Jumping from Aperture to Photoshop


One of my personal workflows is to use Apple Aperture to organize my images. I then jump into Adobe Photoshop for advanced editing. Few people know how easy this is. All you need to specify which application Aperture will use and that it should exchange files using 16-bit file formats. You only have to set these preferences once, then the settings will be used for all future adjustments.

  1. Choose Aperture > Preferences then click Export.
  2. Click the Choose button below the External Image Editor field.
  3. In the dialog that appears, navigate to the application that you’d like Aperture to use when you want to edit an image in an external editor. The application’s name appears in the External Image Editor field.
  4. In the Preferences window, set the External Editor File Format pop-up menu to the format you’d like to use for exchanging files. Select PSD because we’ll be using Photoshop as our external editor. We could also have selected TIFF, but we know that PSD will support all of the Photoshop features that we might choose to use.
  5. Next to the External Editor File Format pop-up menu is a small field labeled dpi (dots per inch). Set this to 300. This will specify that the image should be exported with a resolution setting of 300 pixels per inch.
  6. Close the Preferences window.

As you know, Aperture keeps all of your images organized using its Library. When you want to edit an image elsewhere, the easiest way to do so is by using the specified external editor. Aperture will then use its round-trip capability to automatically re-import the image for you.

  1. In the Browser, select an image.
  2. Choose Images > Edit With > Adobe Photoshop or press Command-Shift-O. If it’s not already running, Aperture will open the application that you specified in the Preferences window. Your image will be opened automatically (with the Exposure adjustment applied).