Opening & Closing Files in Photoshop

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May 9, 2021
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  • #1
As you become more familiar with Adobe Photoshop, you'll find that there are a number of ways to do just about everything. This is true for opening and closing files. My personal workflow includes using Adobe Bridge to browse the files I'd like to work on and then launch the ones I choose into Camera Raw. From there, I edit and move on to Photoshop. That's only for photo editing though. When it comes to working on PSD files that I've saved from a previous session in Photoshop, I open them the traditional way. What I'll discuss below will refer to that traditional way of opening and closing files in Photoshop. This is what you'd do if you don't use Bridge or Camera Raw.

How to Open a File

When you log into Photoshop after launching the application, you'll be presented with a screen that offers to open a file if you drag it and drop it into the large box that appears. This is what that looks like:


This is probably the easiest method for opening a file. As you can see, there's also a "select one" link in blue, which, if clicked on, will open a dialog box that will allow you to browse your files to open. Choose whichever option is best for you.

If you open Photoshop and see a different screen that doesn't have the option of dragging and dropping, go ahead and click the PS logo in the upper left corner to enter the workspace. Then, click the File > Open menu item up top.


By doing this, you'll open the same dialog box as I earlier described. Also, be aware that if you drag and drop a file on the home screen itself, it'll open just as easily that way too. Whichever way you choose, you'll find that your file opens as a new tab right above the workspace. If you open multiple files, multiple tabs will appear. You can switch between documents that you've opened by clicking on these tabs. They look a lot like the tabs you'll see in the Google Chrome or Firefox browsers if you've got multiple browsers open.

How to Close a File

If I've got lots of documents open and I don't need to save any of them and if I'm not planning on working in Photoshop any longer for a while, I'll just X out of Photoshop all together. I'll click the X in the upper right corner of the application to do this and when prompted to save each document, I'll choose No. This will close all documents that are currently open. It'll also close out Photoshop itself.

If I'd like to close just one document, I have a few options. I can click the X in the tab itself and that will prompt me with whether or not I'd like to save the file. Once I either save it or not, the file will close.


To close the file the most traditional way possible, I'll visit the File > Close menu item and click. Again, I'll be prompted with whether or not I'd like to save and after I make that choice, the file will close.


There are many more specific and creative methods for opening and closing documents in Photoshop. If you'd like to know any of them, just ask below. I'd be happy to help.


May 11, 2021
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  • #2

How to Open a File From Bridge into Photoshop​

This is one of those tutorials that has the potential of explaining 20 different ways to go about getting something done. I'll cover one or two down below, but if you've got specific questions about something, please let me know and I'll do my best at answering. As it stands, my methods are the most straightforward that I know of and I've been using them for years.

In today's post, I'd like to teach you how to open an image from Adobe Bridge into Adobe Photoshop. Once you have everything set up, you'll find the motions rather simple.

Installing Adobe Bridge

You may have Photoshop installed on your computer, but unless you specifically installed Bridge, you might not have it available to you. To install it, there are a few different things you can do. First, open the Creative Cloud desktop app, find Bridge, and then click the Install button. The app should takeover from there and put the necessary application on your computer. To accomplish the same thing, you may also open Photoshop and go to the File > Browse in Bridge menu item. Once you click that, the Creative Cloud app will open and you can do what I just shared above. It's that easy.

Exploring Bridge

To locate the file you might want to open in Photoshop, you'll first need to navigate to it. In the upper left corner of Bridge, you should see a panel that's got two tabs in it; Favorites and Folders. If you click the Folders tab, you'll find a list of folders just as they'd be in any native folder on your computer. If you click to select or double-click to enter one, you'll find the files held in that particular folder.


Once you select the destination folder, you'll see the center Content panel in Bridge become populated.


To change the size of the image thumbnails in your folder, you can push the slider at the bottom of the panel to the left or right.

Opening a File into Photoshop

There are two primary methods for opening a file into Photoshop from Bridge. Here they are:

1. Double-click on the thumbnail. Find the thumbnail for the image you'd like to open and simply double-click your left mouse button in it. If your install of Bridge and Photoshop haven't had any settings changes, the file should open directly into Photoshop.

2. Right-click on the thumbnail. Again, find the thumbnail for the image you'd like to open, but this time, right-click on it. When you do that, a menu should appear. Find the Open With > Adobe Photoshop... option and click. I left three dots after Photoshop because what it says after that will depend on which version you've got installed on your computer.

Bonus: Opening a File into Camera Raw

I've got things set so I can't open a file directly into Photoshop from Bridge. Whether it be a RAW or a JPEG file, no matter which of the above methods I choose for opening a file, that file will first pass through Camera Raw before it makes it into Photoshop. From there, I do my editing and then I open the image into Photoshop. I'll get into the necessary settings changes that you'll need to make in another post that's more specific to the topic. For now though, I merely wanted to show you how I move a file from Bridge into Camera Raw. It's really easy.

Again, you'll need to locate the image you'd like to open, but this time, only click on it with one click, just to select it. Then, look up to the menu bar for a small circle. When you hover your mouse pointer over it, you'll see it say Open in Camera Raw. Click that button and you should be good to go.


In later posts, I'll also describe how to move a file from Camera Raw into Photoshop. Again though, if you've got any questions about what I discussed above, please let me know down below. Thanks!


May 10, 2021
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  • #3

The Various Methods of Opening Files in Adobe Photoshop​


Who knew that we had so many ways to open a file in Photoshop? Well, I guess in the days of something called “workflow,” we better get used to doing the same task by using a variety of methods. To be clear though, and as you’ll learn throughout this post, we’re not actually performing the same task. Similar, I’d say, but not the same.

In this post, we’re going to walk down the road of clarification. I’m going to discuss a topic that seems so simple, but if you’re a new user of Bridge, Lightroom, Camera Raw or Photoshop, you may be surprised and, dare I say, relieved at what we’re going to cover. We’re going to get to know a few different types of files, a few processes and which process is the most appropriate for which file type.

The Goal​

Let’s get something out of the way. The goal of what we’re going to talk about today is how to ultimately open a file in Photoshop. No matter how many hoops we have to jump through, we would like to end up performing final edits on, say, a photograph in Photoshop. Once those edits are finished, we’ll output our file. While I’m not going to discuss outputting or exporting in this post, please be aware that Photoshop is at the end of the road.

Opening Files Directly From Photoshop​

If you don’t edit files much and stick to editing JPG files, this may be your best option. After all, if you’re only using Photoshop, say, once a month or something like that, there’s no sense in learning all sorts of software that really won’t benefit you much. With that in mind, take a look at the screenshot below.


In order to open a file directly from Photoshop, you can simply navigate to the top menu and click the “File” selection. Once the file menu is open, you can click “Open” to browse through your folders and files.


Once you’ve got the file you’re interested in opening, you can go ahead and click “Open” at the bottom right of the dialog box.

Now, I’ve been using this method of opening files for years. There’s nothing wrong with it, but I certainly can’t imagine a professional photographer or graphic designer using it. It’s far too cumbersome and it really doesn’t offer any of the perks that assistive programs like Bridge and Lightroom do.

Opening Files From Adobe Bridge into Photoshop​

I recently wrote a post that covered the beginnings of using Adobe Bridge. If you’re interested, you can do a search for that post here on this site. In it, I talk about how you can go about browsing through files and what Bridge is good for. But since this is a different post, I’m going to strictly discuss how we can take advantage of Bridge’s interface to view files and then how we can open those files into Photoshop.

If you’re an avid user of Photoshop and you’d like to begin using Bridge to add some efficiency to your workflow, read on. In order to browse files from Bridge, you’ve got a few different options. The first one, is to open Bridge from Photoshop.


If you navigate to the top menu inside of Photoshop and click “File,” you’ll see a selection called “Browse in Bridge…” If you click that selection, you’ll launch Bridge, which will give you Bridge’s start screen.


In my case, I’d like to edit a up-close flower shot or two. Once I’ve browsed to the images I’m interested in opening, all I need to do is double-click on one of them and it’ll open right inside Photoshop.


Above is the selection of the file with the double-click and below is the newly opened image in Photoshop.


If I wanted to open multiple images from Bridge into Photoshop, all I would do is select whichever ones I was interested in by using the Ctrl or Shift keys and then double-clicking on one of those highlighted files.


If, for some reason, I didn’t want to double-click on an image, I could navigate up to the top menu and click on “File” and roll over the “Open With” selection. From there, I could choose Photoshop.


We have the previous option or the option of right-clicking on one of the selected images and doing the same exact thing.


Whichever way you do it, the file(s) will open in Photoshop.

Moving Between Photoshop & Bridge​

Let’s say you’re doing a lot of work in Photoshop and you’re bouncing back and forth between it and Bridge. All sorts of files are being opened and closed. If this is the case, you can, to get from Photoshop to Bridge, use the “Browse in Bridge…” link I told you about earlier. To quickly get from Bridge, back to Photoshop, without selecting and opening any files, simply click on the small “Boomerang” icon up in the top menu in Bridge.


Now that’s pretty neat.

Opening Raw Files in Photoshop From Bridge​

In the examples I discussed above, I selected and opened JPG files. This was a simple operation and resulted in files being browsed in Bridge and directly opened in Photoshop. The thing is, if you’re working with raw files in Bridge and want to open them in Photoshop, you’re going to have to make a pit-stop in Camera Raw. It’s not a big deal – just one you should be aware of.

Once you select the images in raw format you’d like to work with inside of Bridge, go ahead and double-click them, right-click on one of them or use the File menu up top to move them over. Once you do that, your images will land in Camera Raw. You may edit them there or just click “Open Image” to move them from Camera Raw into Photoshop.

Opening Files From Adobe Lightroom into Photoshop​

Adobe Lightroom has got a lot to it. While I’m not going to discuss the inner workings of the application in this post, if you’re interested in how Lightroom works and what you can accomplish with it, I encourage you to check out the “Lightroom” forum on this website. I’ve got an ever-growing collection of posts that cover this program.

If you’d like to open a file that you’ve already imported into Lightroom, into Photoshop, the process is fairly simply. In the next screenshot, I’ve already got a collection of photos imported, so in order to choose one to edit in Photoshop, I simply click on the image I’m interested in.


If you’ll recall from the above sections in this post, there are two different methods for opening various file types from Bridge in Photoshop. Lightroom is different. In this case, the method is more straightforward for all file types. So, if you’d like to open and edit an image from Lightroom in Photoshop, select the image and then navigate up to the top menu and click on “Photo” and then roll over “Edit In” and after that, click “Photoshop.”


If you’re working with JPG files and you follow the instructions above, you’ll be presented with a dialog box with a few choices. The selection you’d like to make here is the “Edit a Copy With Lightroom Adjustments.” Once you’ve clicked that selection and clicked on “Edit” down below, your image will open in Photoshop with all your Lightroom edits intact.


If you’re working with raw files in Lightroom and follow the instructions above, you won’t be presented with that dialog box. Your file will simply open directly inside of Photoshop with your edits intact as well.

Again, I’ve written posts that discuss the benefits of utilizing Lightroom in your workflow, so if you’re interested in those, please take a look at them.


If you’ve enjoyed today’s post and found it helpful, please share it with a friend. Thanks!


May 9, 2021
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  • #4

Opening Files into Photoshop from Lightroom & Bridge​

I use Adobe Camera Raw about 25 times more than I use Lightroom, so I’m always interested in learning more about how Lightroom operates. As it turns out, these two applications are so similar in many respects. Oftentimes, it’s just the button or control that appears different between the two. When you combine Adobe Bridge with Camera Raw, you almost have yourself a functional version of Lightroom. I really do prefer the separateness of Bridge and Camera Raw though. I get nervous when I get too comfortable with an all-in-one application such as Lightroom. I’m especially nervous about libraries and control of file structure and things like that. I’ve lived through far too many instances of Adobe (or Macromedia from back in the day) changing their minds about one of their programs. Meaning, it would be discontinued (LiveMotion, GoLive, Flash). What about my libraries? What about my structure? Let’s just hope the status quo hangs around for a while.

Anyway, let’s get into this post. I’d like to quickly show you how to open multiple files into Photoshop as layers from both Bridge and Lightroom. I have probably already covered this somewhere, but it’s good to have both sets of instructions in one place. This will be a quick one, so stay tuned.

I’ll start off with Bridge. I’ve got some of my previous flower shots opened up in a folder and I’d like to open three of them into one file in Photoshop, so I can create a three image layout there. Here are the three thumbnails of the flowers that I’ve selected.


To load these three images into Photoshop as layers in one file, all you need to do is head up to the Tools > Photoshop > Load File into Photoshop Layers menu item and click. Done.


Let’s move onto Lightroom. To perform the same exact function as above, all you need to do is, again, select the thumbnails you’re interested in opening into Photoshop (in the Library module) and then click on the Photo > Edit in > Open as Layers in Photoshop menu item. When you do that, you’ll have to wait a few seconds for the applications to do their things and then you’ll find that you’ve got multiple layers in one file. Done again.


I hope you enjoyed this post. Let me know if you have any questions. Thanks!