Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've been shooting RAW+JPEG and I'm importing them together into Lightroom (i.e. the JPEG becomes a side-car of the RAW file).

trouble is, I can't seem to find a way to review the out-of-camera JPEG (as opposed to Lightroom's rendition of the RAW file). How can I switch view between different side-cars of the same image in Lightroom?

For what is worth, I need a way to view different side cars (e.g. the JPEG that accompanies the RAW image), not decoupling them. For one, having them linked makes the first review and deletion of unwanted files a lot easier as I do not have to delete twice.

share|improve this question
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Ok, after some research my conclusion is:

  • you can't see side-car files in Lightroom

and also that

  • Lightroom does not really support a RAW+JPEG workflow

By RAW+JPEG workflow I meant being able to:

  1. (at the user's discretion) Review both files together, while being able to tag both files at once (say, mark both files as Rejected with a single command).

  2. (at the user's discretion) review either file on its own and tag only one of them.

After browsing a lot of pages with non-sensical advice, my conclusion is that most people talking about using Lightroom for RAW+JPEG management never really tried to practice any of their advice.

For instance Laura Shoe on RAW+JPEG, her (mis)advice is to either manage both files separately or use auto-stacking. The trouble with Lightroom's auto-stacking is it does not allow you to tag all files in the stack with a single command. So you can't just go through a stack of 1 RAW + 1 JPEG and just hit X to mark both as excluded.

There is a user feedback thread at asking for this feature.

In the mean time, people that need/want this are using Breezebrowser or Photomechanic to do this. Here is a user review of using Photomechanic for RAW+JPEG.

share|improve this answer
FWIW, I've been trying a demo version of PhotoMechanic, and it indeed does the trick. – Francisco Jun 5 '13 at 7:57

Edit: Actually it is fairly simple, but you have to thing about this before importing photos:


More here:

If it comes to explicitly showing sidecar files in order to speed up selection, there is no such functionality. However there is a post on the subject on Adobe feedback website:

share|improve this answer
that seems silly. will it at least stack them? – Michael Nielsen May 31 '13 at 10:26
Sorry. It is not that simple. Your answer amounts to "to see side-car JPEG files make them not a side car file.". I want my RAW+JPEG files linked together. It makes reviewing and discarding unwanted photos much easier. – Francisco May 31 '13 at 10:33
Well, then there is no such functionality in LR. However there are people complaining about lack of it:… you can support and hope :) – Rafal Ziolkowski May 31 '13 at 11:07
I think the correct answer is that I had misunderstood what a side-car is supposed to be. The support for what I want in Lightroom is (for all I can tell) obtained by: (i) treating JPEG's as separate files on import; (ii) Use autostack by capture time setting the time interval to zero. I haven't tested it but it seems like it will do it. – Francisco May 31 '13 at 17:17
Yes this might do the trick. Well LR simple doesn't take advantages of sidecar files as well as internal RAW previews - we can't fight that :) – Rafal Ziolkowski May 31 '13 at 18:04

Thanks Rafal, Checking the box for Treat JPEG as separate does the trick.

There's one more thing/step (and I wish Adobe would make this an Automatic thing), and that is to Stack the JPEGs & RAWs. Select All > Photo > Stacking > Auto > Auto-stack by exposure time > set Time between Stack to 0:00:01 or 0:00:02

[I used 0:00:02 (vs. :01) because I had some auto bracketed photo sequences]

The other way I've seen people do this is to pre-organize RAWs and JPGs into separate sub-folders prior to import. Good Organization, but LR won't stack photos in different folders (or at least it wouldn't for me)

share|improve this answer
This feels like a comment rather than an answer. – jdv Jun 18 at 20:49

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.