Using an External Editor

Output / Process images / TIF / JPEG

Complementary editing with third-party software, such as Adobe Photoshop, is available using either the Edit With… or Open With… commands.

Using an External Editor

When you need to make highly-specific image modifications, such as advanced retouching, stitching or stacking, you can select an external editor or a standalone plug-in for Capture One to use. The external editor must be selected first to allow Capture One to copy and convert RAW files and apply any adjustments that you’ve made, using the Edit With… command. Modified images are imported back into Capture One alongside the original image where additional adjustments can be made if necessary.

Although similar to the Edit With… command, the Open With… option in Capture One allows you to open previously processed files (PSD, TIFF or JPEGs) with an external editor. You can also use it to open movie files in a relevant application. This is especially convenient if you have imported a mix of stills and movie clips from a video-enabled DSLR. The Open With… option can also be used to send RAW files to an external editor. Note however, this option is intended primarily to allow additional image modifications to previously processed files. Sending the original RAW source files to an external editor bypasses the file-copying, and subsequent RAW conversion and processing in Capture One. Therefore, please ensure the external application fully supports the camera’s RAW files, as attempted editing may result in file corruption.

Making image adjustments with an external editor

With the Edit With... command, you can export images to an external image editor of your choice and are then automatically imported back into Capture One as a new variant. This "round-trip" capability allows you to seamlessly integrate your workflow with editors such as Photoshop or Helicon Focus, for example.

Images are processed by Capture One first, therefore this option is intended primarily for RAW-based variants which can be exchanged as either 8-bit or 16-bit PSD or TIFF files, or 8-bit JPEGs. Typically, 16-bit ProPhotoRGB is recommended for preserving color detail (including mono conversions) using either the PSD or TIFF file format, though bear in mind TIFF is more efficient when updating metadata and is compatible with a wide range of applications.

Note PSD files can contain adjustments, layers, text or smart objects and should be saved with Maximize Compatibility enabled, however layers (including text) will be flattened if reprocessed from Capture One using the Edit With… command. TIFF files saved with alpha channel or layers are also supported in Capture One but will be similarly flattened when reprocessing. It is recommended, therefore, to use the Open With... command when additional adjustments are required using an external editor.

  1. Select the image variant from the browser to be edited in Photoshop, or other third-party program.
  2. Choose File > Edit with… from the main menu (or right click from the browser and select Edit With…)
  3. From the Basic tab of the Edit Recipe dialog that appears beneath the main Toolbar, select the image Format to be exchanged.
  4. When selecting the PSD or TIFF file format, choose the appropriate bit depth and optional compression schemes. Note, the JPEG file option is offered for specific solutions, such as quick-proofing, and is not recommended for intensive image editing.
  5. A No Thumbnail option is set by default, as some third-party programs may inadvertently adopt the thumbnail for editing.
  6. Select a working color space from the ICC Profile fly-out menu. A color space with a wide gamut should be adopted where possible, such as ProPhotoRGB.
  7. Resolution and Scale options should be left to the default settings, unless the image is to be resized.
  8. Choose the external image editing program from the Open With… drop down menu. When the appropriate application isn’t shown in the list of editing programs available on your Mac or Windows computer, select Other… and navigate to your chosen editor.
  9. From the Adjustments tab, select Disable Sharpening and Ignore Crop options as desired.
  10. Click on the Edit Variant button to begin the exchange. If not already running, Capture One automatically opens the external editor and converts the image file using the chosen image options applied (above). Note, once configured, Capture One will remember the settings for further exchanges.
  11. Make your adjustments in the external editor, and select save.
  12. The new image is automatically stored in the same location as the original source file, and a thumbnail will be displayed in the Capture One browser while the image is open in the external editor.
  13. Take care not to make edits (particularly local adjustments) to the variant in Capture One before the image is saved in the external editor, as the result is unpredictable. Once saved, adjustments made to the image using the external editor are updated and displayed in Capture One.
  14. If you need to make further adjustments later using the external editor, choose the Open With... command, see below.

When you need to make specific image modifications you can set an external editor, or plug-ins that are available as standalone applications, for Capture One to use.

Opening images in an external editor

The Open With… command allows previously processed images (i.e., PSD, TIFF or JPEG files) to be opened in an external application. This is useful, for example, when you want to return to an application and make additional adjustments to previously exchanged files. Note if you select a RAW-based variant, the external application will attempt to directly open the image, which may not be capable of converting a RAW file. When you want to exchange RAW files and apply any adjustments in Capture One, select the Edit With... command instead (see above for details).

  1. Select the image from the Capture One browser to be opened in the external application.
  2. Choose File > Open With… from the main menu (or right click from the browser and select Open With… ).
  3. Choose the external application from the drop-down menu. If the appropriate app isn’t shown in the list of programs available on your Mac/Windows computer, select Other… and navigate to your chosen application and select Open.
  4. The image will open in the nominated application.
  5. Make the appropriate changes or edits. If the image is a previously processed file and the Save command is available, the image is updated with the adjustments in the Capture One browser, otherwise a Save As dialog will open.
  6. Choose the location to save the image to. When using a Session you can select one of the Session Folders as the location to save the image to and the image will be displayed in the browser. In a Catalog, the image will have to be re-imported, or synchronized if you selected the same location as the source image.

The Open With… command allows previously processed images (i.e., PSD, TIFF or JPEG files) to be opened in an external editor.