Photos.app on macOS works seamlessly with iCloud Photo Library which keeps your photos and videos up to date on your iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV and iCloud.
However, when it comes to more professional photo editing you probably feel Photos.app is not enough even though it has Photo Editing Extensions which few third-party apps support so far. Do you wish more powerful photo manipulation in Photos.app just like in Photoshop or Affinity Photo? If so, this posting is just for you.
Open In is Extension which lets you use external editors for Photos.app so that you can bring all power of your favorite photo editor like Photoshop or Affinity Photo into Photos.app.
*Disclaimer Notice: The price on the store may be different from when this article was posted. Always check yourself before purchase.
Downloading and Initial Setting for Open In Extension
To get Open In, Go to App Store and download it. When you open Open In, you should be instructed with simple steps:
Go to System Preferences > Extension, select Photos on the left side then find and tick off Open In.. on the right:
That’s it! you don't need to keep Open In open and running. You are completely ready with one time set up and never need to open it again. But do not delete it.
The Workflow Overview of Open In...
Open In works like a bridge between Photos.app and your favorite photo editor. Open In hands over your photo to be edited from Photos app to an external photo editor of your choice. And then you edit the photo in that editor. After saving your photo in the external editor, you accept that changes finally in Photos app.
In Photos.app, You can start with clicking the Edit Photo button or pressing Command + Return key:
Then it shows up Edit Tool of Photos.app. There is Extensions button among other tools on the bottom of the list. This lists all of Photo Extensions that you permitted in your System Preferences before to show up within Photos app. There you should see Open In… extension if your System Preferences is properly set.
When you choose to use Open In… extension, it lets you choose application. Go ahead to click Choose application…:
Then it again presents all possible external photo editors that are currently installed on your macOS. My case is below:
I have chosen to use Adobe Photoshop CC, my favorite for getting most of what I am paying for. Remind that you can also choose other editing tools.
Pressing the Open In button under the application name will fires it up and running. Below image shows that Photoshop CC have taken over the photo to edit it:
I did simple photo manipulation and have FLATTENED the layers like below.
If you chose an external photo editor with capabilities of stacking layers like Photoshop or Affinity Photo, You should flatten all the layers into one before saving and closing to give the photo back to Photos.app. As for Photoshop application, a good sign indicating that you did is the padlock icon on the layer and that is only one layer on your Layer Panel.
The idea is that the external editor has to give back the same file format as it was. If it was a .PSD file when handed over, flattening would not be involved. However, normally people would not import .PSD files into Photos app in the first place but, it's possible.
After saving and closing the photo from your external editor, you will see the photo has been changed when you get back to Photos.app. Click Save Changes button on the upper right corner to accept the changes:
Then you are back to Editing Tool and you wil notice that there is Revert to Original button as well. Photos.app still keeps the original photo so that you can revert to it anytime in the future:
Click Done button to leave Editing Tool. Now this change will reflect inside all your Mac and iOS devices if you use iCloud Photo Library's sync feature.
You Got The Power
Isn't it nice to have all capabilities of what your favorite photo editor have inside Photos.app via Open In extention app? Moreover, the extention is available for free on the Mac App Store. Thanks to the developer.
I am Kyle Kim at StarryReviews.com. Please stay tuned with new posts coming up!