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Using Camera Raw on JPEG Images

By Matt Kloskowski  ·  June 22nd, 2009

Matt shows you how to use the Camera Raw dialog to edit your JPEG images. There are things you can do there that can not be done in the Editor.


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22 Replies to Using Camera Raw on JPEG Images:

  1. Jimmie

    May 2, 2010 at 7:25 am

    Does this technique work in elements 8?

    • Elements Techniques CS

      May 3, 2010 at 11:38 am

      This works in Elements 8

    • Lourdes

      July 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

      I wasn’t able to accomplish that with Photoshop Elements 8. Now, I’m on Photoshop Elements 10 and still having problems; can’t open my jpg files on camera raw at all. I contacted Adobe and they were no help at all. Your help with be greatly appreciated.

      • Tom

        July 20, 2012 at 3:37 pm

        Hi Lourdes,

        1) In the File menu in Elements, choose “Open As…”

        2) Navigate to your image and click once to highlight it

        3) At the bottom of the dialog box you’re in, click the popdown menu next to “Open As…”

        4) Scroll a little ways down the list till you see “Camera Raw” (followed by a list of file types)

        5) Select Camera Raw

        6) Now click the “Open” button at the bottom of the dialog box and your image should open in the Camera Raw interface.

        If this doesn’t work, please reply to me via email and I’ll help you figure it out!

      • Tom

        July 20, 2012 at 6:08 pm

        Update to my last comment:

        Those instructions were for Windows. Here’s how to do it on a Mac (PSE 10):

        1) File menu > Open…
        2) Click once on your chosen image
        3) At the bottom of that dialog box, look for the “Format:” pop-down menu and click it
        4) Scroll till you see Camera Raw and click to select it
        5) Click the “Open” button

      • Lourdes

        July 20, 2012 at 7:18 pm

        Thanks so much for you help, Tom. I followed your instructions and now I can’t stop enhancing my photos and making them as beautiful as they should be. You made my week!!!

  2. Kimberly

    May 12, 2010 at 10:15 am

    Yahoo! I love this feature. I normally shoot in RAW but never realized I could do so much with my jpegs too. THANKS!

  3. Lynn

    June 16, 2010 at 11:32 am

    Great! Thanks, Matt.

    Using camera raw on jpeg photos is not only a time-saver, but I feel like I have more control over the edits I make. Many steps have been eliminated by the time I get the photo to the Editor.

  4. Jeremy

    July 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I’m using PSE8 on a PC and I’m not getting the option to choose the format in which to open up a jpeg in camera raw in the file/open tab. Is the feature not available on a PC?

  5. Jeremy

    July 9, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    I just found it. It’s the ‘Open As’ selection under the File tab in PSE8 that allows you to open jpegs in camera raw.

  6. heather

    August 30, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    My favorite tutorial so far!!! I am so excited to use the camera raw on my JPEGs and will switch to RAW next time I shoot! Thank you!

  7. Allan

    February 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    I,m asking the same question as Jeremy. I have PSE5 and can’t figure out how to open JEPs in Camera Raw. Can it be done in PSE5?

    • Rick

      February 23, 2011 at 8:54 pm

      Just go into Elements and do File > Open As, and choose the file, then Camera Raw from the pop-up.


  8. Timothy

    March 10, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    Very cool — looking forward to putting this one to practice. :)

  9. Lee

    April 1, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    FYI, the Camera RAW dialog procedure also works for opening and editing .PSD (Photoshop) files.

  10. Robin

    September 15, 2011 at 11:13 am

    When trying to open an image in Ele.9 Organizer, I do not get the option “open” under file. What am I doing wrong?

  11. Laura L.

    September 23, 2011 at 6:15 am

    This is by far the best tool here. It is now where I begin any image editing. It saves me so much time. I knew I should be able to open any jpg image in camera raw but kept trying to use the open command. This was sooooo helpful. Thanks a bunch.

  12. Lorraine

    October 20, 2011 at 3:42 am

    I have a curious question. When you use this plug-in with either a jpg file or a raw file, where does it actually save this set of adjustment instructions if you click ‘Done’ instead of ‘Save’ which allows you to reopen the file in ACR and pick up where you left off?

    • Rick

      October 20, 2011 at 9:38 am

      Hi Lorraine,

      It actually gets saved in a separate file (usually called filename.XMP), which contains the last settings you used on the Raw file. That way, you get some of the benefits of editing without actually touching the Raw file. If you reopen the file, Elements looks to see if there is an XMP file (or info in a separate database), and, if there is, it “resets” the controls and sliders at the editing state you left off.

      It’s a pretty smart system, actually.


  13. Mark

    November 24, 2011 at 11:04 am

    Excellent tip! Is there a way to configure PSE Organizer to automatically open up jpegs in the RAW window instead of heading directly to the standard editor? For example, is there a parameter switch that can be used to configure the “supplemental editing application in the organizer preferences?

  14. Ron

    February 20, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    when l try to open a jpg in raw for editing, a screen comes up asking for the width and height and it will not open unless l put the size in. Is it normal as it does not show this the video

  15. Diane

    June 7, 2012 at 8:56 am

    I use Elements 9 and am also getting a screen that asks for height and width and I don’t know what number to put in. Unless I put in some numbers I cannot get my photo to open in Camera Raw. What do I do?


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