Web Developer & Photographer

If you like to edit your photos using an external editor such as Photoshop and like to use iPhoto to manage them, you’ve probably encountered a problem as to how to sync the iPhoto library with the edits you make. If you have not encountered that problem, I still recommend you take a look at this article as it may make things easier for you.

  1. With iPhoto open, hold down the ⌘ (Command) and the “,” keys to activate the Preferences window.
  2. In the Preferences window, make sure you’re in the General section. Then, go to the “Edit photo:” field and choose the external editor of choice in the drop-down menu.
  3. Now, switch back to your library and select some photos that you would like to edit with the external editor. Hold down the Shift key or the ⌘ (Command) key to select more than one photo. Now right-click and choose “Edit in external editor” from the contextual menu.
  4. The second way to open up photos, is within the external editor (Photoshop).
  5. Open up Photoshop, and go to File > Open…
  6. Now browse the photos in the Finder window and use the Shift or ⌘ (Command) key to select more than one photo.
  7. Once you’ve finished making the edits to the image(s), save it (hold down ⌘ (Command) + “S”).
  8. When you look at your iPhoto library, you should notice the changes made to the selected image(s).
  9. If you wish to revert back to the original image, just right-click on the image and choose “Revert to Original” from the contextual menu.

screenshots: 2 3 5 6 9

  1. Hi. I took approx 200 images with my Canon Rebel XSi and imported them from the flash card into iPhoto on my iMac. I want to edit some of the images in Photoshop CS4. I made the edits of a couple images in Photoshop CS4 and held down Cmd + S thinking the edited image would replace the original image I used from iPhoto. The edited image did not save to the Events file I created in iPhoto. What am I doing wrong? I would really like to edit as 1st priority in iPhoto, but some images need more work (e.g. Photoshop CS4) I must be missing something! Can you help?

  2. Jennifer, the images in iPhoto if they are edited in another program such as Photoshop, should reflect those changes immediately in your iPhoto library. Did you look in the actual iPhoto library or album, instead of the “Events”? It should show up.


  3. This is very annoying – I want to use iPhoto when I hit the “Edit” button (for simple crops). But I also want to use Photoshop regularly. I used to be able to right click and choose “Open in External Editor”, but that’s not an option anymore.

  4. Nicole – you can still use iPhoto to edit your pictures. Simply right click on the photo you wish to edit and select “Edit in iPhoto”.

  5. when i hit command “,”; i don’t have an “Edit photo” field in the general section.
    I would like to have the option to right click to edit in photoshop

  6. Hi Jenny,
    Try looking in the “advanced” tab in the preferences window.

Comments are closed.