4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2010 11:14 PM by Terence Devlin
virginiagp Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm wanting to use pictures from my iPhoto library in other programs-- i.e. Photoshop Elements or to upload to a website. When working from Photoshop Elements, when I go to File>Open>Pictures>iPhotoLibrary I get an error message. The only way I seem to be able to USE any of my photos stored in iPhoto is if I copy them to my "pictures" folder in the Finder and then use them. Of course, this means I am using double the space on my hard drive. There must be an easier way. What am I doing wrong?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • LarryHN Level 9 Level 9 (66,910 points)
    1 - generally you really do not want to open photos with PSE - it is best to use PSE as the external editor for iPhoto

    2 - if you use photos from the iPhoto library in other programs NEVER save them back into the iPhoto library - you must never, never modify the contents or structure of the iPhoto library - there are no user serviceable parts in it

    3 - the most general way to open or attach photos from the iPhoto library is to look in the lower left hand corner of the open/attach window under media ==> photos ==> iPhoto

    4 - click here for a general discussion on accessing your iPhoto library correctly.

  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (133,820 points)
    You can set Photoshop (or any image editor) as an external editor in iPhoto. (Preferences -> General -> Edit Photo: Choose from the Drop Down Menu.) This way, when you double click a pic to edit in iPhoto it will open automatically in Photoshop or your Image Editor, and when you save it it's sent back to iPhoto automatically. This is the only way that edits made in another application will be displayed in iPhoto.

    Note that iPhoto sends a copy+ of the file to Photoshop, so when you save be sure to use the Save command, not Save As... If you use Save As then you're creating a new file and iPhoto has no way of knowing about this new file. iPhoto is preserving your original anyway.


  • okonkolo Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    So if I use Photoshop as an external editor, the Save function is only saving a copy? Does the copy go back into the original event this way? I've just switched from Windows and this part of the library is really ticking me off. In Windows if one chooses save when editing in Photoshop, the original is overwritten, so I have been choosing Save As since my recent switch, which you are saying that iPhoto won't see. It seems that when I thought i was saving files to the original location (by folder and date, which given my Windows background made sense), it was making two folders with the same date now, one for originals and one for modified images. If i edit them in Photoshop and then choose save will this send the new (modified) photo to iPhoto without sending the modified image to a new folder (which i can't seem to access in Finder browse mode or from iPhoto. Thanks.
  • Terence Devlin Level 10 Level 10 (133,820 points)
    So if I use Photoshop as an external editor, the Save function is only saving a copy? Does the copy go back into the original event this way?

    When you set Photoshop (or an Image Editor) as an external and then go to edit the pic here's what happens:

    1. iPhoto makes a copy of the file and sends the copy to Photoshop
    2. Make your edits
    3. Save.
    4. The Edited version is returned to iPhoto and saved in the Modified Folder.
    5. A new thumbnail is made and replaces the thumbnail in the iPhoto Window

    Thereafter if you want to get to the Original you have several options:

    a: Photos -> Revert to Original - this destroys the modified version
    b: Export using the File -> Export command, set the *Kind: Original*
    c. Any other form of export yields the edited version.

    In Windows if one chooses save when editing in Photoshop, the original is overwritten,

    This is true in Photoshop on the Mac too, the difference is you're using iPhoto, and it's +iPhoto making the copy+. Hence the 'Save As' to preserve your original is unnecessary.

    which i can't seem to access in Finder browse mode or from iPhoto

    There are many, many ways to access your files in iPhoto:

    *For Users of 10.5 and later*

    You can use any Open / Attach / Browse dialogue. On the left there's a Media heading, your pics can be accessed there. Command-Click for selecting multiple pics.

    Open dialogue
    Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

    (Note the above illustration is not a Finder Window. It's the dialogue you get when you go File -> Open)

    You can access the Library from the New Message Window in Mail:

    New Message Window
    Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

    *For users of 10.4 and later* ...

    Many internet sites such as Flickr and SmugMug have plug-ins for accessing the iPhoto Library. If the site you want to use doesn’t then some, one or any of these will also work:

    To upload to a site that does not have an iPhoto Export Plug-in the recommended way is to Select the Pic in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Export and export the pic to the desktop, then upload from there. After the upload you can trash the pic on the desktop. It's only a copy and your original is safe in iPhoto.

    This is also true for emailing with Web-based services. However, if you're using Gmail you can use iPhoto2GMail

    If you use Apple's Mail, Entourage, AOL or Eudora you can email from within iPhoto.

    If you use a Cocoa-based Browser such as Safari, you can drag the pics from the iPhoto Window to the Attach window in the browser.

    *If you want to access the files with iPhoto not running*:

    For users of 10.6 and later:
    You can download a free Services component from MacOSXAutomation which will give you access to the iPhoto Library from your Services Menu. Using the Services Preference Pane you can even create a keyboard shortcut for it.

    For Users of 10.4 and later:
    Create a Media Browser using Automator (takes about 10 seconds) or use this free utility Karelia iMedia Browser

    Other options include:

    1. *Drag and Drop*: Drag a photo from the iPhoto Window to the desktop, there iPhoto will make a full-sized copy of the pic.

    2. *File -> Export*: Select the files in the iPhoto Window and go File -> Export. The dialogue will give you various options, including altering the format, naming the files and changing the size. Again, producing a copy.

    3. *Show File*: Right- (or Control-) Click on a pic and in the resulting dialogue choose 'Show File'. A Finder window will pop open with the file already selected.