How Can I Move Photos From Aperture to Photoshop?

Written by gwen ragno
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How Can I Move Photos From Aperture to Photoshop?
The program Aperture gets its name from the mechanism on a camera that controls how much light can get in. (aperture image by Aleksandr Ugorenkov from

Aperture is a program designed primarily for organising and managing your photos. It has some editing features, but they are not nearly as extensive as those available in Photoshop. Most professional photographers use both programs in their work-flows.

If you only need to edit a few of your photos in Photoshop, you can use Aperture to save them in a compatible format. If you are always going to use Photoshop to edit your photos, you can set it as your "external editor" in Aperture, which allows you to open images in Photoshop with a single click.

Skill level:


    Moving a Single Photo

  1. 1

    Open Aperture and select the photo(s) you want to move.

  2. 2

    Go to the File menu and choose Export, then Versions.

    This will ensure that the changes you make in Photoshop do not alter the original, or master, image in Aperture.

  3. 3

    Choose a folder on your computer in which to save the file. Remember this location so you can find the file in Photoshop later.

  4. 4

    Select the file format you want, using the Export Preset drop-down menu.

    Photoshop can work with any of the preset formats--PSD, JPEG, TIFF or PNG--so select one based on the quality and file size you need. If you're not sure, use JPEG.

  5. 5

    Choose a subfolder to save the image(s) in if you want, or choose None if you don't.

  6. 6

    Select a format for the name of your file, or choose Custom Name and type your own.

    Formats include a name, date and image number in various combinations, and you usually use them when saving a batch of photos rather than a single one.

  7. 7

    Click Export Versions.

  8. 8

    Open Photoshop, go to the File menu and choose Open. Navigate to the folder where you saved your image in Step 3, select the image and click Open.

    Set Photoshop As External Editor

  1. 1

    Open Aperture, go to the Aperture menu (to the left of File in the top navigation) and choose Preferences. Click on the Export tab.

  2. 2

    Find the External Photo Editor field and click the Choose button. Select Photoshop in the Select Application box.

  3. 3

    Choose the file format that you want Aperture to send the images to Photoshop in. If you're not sure, choose PSD (Photoshop Document).

  4. 4

    Enter a resolution in the dpi (dots per inch) field.

    A higher resolution results in a higher-quality photo, but also increases the file size. For images that are meant to be viewed on a screen, use 72 dpi. For images that are going to be printed, use 300 dpi.

  5. 5

    Select the photo(s) in the browser that you want to send to Photoshop. Go to the Photos menu and select Edit With. Photoshop should now show up as an option under Edit With. Select it, and the image(s) will automatically open in Photoshop in the file format and resolution that you chose.

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