What is Camera Raw? I installed it on my PC, but how to start using it? There is no app icon of Camera Raw I can find. How to open it?

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Adobe Camera Raw ("ACR") is now a standard part of Photoshop and Lightroom, and has been for quite a few versions. That you installed it, seemingly separate from Photoshop or Lightroom, makes me wonder if you're using a very old version of Photoshop. ACR doesn't work with every version of Photoshop, nor is every version of ACR compatible with every version of Photoshop that supports it. What version of PS are you running? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm using Photoshop CS6 \$\endgroup\$
    – user559392
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ Any dslr snapped pictures can be edited with acr right? \$\endgroup\$
    – user559392
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ If it is Photoshop, then in Bridge, you select one or many image thumbnails, and then RIGHT click on them, and select the Open In Camera Raw menu. If Elements, same thing in its file manager. If Lightroom, you're already in it. OR ... you can open individual raw files by simply double clicking on them in the file manager. \$\endgroup\$
    – WayneF
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 14:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ Why did you install Adobe Camera Raw? As in, what exactly are you trying to achieve? Adobe Camera Raw is not for editing images itself, but to allow Photoshop and other Adobe programs to work with camera raw image files. What file format in particular are you concerned with? \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 16:13

4 Answers 4


Why didn't you google?

About Adobe Camera Raw

Camera Raw software is included as a plug-in with Adobe After Effects® and Adobe Photoshop, and also adds functionality to Adobe Bridge. Camera Raw gives each of these applications the ability to import and work with camera raw files. You can also use Camera Raw to work with JPEG and TIFF files.

You must have Photoshop or After Effects installed to open files in the Camera Raw dialog box from Adobe Bridge. However, if Photoshop or After Effects is not installed, you can still preview the images and see their metadata in Adobe Bridge. If another application is associated with the image file type, it’s possible to open the file in that application from Adobe Bridge.

Using Adobe Bridge, you can apply, copy, and clear image settings, and you can see previews and metadata for camera raw files without opening them in the Camera Raw dialog box. The preview in Adobe Bridge is a JPEG image generated using the current image settings; the preview is not the raw camera data itself, which would appear as a very dark grayscale image.

You'll find more information by following the link.


When you will open RAW file in PS (for instance) it'll open ACR first, to export file into PS. You'll be able to make some preparation settings. Of course you can save file to for instance jpg format directly form ACR.

Second way is to open PS, than Open as menu and than you must chose one of the ACR file extension and voila.

  • \$\begingroup\$ When i try to open a file from photoshop, while selecting the file formats it isn't showing camera raw extension option in the list. \$\endgroup\$
    – user559392
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Did you install ACR plugin for Photoshop ? You can find it here on Adobe page or just type Adobe Camera RAW in google. \$\endgroup\$
    – Marcin
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes I'm done installing it.But after the installation process has completed it didn't popup any icon or say software related to camera raw. \$\endgroup\$
    – user559392
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:30
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ ACR doesn't have an icon. It's just plugin for PS. and it open his onw wiondows during picture preprocessing. Have you try to double click on RAW file ? What camera do you have ? \$\endgroup\$
    – Marcin
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually what is camera raw? \$\endgroup\$
    – user559392
    Commented Mar 3, 2016 at 13:33

Actually what is camera raw?

RAW files are a form of output most dSLRs and more advanced P&S cameras can create in addition to JPEGs. It's basically the "raw" data from the sensor, without any JPEG compression.

However, RAW is not a standard. Each RAW format is individual to each model of camera; the file suffix used for RAW files is specific to the brand of the camera (e.g., .NEF for Nikon, .CR for Canon, etc.) Because graphic editing software can't be expected to be updated for every single camera release, they rely on utilities called RAW converters to create an editable file out of the RAW file. Adobe's is called Adobe Camera RAW (ACR), and ACR is updated roughly twice a year to accommodate newer camera models.

RAW files are often preferred by photographers for post processing, because they grant more latitude for adjustments. (See: Raw vs Jpeg for non-professional use).

Adobe Camera RAW is not an application; it's a plug-in. You cannot use it directly. It's a RAW conversion engine that can be used in Adobe applications. But you need one of those applications (most commonly, Adobe Bridge [which comes with Photoshop], or Lightroom [in the Develop module].

If you don't have the latest version of Lightroom or Photoshop and you can't use the latest version of ACR, but your camera is new enough to require it, you can use Adobe's DNG converter, which is free software that uses the same ACR code base to convert RAW files to Adobe's DNG format, which can be used in Photoshop and Lightroom.


If you open a raw file (Canon .CR2, Nikon .NEF etc) with Photoshop, it will automatically open up the Adobe Camera Raw interface to convert the raw file before editing in Photoshop.

Since you're using JPG, there is no need for raw conversion, so you don't really need ACR. If you want to use it for some reason, you can do it in two ways:

1) On Windows or Mac, select the JPG file and in Windows right-click and select Open With... then select Adobe Camera Raw

2) Use Adobe Bridge. Select the JPG image, right click, open in ACR


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