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Lightroom 2 external editor trouble?

Unfortunately, with any new software release, problems are discovered after the application has been installed on a wider variety of system configurations. One such problem that seems to be plaguing a number of users is the inability to send a photo from the just-released Lightroom 2 to Photoshop CS3 for editing.

This problem seems to manifest in a couple of ways. You may send a photo to Photoshop and not see anything happen or you may get your photo into Photoshop, but when you save it the copy is not automatically imported back into your catalog or it is imported but it appears to be in a duplicate volume and folder of the original source folder. In all cases it tends to be frustrating.

This issue is most heavily being discussed in the Adobe Lightroom User to User forum, and I am certain the Lightroom team will fix the problem in due course. In the short term, the simplest workaround is to add Photoshop CS3 as an Additional Editor via the External Editing preferences.

Here's how:

  1. Open Lightroom's preferences by pressing Cmd/Ctrl.
  2. Click the External Editing tab.
  3. In the Additional External Editor section, click the Choose button, navigate to the Photoshop CS3 application file, and select it.
  4. Click Choose.
  5. Lightroom will inform you that it has already automatically chosen CS3 as an editor application. Click Use Anyway.
  6. Configure the file settings you want to associate with that editor, format, color space, and so on.
  7. Click the Preset drop-down menu and Save Current Settings as New Preset.
  8. Click OK to close the preferences.

The next time you want to edit in Photoshop CS3, choose your preset from the Edit In menu. This does not allow for the smart object, panorama, HDR, and layers functionality with CS3, but it should solve the routine edit in Photoshop tasks until a more final solution is offered.

Note: if you are just seeing all the Photoshop CS3 advanced options grayed out make sure you've upgraded Photoshop CS3 to 10.0.1.