AccuRaw and AccuRaw Monochrome can be used as an external editor for Adobe applications such as Lightroom, Apple's Aperture, and other apps that support "external editor" functionality. When you choose to edit an image from one of those apps using AccuRaw as an external editor, the app will render a TIFF or JPEG from the raw file and send it to AccuRaw. AccuRaw will then search for the corresponding raw file, open the RAW file, and then overwrite the JPEG/TIFF from the calling program with AccuRaw's rendition of the raw image. Depending on the app, the Accuraw rendition will appear in Lightroom/Aperture/etc as an "alternate master", "version" or similar.

External editor setup

To use AccuRaw as an external editor for Lightroom, Aperture, etc, follow these steps:

  1. In AccuRaw, go to Preferences, and select the "App Integration" tab. Then set the location of your raw files. AccuRaw will search subdirectories of this location, but will not be able to search outside of the directory you set. NOTE: if the raw file location is not set, AccuRaw will not be able find the raw file corresponding to the file sent to it by Lightroom/Aperture/etc. If you have multiple versions of AccuRaw installed, you must do this for each version of AccuRaw individually. 
  2. In Lightroom or Aperture, go to the Preferences dialog and activate the "External Editing" preferences tab. 
  3. Select the version of AccuRaw that you have installed as the external editor. If you have multiple versions installed - e.g., both AccuRaw and AccuRaw Monochrome, or beta versions, you must set each version separately. 
  4. Select an intermediate file format. AccuRaw supports both TIFF and JPEG, but we strongly recommend 16-bit TIFF using ProPhoto for the color space. Using JPEG or sRGB may result in banding or colors at the extremes of your camera's color gamut being desaturated.
  5. Set a file naming scheme. AccuRaw supports the default naming schemes of both Lightroom and Aperture. However, if you have a different application, or chose to change the default setting, make sure that the naming scheme follows one of the patterns below. If it does not, AccuRaw will not be able to locate the original raw file corresponding to the file passed to it.
  6. Open the file you want to process within Lightroom, Aperture, etc, and open it for external editing in whatever version of AccuRaw you have installed. Make adjustments in AccuRaw as usual.
  7. When you've done with adjustments in AccuRaw, transfer the image back to the original app with the "Update Edited Image" button, under the "App Integration" section of the adjustments pane. Some applications - e.g., Aperture, may require you to quit AccuRaw before the new image shows in the original application. NOTE: it may take several seconds for the new image to show.

Intermediate JPEG/TIFF name format

For the intermediate JPEG or TIFF, you must configure Lightroom/Aperture/etc to use one of the following naming schemes so that AccuRaw can locate the RAW file:

  • <FileName> where <FileName> is the RAW file name, e.g., "DSC_0049.TIF"
  • <FileName>-Edit-<Digits> where <Digits> is a sequence of digits, e.g., "DSC_0049-Edit-1.TIF"
  • <FileName>-<Digits> e.g., "DSC_0049-1.TIF".
  • <FileName>_v<Digits> e.g., "DSC_0049_v1.TIF"
  • <FileName> <Digits> e.g., "DSC_0049 1.TIF"
  • <FileName>-<suffix> where suffix can be anything but FileName cannot contain any hyphens.