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The Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements – Overview

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A picture of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements 2022 showing the locations of its tools and buttons.

Overview of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:

            After opening a camera raw file for processing in the Photo Editor, it opens within the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements. The Camera Raw dialog box contains the tools and settings used to import and process the camera raw data. The layout of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements changes for Photoshop Elements 2022. This lesson shows you the tool and button locations in the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements 2022.

Buttons at the Top of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:

            At the top of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements is the Title Bar, which shows the version of Camera Raw installed. Below that is a bar that shows the camera raw file name and camera used to take the photo. At the right end of this bar are the “Convert and save image,” “Open preferences dialog,” and “Toggle full screen mode” buttons.

            You can click the “Convert and save image” button to open the “Save Options” dialog box, which you can use to save a copy of the camera raw image as a DNG file with the settings you specify. This will be discussed in a separate lesson. However, note that you can hold down the “Alt” key on your keyboard and then click the “Convert and save image” button to save and convert a copy of the image but bypass the “Save Options” dialog box, if desired.

            Clicking the “Open preferences dialog” button opens the “Camera Raw Preferences” dialog box, which is also discussed in a separate lesson. You can click the “Cancel” button in this dialog box to close it, if needed. Finally, clicking the “Toggle full screen mode” button toggles the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements between a full screen and smaller version of the dialog box.

Tools at the Right Side of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:

            At the far-right side of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements is the toolbar of the Camera Raw dialog box. The toolbar contains buttons that let you edit and correct the image while processing it. The buttons are, from top to bottom: “Edit,” “Crop & Rotate,” “Red Eye Removal,” “More image settings,” and, at the bottom, the “Zoom Tool” and the “Hand Tool” buttons. At the right side of the dialog box are tabbed panels for the “Edit,” “Crop & Rotate,” or “Red Eye Removal” tool, depending on which tool is selected in the toolbar.

            In the upper-right corner of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements is the current image’s histogram, showing the tonal range of the image at its current settings. As you make editing adjustments in the tabs in the Edit Panel when using the “Edit” settings, the data in the histogram automatically updates.

            In the upper-left and upper-right corners of the histogram are two buttons you can click to toggle clipping warnings on and off in the preview image to the left. When enabled, clipping warnings appear as shaded red or blue areas in the preview image. These areas indicate where clipping of the highlights or shadows in the image will occur, according to the current settings. The left button is the “Shadow clipping warning” and the right button is the “Highlight clipping warning.”

            Above and below the histogram is the RGB and image information. You can move your pointer over the preview image to see the corresponding RGB information at the top of the histogram for whichever point in the image preview over which your pointer hovers. Below the histogram is the basic image information.

A picture of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements 2022 showing the locations of its tools and buttons.

A picture of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements 2022 showing the locations of its tools and buttons.

            When the “Edit” tool is selected in the toolbar of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements, then three collapsible and expandable tabs appear at the right side of the dialog box in an Edit Panel. You can click these tabs to show or hide the tab’s associated settings and sliders. The tabs, from top to bottom, are named the “Basic,” “Detail,” and “Calibration” tabs.

Buttons in the Lower-Left Corner of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:

            Below the preview image at the left side of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements, in the lower-left corner, is the “Fit in view” button, the “Zoom to specified level” button, and the “Select zoom level” drop-down. To fit the image in the preview window, click the “Fit in view” button. Alternatively, to fit the preview image in the window, double-click the “Zoom tool” button in the toolbar at the right side of the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements.

            To set the magnification level to use when you click the preview image with the Zoom Tool, select a choice from the “Select zoom level” drop-down. Alternatively, to set the magnification by clicking and dragging when the Zoom Tool is selected, hold down the “Ctrl” key on your keyboard and then click and drag over the area in the preview image to magnify.

            The Zoom Tool is the default tool in the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements when the “Edit” button is selected in the toolbar. To zoom when it is selected, hold your pointer over the preview image and click to zoom in to the area at which you click. To zoom out to fit the image in the preview area again, click again. To zoom in or out when the Zoom Tool is not selected, directly click the “Fit in view” or “Zoom to specified level” button.

Buttons Below the Preview Image in the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:

            Directly below the preview image in the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements is a 5-star scale. You can click or click and drag in this scale to set a star rating for the current photo. To toggle the photo as being marked for deletion, click the “Toggle mark for deletion” button to the right of the stars, which looks like a trash can icon.

            Further to the right in this same bar is the “Cycles between Before/After views” button. You can click this button to cycle the preview of the camera raw image between the five “Before/After” views to choose the way changes you make to the camera raw file appear in the preview area. Alternatively, click and hold down the button to show a pop-up menu of these view choices, instead. Then click the name of the “Before/After” view to apply in the menu that appears.

            If you select one of the “Before/After” views and then change the image, you can then click the adjacent “Swap Before/After settings” button to swap the settings between the two photo versions or click the “Copy current settings to Before” button to copy the changes to the “Before” image. You can click the “Toggle to default/current settings” button to toggle between applying the current or default settings to the “After” version of the photo.

Buttons at the Bottom of the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:

            To open a web page about using the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements, click the “Help” button at the left end of the bar at the bottom of the dialog box. To the right of that, you can use the “Bit Depth Settings” drop-down to choose the desired bit depth to use for the camera raw image file.

            To apply any process settings changes to the selected camera raw image and close this dialog box without opening the image in the Photo Editor, click the “Done” button in the lower-right corner. Alternatively, to cancel your changes and close this dialog box, click the “Cancel” button. Alternatively, to reset this dialog box, if needed, hold down the “Alt” key on your keyboard and then click the “Reset” button that replaces the “Cancel” button.

            To both apply your changes by updating the image’s metadata and open the image in the Photo Editor, click the “Open” button. Alternatively, to open the selected image in the Photo Editor without updating the image’s metadata, hold down the “Alt” key on your keyboard and then click the “Open Copy” button that replaces the “Open” button.

Video Lesson on the Camera Raw Dialog Box in Photoshop Elements:

            The following video lesson, titled “The Camera Raw Dialog Box in the Editor,” shows an overview of the tool and button locations within the Camera Raw dialog box in Photoshop Elements. This video lesson is from our complete Photoshop Elements tutorial, titled “Mastering Photoshop Elements Made Easy v.2022.”

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