When you open your image in Photoshop, the settings you used will be saved. The next time you open the same RAW format image, Photoshop will remember the settings you used (it remembers all the settings except the ones related to workflow). If you'd rather just save the settings you currently have in the Camera Raw dialog box so that Photoshop will use them the next time you open the image, then hold down the Option key (Mac) or Alt key (Windows) and click the Update button (the OK button changes to Update when Option/Alt is held down). When you do that, Photoshop assumes that you want to attach those settings to your image instead of actually opening it in Photoshop. Updating images can be useful if you plan to use them with Actions or the choices found under the Automate menu in the File Browser.
If you'd rather not use the Camera Raw dialog box when opening a RAW image in Photoshop's regular File Browser, then try holding the Shift key when you open the image. That will bypass the Camera Raw dialog box, but will still use the Camera Raw settings you used the last time you opened the image, or it will use the default settings if you've never opened the image before.
If you have a few images that were shot in similar lighting conditions, you might want to think about opening one of those images and then using the same settings on the subsequent images. You can do that by opening one image with the Camera Raw settings you want to use and then choosing Previous Conversion from the Apply Settings From pop-up menu in the Apply Camera Raw Settings dialog box on the other images. Or, if you have a bunch of images that you'd like to use those settings with, select them in the File Browser and then choose Apply Camera Raw Settings from the Automate menu of the File Browser (Figure 10.44). That will allow you to choose the name of the file you'd like to copy the Camera Raw settings from, or use any of the presets that you saved from the Camera Raw dialog box. Then, when you decide to open the files, you can hold Shift to bypass the Camera Raw dialog box altogether.
Figure 10.44 Choose Apply Camera Raw Settings from the Automate menu to apply settings to multiple files.
Finally, if you're a Camera Raw fanatic, you can choose Metadata Display Options from the side menu of the Metadata tab of the File Browser (Figure 10.45). That's where you can turn on the Camera Raw check box so you'll see all the Camera Raw settings that are attached to the file that is currently selected in the File Browser (Figure 10.46).
You can turn on the Advanced radio button in the Apply Camera Raw Settings dialog box to have precise control over the settings that will be applied to your file. That's also a quick way to see what all the preset settings contain.
Figure 10.45 The Metadata Display Options dialog box.
Figure 10.46 Viewing the metadata in the File Browser.