External Editor Adobe Photoshop Installation Directory

Hi Everyone…
would appreciate some help on solving the following please
When i want to move to Photoshop from RT there is a directory conflict happening to prevent the Photoshop connection actually working.
However when I switch down to Custom command line and use the following command… open -a “Adobe Photoshop 2021” Photoshop opens immediately. Yes thats a workaround but I would like to keep the Command Line to backup the file and PP3 in the raw image folder itself … I could copy and paste all the time to switch the directory with the command function but the idea of the menu in External Editor is about choice of using one of the three options without having to copy and paste to do just that. I have read previous threads on issues in this area (including Full Disk Access/sh etc) and the fact that the Command Line opens Photoshop would seem to eliminate permission problems in Photoshop itself. I am enclosing some snapshots outlining the MacOS Catalina directory tree and would appreciate your advice on this one…
BTW …Raw Therapee is an awesome application and I am making fresh discoveries all the time


I’m not at all sure what you mean by this.

The placement of the pp3 is the same as where the RAW is. If you convert RAW to jpg/tiff/png you have the option in the queue to a) also store processing info (the pp3) and, if so: b) the possibility to select an output location (template or folder).

If you are talking about *ctrl-e / external editor launcher to use Photoshop (or GIMP or any other external editor) and having the tiff in the same directory as the RAW instead of it being put in a temporary directory: This option is already implemented in the development version.

If I look at your first screenshot I notice that you are using the official stable 5.8 version, which does not have this option. You can download a all but 100% stable development version for your Mac from right here: OSX.

Not sure of this will help you with your issue, but it might.

Thanks for such a thoughtful response…
The 5.9 DEV cleverly allows a better choice of storing raw, pp3 and tiffs in the same folder when using the Queue or the External Editor.
In RT 5.8, I am simply unable to connect to Photoshop with the Adobe Photoshop installation directory option …doesn’t work.
I can connect to Photoshop when using the command option …open -a “Adobe Photoshop 2021”
I am puzzled as to why the Directory option fails and the Command line works. Furthermore, the Temporary file (under 5.8) is (it seems to me) a risky place to “save” RT output with the External Editor. It might be better not to imply that a file is "saved " when the file is not saved. I have in fact not been able to locate any RT output files in Catalina"s temporary folder.
All in all, maybe it is time to move on to 5.9 Dev. Can I hold on to 5.8 while “finding my feet” with 5.9 ?
Again Thank You for showing me the better options in RT 5.9…appreciated

That is something I cannot help you with (Not on a Mac and I’ve never used PS). I’m not even sure if this is RT related or not. As such I’m not going to hazard a guess to if this works in the 5.9 Development version.

Moving to 5.9 Development version is the right thing to do. I would go as far as to say that 5.8 should not be used any longer.

  • It is close to 2 years old and doesn’t support many of the new(er) camera’s (5.9 is updated very regularly),
  • over time many bugs that are in 5.8 have been fixed,
  • new features have been implemented,
  • a complete new tab (Local Adjustments) has been added,
  • etc.

Once you start using the new and/or improved things you will, basically, not be able to go back. You can go back, but those parts that are new will not be used and are discarded and permanently lost.

You can, of course, download 5.9, leave your current images alone and point RT at a test directory to give it a go. Do make sure you make a backup of the content of your RawTherapee configuration directory (~/.config/rawtherapee on linux, it holds, among others, the options file).

Like I stated in my previous reply: It is all but 100% stable. Have been using it, like many others, without any issues.

I’m surprised there is an option to select the Photoshop directory. I’m 99% sure the Photoshop option is hard-coded to use open -a Photoshop. RawPedia even says so. This will need to be fixed for 5.9. In a future release, you will have the option to add an unlimited number of external editors and switch between them without going into preferences.

The decision to place the intermediate images in a temporary directory is intentional. The only reason why they are saved is because files are the most convenient and universal way to send images to other programs. If there was an equally good way that does not require saving the images to files, I’m sure that option would have been chosen instead.

There is that option unfortunately! As you can see from the enclosed snapshot the middle button tells us that this line is exclusively reserved fo Photoshop use.I am 99% certain that Photoshop itself is not the culprit here simply because (and as you have already stated), Photoshop will open with the hard coded Custom bottom command line option “open a -Photoshop.”
Screenshot 2021-11-22 at 08.02.18
MacOS Catalina also places the Applications folder(including Photoshop) on top of the directory tree and separately from the Users directories and so it should be effortless for RT to find that Adobe Photoshop 2021.app but I know that it simply can’t. There you go !

I can see the wisdom of using a temporary folder so as to transfer files between applications. It might be helpful to switch from using the actual word “save” to something like “place” with a tiny caution that temporary folders empty on closedown and so be careful as you havent really saved anything…just a suggestion
And thanks for taking the trouble to “fill me in”…appreciated

Just to clarify, you mentioned in the original post that
open -a "Adobe Photoshop 2021"
works. Does
open -a Photoshop
work too? If not, that explains why RawTherapee cannot open Photoshop. The directory chooser is a bug. It should only be visible on Windows. For MacOS, RawTherapee always uses open -a Photoshop if you have the Photoshop option selected.

I agree, but where are you seeing the word “save”?

I opened an issue on GitHub https://github.com/Beep6581/RawTherapee/issues/6385

open -a"Adobe Photoshop 2021" works? Yes…
open -a Photoshop work too?

Sorry…i didn’t mean save literally as being an option currently available in RT …what I am suggesting is that the word “save” be taken out of RT and replaced with a more cautious wording which basically states that the file is still not permanently “saved” but just moved out of RT without a permanent “save” attached to it…

I took your advice…loaded the keybase application but i could not determine which of the builds was the most stable. I use Catalina 10.15.7 and if you see a build for Catalina I’d appreciate your help in getting to it.THANKS

Can you show me where the wording should be changed? I don’t remember seeing anything that implies the “send to external editor” images are saved. At least, not in the US English version (the default) of RawTherapee and RawPedia.

As stated before I’m not an Apple user, but If I look at what you mention and what’s been offered at the OSX link I posted before I think this one would be the best choice: macOS 10.14 x86_64 5.8 3046

That zip contains:

  • INSTALL.readme.rtf
  • RawTherapee_macOS_10.14_x86_64_5.8-3046-g5268b94cf.dmg
  • rawtherapee-cli

This thread (especially this user) talks about using it with success on his MacOS 11 (Big Sur) machine. Guessing that MacOS 10.15 (Catalina) should work as well, this being a build for 10.14.


As you can see Rawpedia informs us that a SAVING operation occurs through an independent external folder of a temporary nature…described in the following snapshot:


You will notice that MacOS is possibly going to store this temporary file in something like $TMPDIR or possibly /tmp.
The next snapshot shows the actual path used by MacOS Catalina to store the temporary RT file and there are 6 subdirectories to navigate to get to the RT image:


Rawpedia advises us to watch the temporary folder for cleaning up as it could have as many as 20000 images stored in that folder and its up to myself(user) to manage that folder. I experimented by restarting my Mac and immediately saw that the stored image of 2 minutes earlier was deleted by Mac. I suppose that the point is Rawpedia does’nt ever touch that temporary folder …however MacOS deletes immediately on shutdown!
The option of using the command line to save the RT image in the raw image folder is the only reliable way to go as I can then go on to open Photoshop as a separate operation (SSDHD drive opens Photoshop instantly).Photoshop will then return the image back to the raw folder and in that folder we have the complete record of work done by both applications.
In summary;

  • I would sincerely suggest closing down the option to go directly from RT to Photoshop

  • The Command line is the smartest safest way to process, record and interchange images between applications

much appreciated!

Let’s be damned and take the plunge…

Thanks @Keentolearn. I’ve added your observations to the issue tracker (https://github.com/Beep6581/RawTherapee/issues/5474#issuecomment-980790845). I hope you find the output directory feature mentioned by Jacques to be useful for preserving the intermediate image files. As for the Photoshop launching issue, your best bet is to wait until the multiple external editors feature is tested and added to RawTherapee.

You certainly have been very helpful!. I am now trying to activate the 5.9 Dev which is a bit tricky just at the moment. It will not open for me but it will!!!
You went to great lengths to outline the options in the queue menu and these options just about cover all the options that are necessary for a tidy work flow. As i mentioned later in this thread MacOS has every intention that the RT /TMP file can only be discovered by a very determined user. MacOS reserves the no 1 tmp file Directory for its own operating systems and gives no status rating whatsoever to the RT temp file. To make matters worse Photoshop then files the RT work (together with its completed add- ons) straight back into the 7 layer directory MacOS (temp) named the T folder… and all is lost when we close our computer down!
From my perspective, going the T route to Photoshop should have a health warning attached to it …but thats just my perspective.
Therefore using the Queue system makes so much more sense that the apparent convenience of going directly from RT to Photoshop without sound file management in between.
the 5.9 Dev is the obvious way forward…it will allow quick access to Photoshop as well as sound file management along the way…thanks for the encouragement to try the Dev build.

As stated before I’m not an Apple user, but If I look at what you mention and what’s been offered at the OSX link I posted before I think this one would be the best choice: macOS 10.14 x86_64 5.8 3046

Just to let you know…to access this file I had to install an encryption application named Keybase.Not a big deal really.
The 10.14 MacOS series that Richard has is for Mojave and as far as I am aware the Catalina series won’t work directly on 10.14 software.
Richard has now gone on to Big Sur which as you know is the 11.00 MacOs Series…ie Big Sur…I am reticent to move up at the moment to Big Sur as Mac ignored the many extension products that we use when designing Catalina and the result was a time wasting period in getting back to normal.
Looks like I’m stuck in the middle unless i move on up to Big Sur!
Seems to me that the Rt 5.9 Dev(unfortunately) has limited use for myself for the moment and I will simply have to wait until the full 5.9 is released and which presumably will be operable on a few of the MacOS Series.
I also have observed over the last year that very few of the more expert users of RT use Macs on an everyday basis. Consequently the amount of information and advice available for Mac problem solving has realistically to suffer.
Andy Astbury ( youtube) is a pioneer in terms of exposing the full magic of Raw Therapee to the photographer market and is like myself passionate on exploring the awesome power of Raw Therapee when combined with Photoshop.
In summary, the biggest asset that RT has is the vast number of contributors who go to such trouble to help people like me and in the end it will all come together to be an unbeatable product usable in combination with other apps should one wish to do so.
Again thanks to you both

Good news!!
I’m into 5.9 dev and its going to be super with the new vectorscope/waveform additions etc.
Your link to Richard’s site did the trick for which I offer you my gratitude (and Lawrence too)… well done…RT is about people helping people… :grin: