When a Camera Raw (CR) file is processed, the image settings can be saved in two different places — a sidecar .xmp file or a Camera Raw database file. Create a separate sidecar .xmp file if you want to archive your images or exchange them with other people because it’s a collaborative workflow.

      If you archive the files to a CD or DVD, copy them to a hard drive before opening them because CR can’t write an XMP file to read-only media. If you store your setting to a CR database file, the settings are saved in the folder Document and Settings/[username]/Application Data/Adobe/CameraRaw (Users/[user name]/Library/Preferences on the Mac).

    • When you reopen a CR image, the image settings you used when the file was last opened are reapplied. Select which Default Image Settings you want applied. The only settings that aren’t stored are color profile, bit depth, pixel dimensions, and resolution.

    • The cache in Camera Raw stores data for file thumbnails, metadata, and file info. You can choose to increase the cache, if desired. Note that 1GB holds data for around 200 images. If your cache gets bloated or corrupted, clicking the Purge Cache button deletes the data.

    • DNG stands for Digital Negative, a popular format for storing CR images. DNG image settings are usually embedded in the file itself. If you want to stick with the norm, select the Ignore Sidecar .xmp file option. If you want a JPEG preview of your image, select the option and choose from a Medium or Full Size preview.

    • Another important setting is the JPEG and TIFF Handling option. Camera Raw (CR) enables you to open and edit both JPEGs and TIFFs. If you select Automatically Open All Supported JPEGs (or TIFFs), any JPEG or TIFF automatically opens in CR, rather than Photoshop. If you select Automatically Open JPEGs (or TIFFs) with Settings, CR opens any JPEG or TIFF with Camera Raw (crs) tags.

    • So, any files that you have previously opened and edited, and then closed by clicking Done in CR, will open in CR. Because working with Camera Raw images can be a little complex, Adobe offers a lot of documentation and videos on working with these types of images. Check out


  • Prefer Adobe Camera Raw for Supported Raw Files: Select this setting to have ACR open any and all Raw file formats supported by Photoshop.