I am using Lightroom 4, Photoshop CS6, and InDesign CS6 on a Mac (Lion). I thought Lightroom's EXPORT function wrote edits into the photo file, BUT although Photoshop recognizes the Lightroom edits in exported files, InDesign does NOT, nor does Finder or Preview recognize the edits in the exported files. Where is the information in modified non-raw files after export, and how can one transfer Lightroom files usefully to external programs, even to Adobe's own family of software other than Photoshop? Thanks.
If you export a RAW image as a RAW image, LR will just copy the file, and I believe puts the edits into the sidecar .XMP file. If the software you are loading the image into understands the .XMP (i.e. Photoshop) it will use the data. Some software may be able to handle the RAW file but not the XMP.
If you want to export an image to a non-Adobe program you must use a format other than RAW, such as PNG or TIFF (preferred). In that case LR applies the edits in memory and writes the edited pixels to the output file.