Photo Mechanic integrates with other photo editing programs, such as Adobe Photoshop® and Lightroom®.  If you are working with JPEGs or the DNG format, any changes made and saved will be reflected in the thumbnail in the Contact Sheet display. If you are working with other Raw formats, then the editing software will need to update the embedded JPEG preview in order for the changes to be visible in Photo Mechanic. (As an example, if you make changes made to Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw, you will not see updated thumbnails in Photo Mechanic. If you are working with DNG's in Camera Raw, you can go into Adobe's Camera Raw preferences and make sure that "Update embedded JPEG previews" is turned on.)

One possible way to work with Raw files in an external editor is to save a JPEG with the same base name in the same folder as your Raw. Photo Mechanic works well with RAW+JPEG pairings so this is a good way to see your changes in Photo Mechanic when working with Raw files.

Before using this function you need to define your external editor in Preferences> Launching.


There are several ways to open an image into an external editor:

  • Select an image or group of images and choose Image>Edit Photos from the main menu. The external editor with be launched if it is not already active and the selected images will be opened.
  • Use the macOS keyboard shortcut: ⌘E.
  • Right-click on the selected image(s) and choose Edit Selected photos. (You will also see an option Edit Photo which just opens the one image that you right-clicked on even if there are multiple images selected. It is easy to mistake these two options and wonder why only one image opened.)
  • You can also drag and drop images and image selections directly from Photo Mechanic into an open Image Editor, even if it is not the one defined in Preferences as the default editor.
  • Use a right-click. In the right-click context menu you will see Edit Photo with and Edit Selected Photos with. Highlighting these options will show a submenu menu with all the different image editors you have assigned in Preferences>Launching: Set. 

If sending multiple images to an external editor does not open them all in the external editor, you can try dragging those images from Photo Mechanic to the editor. This works better on some systems.