How to Export RAW Files in Lightroom

How to Export RAW Files in Lightroom

Last Updated on December 10, 2022 | In Lightroom Tutorials by Stefano Caioni Leave a Comment

Are you confused about how to export RAW files in Lightroom?

Many users complain that exporting files, and specifically RAW files, is an arduous process in Lightroom. The truth, however, is that once you are well-versed with the process, it is quite straightforward. Exporting Lightroom files to Photoshop is also fairly straightforward, assuming you know what you are doing.

How to Export RAW Files in Lightroom

This article will contain everything you need to know about how to export photos in Lightroom.

Related: Lightroom Workflow, Step-by-Step Guide

How to Export RAW files in Lightroom

One of the more common parts of your workflow will involve exporting RAW files.

  • First up, choose the images that you want to export from the Catalog Library in Lightroom.
  • Navigate to File in the menu bar, and choose Export. Alternatively, you can also right-click on the selected images and navigate to Export. In the drop-down menu that appears, choose ‘Export…’.
  • A new dialog box will open with all the options for your export. Here, check the top to see if the right number of images are being exported. Then check the filename. Note that the files that you are exporting should have the same exact name for adjustments to merge. This means that you must also maintain the same extensions, with the same case.
  • In order to ensure that you export the files as RAW, keep the image format as ‘Original’.

How to Export and Send the Files From Lightroom to Photoshop

Once you have made some adjustments to your RAW picture, you may need to send it to Photoshop to make other edits. Just follow these steps to export a Lightroom file to Photoshop.

Tip: Note that whenever you send a file from Lightroom to Photoshop, all the adjustments made in Lightroom will become permanent in the PSD file. Save the various edits made, until you return back to Lightroom.

  • Choose the specific image. Then select ‘Edit In’, and choose ‘Edit in Adobe Photoshop’. You can also use the shortcut key, Ctrl + E.
  • Photoshop will open and the RAW file appears here.
  • Use Ctrl + J to duplicate the image layer. Rename this new layer as you desire. By duplicating the layer, you can protect the original layer and also see whatever changes you made on the new one.
  • Ctrl click the thumbnail of the duplicate layer to load it as a selection. Marching ants will now appear on the edges of the image.
  • Use Shift + Ctrl + I (on PC) and Shift + Command + I (on Mac), or just simply click Select and Inverse. This will invert the selection.
  • Go to Select, then Modify, and finally Expand to expand the selection. A dialog box will open up. Type in 3 and click on OK.
  • Make the appropriate modifications on Photoshop.
  • Once you have finished editing the image on Photoshop, just save and close the image. Ensure that Lightroom is open while you do this. The modified PSD file will appear in your catalog on Lightroom, just next to the original image.

Before You Go: Here is the Step by Step Process for How to Export a Raw File from Lightroom

To export a raw file from Lightroom, follow these steps:

  1. Open Lightroom and navigate to the Library module.
  2. Select the raw file that you want to export by clicking on it.
  3. Click the Export button, which is located at the bottom of the left panel in the Library module.
  4. In the Export window that opens, select the location where you want to save the exported file.
  5. In the File Settings section, choose the file format for the exported raw file. You can choose from various formats, including JPEG, TIFF, and DNG (Digital Negative).
  6. In the Image Sizing section, you can choose to resize the exported file if desired.
  7. In the Output Sharpening section, you can choose to apply sharpening to the exported file if desired.
  8. In the Metadata section, you can choose whether to include metadata in the exported file.
  9. Click the Export button to begin the export process. The exported raw file will be saved to the location that you specified.

That’s it! These are the basic steps for exporting a raw file from Lightroom. It’s worth noting that there are many other options and settings available in the Export window, so you may want to explore these further depending on your specific needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do I import a raw file into Lightroom?
    To import a raw file into Lightroom, go to the “File” menu and select “Import Photos and Video”. Then, navigate to the location of the raw file on your computer and select it. Click the “Import” button to bring the raw file into Lightroom.
  2. What is a raw file in photography?
    A raw file is a type of image file that contains unprocessed data from a digital camera’s image sensor. Raw files are often larger and of higher quality than JPEG files, and they allow for more flexibility when editing in post-processing software like Lightroom.
  3. How do I adjust the settings for a raw file in Lightroom?
    To adjust the settings for a raw file in Lightroom, select the file in the Library module and then make any desired changes in the Develop module. In the Develop module, you can adjust settings such as exposure, white balance, contrast, and sharpness.
  4. What is the difference between a raw file and a JPEG file?
    The main difference between a raw file and a JPEG file is that raw files are unprocessed, while JPEG files are processed and compressed. Raw files offer more flexibility and higher image quality when editing, while JPEG files are smaller and more widely compatible, but offer less editing flexibility.
  5. Can I edit a raw file in Lightroom without exporting it?
    Yes, you can edit a raw file in Lightroom without exporting it. Simply make any desired adjustments in the Develop module, and the changes will be applied to the raw file. You can then save the edited raw file within Lightroom without exporting it.
  6. What file formats does Lightroom support for exporting raw files?
    Lightroom supports a variety of file formats for exporting raw files, including JPEG, TIFF, DNG, and PSD. To select the file format for exporting, go to the “Export” dialog in Lightroom and choose the desired format from the “File Format” drop-down menu.
  7. Can I export multiple raw files from Lightroom at once?
    Yes, you can export multiple raw files from Lightroom at once. To do this, select the files you want to export in the Library module, and then go to the “File” menu and select “Export”. In the “Export” dialog, choose the desired settings, and then click the “Export” button to export all of the selected raw files at once.
  8. How do I change the file name of a raw file when exporting from Lightroom?
    To change the file name of a raw file when exporting from Lightroom, go to the “Export” dialog and select the “File Naming” tab. In the “File Naming” section, you can specify the desired file naming convention for the exported file.
  9. What are the recommended export settings for a raw file in Lightroom?
    The recommended export settings for a raw file in Lightroom will depend on the specific use case for the exported file. In general, it is recommended to use the highest possible image quality settings, and to avoid applying heavy compression to the file.
  10. Can I export a raw file from Lightroom to Photoshop?
    Yes, you can export a raw file from Lightroom to Photoshop. To do this, select the raw file in Lightroom and go to the “File” menu. Select “Edit In” and then choose “Open as Smart Object in Photoshop”. This will open the raw file in Photoshop as a smart object, allowing you to edit the file in Photoshop while maintaining the ability to go back and make changes in Lightroom.

Now that you know how to export RAW files easily, your post-processing and editing endeavors are bound to become much easier!

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