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How to Jump from Photoshop to Lightroom

Published: 24/07/2021

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Lightroom and Photoshop are the two of the most widely-used image editing programs that are designed to work together to help you achieve your image editing goals. Here, we will show you how to jump from Photoshop to Lightroom after editing your Lightroom images in Photoshop. With this tutorial, you will be able to switch between the two programs seamlessly and quickly.

How to Jump from Photoshop to Lightroom

Photoshop and Lightroom both offer unique and useful tools for image editing. However, you might often need them simultaneously to complete your editing procedure. This is because both of these applications offer unique features that help you achieve different editing goals.

Lightroom allows you to keep your images organized, sorted, and managed. It also allows you to edit each element of your images individually without affecting the rest of your image. On the other hand, Photoshop allows you to apply attractive effects and detailed corrections in an easy way.

Thankfully, both these image editing applications are designed to work together. You simply have to know how to switch between the two software in a seamless way so that your workflow does not get broken or disturbed. We will show you how you can move your images from Lightroom to Photoshop, and then jump back from Photoshop to Lightroom easily.

Jumping from Photoshop to Lightroom

In order to jump from Photoshop to Lightroom, first, you will have to move your images from Lightroom to Photoshop. It may sound complicated, but it really is not. To make it easier for you, we have broken down this procedure into two simple steps. Just follow these steps, and you will easily be able to switch between the two programs effortlessly.

Step 1: Opening an Image From Lightroom in Photoshop

Opening an image from Lightroom in Photoshop is a multi-step procedure. Here, we will give you a step-by-step breakdown of how you can open images from Lightroom in the Photoshop application. 

Set the Lightroom Preferences

Before bringing the images from Lightroom into Photoshop, the first thing to do is to set up the Lightroom preferences. This is a one-time procedure. Once you configure these preferences as per your requirements, you will not have to do it again. To set these preferences, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch the Lightroom classic application on your computer.
  2. Hover your cursor over to the menu bar present at the top of your Lightroom screen.
  3. From the menu bar, click on ‘Edit.’ This will open a drop-down menu for you.
  4. From this menu, select ‘Preferences.’ Alternatively, you can also press the keys ‘CTRL + ,’ to achieve the same results.
Setting the Lightroom Preferences
  1. As you click on ‘Preferences,’ a dialog box will appear as follows. In this dialog box, click on the ‘External Editing’ tab present on the top:
External Editing option in Lightroom

If you already have Photoshop installed on your computer, then the Lightroom program will automatically detect it and set it as your default external editor.

Setting Photoshop as an external editor in Lightroom

You can now configure any other settings you want for your image file being sent to Photoshop. This includes the file format, resolution, and so on.

Once you are satisfied with the external editor preferences, click on the ‘OK’ button present at the bottom of the dialog box.

Now, you don't need to repeat this step for the next time you want to send a Lightroom image to Photoshop. You can skip this step and just go directly to the second step.

Open the Image in Photoshop

Once you have set the preference to use Photoshop as your external editor for Lightroom images, all you have to do is send the image to the Photoshop program. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the Lightroom image that you want to edit in Photoshop.
  2. Hover your cursor over to the menu bar present on the top of your Lightroom screen.
  3. From the menu bar, click on ‘Photo.’ This will open a drop-down menu for you.
  4. From this drop-down menu, navigate to Edit In > Edit in Adobe Photoshop 2021 or any other version that you have installed on your computer. Alternatively, you can also use the keyboard shortcut, which is CTRL + E.
Editing the photo in Photoshop while using Lightroom

At this point, you will see another dialog box as follow:

Options for editing in Photoshop

You can choose any option you want for the image you are sending to Photoshop for editing. We will be choosing the ‘Edit Original’ option as we want to edit the original image in Photoshop. Make your choice, and then click on ‘Edit.’

As soon as you click on ‘Edit,’ your selected image will open up as a new document on your Photoshop program.

Step 2: Editing the Image in Photoshop and Jumping Back to Lightroom

Now that you have your Lightroom image open in Photoshop for editing, you can apply any editing tool and operation you want. Once you complete the editing procedure, you can jump back from Photoshop to Lightroom with your image edited. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. As soon as you are content with the changes you have made to your image, you can go back to Lightroom. Hover your cursor over to the menu bar present at the top of your Photoshop screen.
  2. Click on ‘File.’ This will open a drop-down menu for you. From this menu, select ‘Save.’ It is crucial to remember that you select the option for ‘Save,’ and not for ‘Save As.’ If you choose ‘Save As,’ you will then change the name of the file. This change will not be detected by Lightroom, breaking your workflow.
  3. Now, go back to Lightroom, and you will see that the edits you applied to your image in Photoshop can now be seen in Lightroom as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Professionals Use Lightroom or Photoshop?

Professionals use Lightroom and Photoshop both to achieve their image editing goals. Both of these applications work best when they work together. The Lightroom is a cloud-based software that allows you to organize your images and edit the elements separately. On the other hand, Photoshop is a pure image editing software that provides a large variety of editing tools.

The professionals use both of this software together to complete their image editing workflow in the best way possible.

Is Lightroom Good For Beginners?

Yes, Lightroom is good for beginners as it has a large collection of image editing tools along with a user-friendly interface. In fact, either you are a beginner or a professional, Lightroom is useful for levels of image editing workflows.

Is Photoshop Good For Beginners?

Photoshop is a massive program and may look complex and intimidating to beginners. However, once you get familiar with it, it becomes one of the best tools for all your image editing needs. The unique feature of Photoshop that makes it different from other programs is its layer-based operation. 

As soon as you learn how the layers work and how you can edit your images in separate layers efficiently, you will be able to have a smooth and easy image editing workflow. Thus, Photoshop is equally good for both beginners and professionals.


Lightroom and Photoshop are two different image editing programs that help you achieve different editing goals. Both have their own unique tools, which serve different purposes. Learning how to switch between these two programs will help you tremendously, and you will be able to create amazing images and designs.