Camera RAW: Opening Up Your Photoshop Options

How to make sure Photoshop recognizes - and opens - your RAW files!

by Ben Willmore

Figure 1
Figure 1
© Ben Willmore
All Rights Reserved
Shooting in the RAW file format will present you with many Photoshop options that are not available with other file formats. In order to open RAW files in Photoshop, you'll either need Photoshop CS2, or you'll have to own the $99 Camera Raw plug-in that is sold by Adobe (which contains fewer features than the one that comes with Photoshop CS2).

(Note: RAW files can only come directly from a digital camera that offers this format.)

Possible Problems ... and Solutions

  • If you're shooting with one of the latest and greatest digital cameras, but working with the same version of Camera RAW that was installed on the CD it came on, then Photoshop might not be able to recognize and open your photos. Each time a new camera is released, Adobe had to update the Camera RAW plug-in to add support for it. So if you�re having problems opening your RAW files, drop by Adobe's Web site and download the latest version of the Camera RAW plug-in ... it just might solve your problems.

  • If you don't get the full Camera Raw dialog box, then a plug-in from your camera manufacturer might be taking over. To get rid of any camera-specific plug-ins, check the Photoshop Folder>Plug-ins>Adobe Photoshop Only>File Formats folder and look for any plug-in that looks like it belongs to your camera (it might have Nikon in the name for instance). If you find one, either add a "~" at the beginning of the file name or move it out of the plug-ins folder and then restart Photoshop.

Article by Ben Willmore. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at