Editing Photos In External Editors

With High Sierra there is now native functionality for editing your photos in external editors. You can edit them in apps like Acorn and Photoshop without needing to export the photo and bring it back in when done. And edits you make can be removed by reverting back to the original photo.

Comments: 27 Responses to “Editing Photos In External Editors”

    Jim Rietz
    2 years ago

    While in the Edit mode, the Extensions are still available using the circled ellipsis in the right side of the tool bar. You make it sound as if Extensions are replaced with “Edit with” menu. While many of the Extensions are full applications, they do not show up in the Edit with menu. An example would be the Creative Kit 2016 (Focus CK, FX Photo Studio CK, Intensify CK, Noiseless CK, Snapheal CK, & Tonality CK) and many others.

    2 years ago

    Jim: Sorry for the confusion. No, the extensions are still there. For extensions. But for editing in an external app, you use this new function. Two separate things: extensions and external editing.

    Judy Barnett
    2 years ago

    I have a friend who is still using iPhoto. Would it be possible to use Photos to edit from iPhoto. He could just drag a photo from iPhoto into photos to edit. Does that make sense? Will iPhoto still work in High Sierra? Thanks

    David Wright
    2 years ago

    Great option. Are you recommending upgrading to High Sierra as I heard that there were a few bugs in it.

    2 years ago

    David: All of my Macs are High Sierra and have been for some time. There are bugs in Sierra too. And every version of macOS and other operating systems too.

    2 years ago

    Judy: No, I don’t see any reasonable way to edit in Photos when you are storing the Photo in iPhoto. If she wants the editing features of Photos, then why not migrate to Photos? I can’t think of any reason anyone would still be using iPhoto.

    David Wright
    2 years ago

    Thanks Gary thats good enough for me

    Judy Barnett
    2 years ago

    Thanks Gary.. I am taking your Photos 3 to learn enough to be able to advise him to change to Photos, but it is hard for some folks to change what they have done for years. Seems Photos is very similar to iPhoto.

    John Bedrossian
    2 years ago

    Gary, I selected Pixelmator to edit the photo, but when I try and save it it gives me choices on where to save it. the problem is it won’t let me save it back in photos. I have to save it to desktop and then move it to photos. Any ideas on how I can save back to photos directly? Thank you.

    2 years ago

    John: Pixelmator doesn’t work with this for some reason. On their site they say they have a new update coming for High Sierra compatibility, so hopefully this will be fixed.

    Bob Douglass
    2 years ago

    Thank you Gary! Your tutorials are short, sweet, and to-the-point. I learn more about a topic in a ‘couple of minutes watching your videos, than a hour of research on the web.

    2 years ago

    Bob: Thanks!

    Frankie Suman
    2 years ago

    I can’t seem to get to work with Photoshop Elements 15 (get a message cannot open document). Will I have to continue to use Extensions or am I missing something. I really enjoy your newsletter. Thanks

    2 years ago

    Frankie: Sounds like that one may not be compatible either. Hopefully they will update it. Report to Adobe if you like.

    James Shrouds
    2 years ago

    Can this feature also be used with Lightroom CC?

    2 years ago

    James: I don’t think so. Lightroom is a photo management app just like Photos. It allows you to store your photos, organize them, and edit them. Just like Photos. So it wouldn’t;t make sense to store and manage your photos in one app, and edit them in a similar app. I doubt Lightroom has a “just open an image and edit it” function. In fact, doesn’t it use Photoshop for that? So why not just go from Photos to Photoshop instead of trying to go through Lightroom? Or, if you like Lightroom, why not used Lightroom instead of Photos?

    Tony Biegler
    2 years ago

    I use Macphun LUMINAR with PHOTOS. PHOTOS treats LUMINAR as an extension. I select LUMINAR from the PHOTOS EXTENSION menu, edit the photo in LUMINAR and click SAVE in LUMINAR. Always get error message “Unable to edit with Luminar – An unexpected Error occured”. But the LUMINAR edited photo is saved back to PHOTOS. The process works, but the error message is annoying. Is there a fix for it?

    2 years ago

    Tony: You should contact Luminar about that. Let them know. Keep in mind that extensions and external editors are often two different things. Usually extensions give you a small set of features, like filters and such. But external editing actually takes you to the real app, so you can use all of the features of the app to edit the photo.

    Tony Biegler
    2 years ago

    Turns out Macphun just came out with an updated version of Luminar (ver 1.2.2) that I downloaded and installed, and the problem went away.

    Dave Hall
    2 years ago

    You can also “right click” ( double finger click) on the image in Photos and it will bring up the option “Edit with”.
    I am having a problem in that when I try to export an image from new Photos the drop-down window that appears, to allow one to designate the place to download to, is partly concealed by the top frame of the Photos window. I can’t drag it down to allow me to select another destination other than “Documents”. Apple doesn’t seem to make it easy to report such a problem..

    2 years ago

    Dave: Not sure why that would happen, sorry. Have you tried switching your screen resolution to see if that makes a difference?

    Dave Hall
    2 years ago

    I discovered that if I dragged the bottom of the window down to expand it, it popped out from behind the top frame.

    Sebastian Tiplea
    2 years ago

    Hi Gary I’ve purchased the Acorn app a few months back as I’ve seen it in one of your videos, however I find it difficult to use for a non technical person, would you like to make basic introduction tutorial on Acorn?

    2 years ago

    Sebastian: See https://macmost.com/cutting-out-part-of-an-image-with-acorn.html I’m not sure I’m the best person to do an intro to an app like that. I’m not a graphic artist. Plus, the app does so much that an intro to the features you want to use may be completely different than an intro to the features someone else wants to use.

    Rob Woolley
    2 years ago

    Hi Gary, thank you for your tutorials. I have Photoshop Elements 15 and like you its not showing up in “Edit with” area. I can locate and manually link to it, but was wondering if you were able to get it show up like other editors?

    2 years ago

    Rob: Sounds like Adobe needs to update their app. Actually, it looks like they did come out with a new version in October, so you may want to check with them to see if that new version supports this.

    Timothy Cipullo
    2 years ago

    Adobe Photoshop Elements does work. After selecting Edit With, select Other, then from the Applications folder, go to Adobe Photoshop Elements 14 (or whichever version you have), then Support Files, then Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor.app. You have to select Adobe Photoshop Elements Editor.app instead of Adobe Photoshop Elements.app or you will get an error message.

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