Quite often I choose to 'Edit in photoshop' from Lightroom but then end up not saving the result. (for example, because I just wanted to experiment with the photo, or I'm not satisfied with the results)

However, Lightroom always creates a copy of the original photo, which stays in the catalog even if the photoshop changes aren't saved.

Is there a way to stop this, and only add a photo if it has been edited in PS?

  • I actually just bought and installed Photoshop Elements 11 yesterday, and am having the same issue with Lightroom 4. It did not auto-recognise the relationship between the two products, so following a video on the Adobe site I set up the External Editor. LR now creates a copy (TIFF) before launching PSE11 and editing. If I close PSE11 without making changes, I still have that unedited copy. I'd be interested to see the outcome of this thread....
    – Mike
    Nov 27 '12 at 12:28

I found the answer!

If your Camera Raw engines versions do not match: e.g. v7.1 in Lightroom and v7.3 in Photoshop.

Lightroom creates this copy and is NOT removed when you cancel your changes in Photoshop, I assume it works like this with Elements as well. I noticed when I fired up Photoshop from Lightroom that there was a warning about RAW Engine.

Answers from other thread: Can I stop Lightroom from creating a TIFF file when exporting to Photoshop?


When you choose 'edit in', LR makes a copy. This is because there is no image file to be edited yet: LR only works by applying a recipe of scripted edits to an untouched RAW file. These are applied on the image in memory on screen (so you can see them), but they are not applied anywhere until you hit export. The LR database simply holds these scripts. There is no file, so LR must create one. In this case, 'edit in' simply does an export in either TIFF or PSD format, and opens the file in PS.

What you are seeing is this file. It is created when you choose the 'edit in' command. You can break the link to edits from PS by choosing 'save as' in PS and rename the file, but it will not eliminate this file. The only way to eliminate the creation of this file is to not choose 'edit in'.


Is there a way to stop this, and only add a photo if it has been edited in PS?

It would help if you describe your workflow; do you - when in Photoshop CSx - manually save the file? If so, it would explain why Lightroom keeps track of it. Also, do you save the RAW file or do you save a separate PSD?

Having that said, the way I see it, you are contradicting your self :-) Lightroom does exactly what you ask, after all you DID edit the photo, so it is only natural that Lightroom keeps track of that, the fact that you don´t save your end-result is irrelevant to Lightroom.

Also, Lightroom does not create a copy of the original, but a preview of the edited version.

  • I right-click on the photo in LR, choose 'edit in photoshop CS6', then I do my stuff in PS. if I like the changes, I choose file/Save (in photoshop) and the changes appear in LR. However, if i'm NOT satisfied with the result in PS, I just close the image without saving it. This leaves a duplicate image in LR, stacked with the original, which is useless...
    – Patrick
    Nov 26 '12 at 14:39

This sounds like you're opening Photoshop as a manually configured 'external editor' in Lightroom instead of using the automatic integration between them.

To open images via the automatic integration you need to choose the first option in the 'Edit in' sub-menu which should be labeled 'Edit in Adobe Photoshop [your version]'.

  • That's actually what I'm doing, I click on that menu option. it is like lightroom creates the copy, then it sends it to PS, but then it doesn't realise that the image hasn't been saved and should be deleted.
    – Patrick
    Nov 26 '12 at 13:14
  • That has never happened when I click on the option, what versions of Lightroom and Photoshop are you using? Nov 26 '12 at 13:55

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