Using an External Editor

If you need to perform more advanced image operations, such as compositing, you can set an external editor for use within Aperture. First you have to specify which application Aperture should use and the file format (TIFF or PSD). You only have to do this once. Then you select an image and choose a menu command to have the image open in the application designated as the external editor. You can also set an external editor for audio and video files.

To set an external editor for images in Aperture
  1. Choose Aperture > Preferences, then click Export.

  2. Click the Choose button to the right of the External Photo Editor field, navigate to an application in the Select Application dialog, then click Select.

    The application’s name appears in the External Photo Editor field.

  3. Choose the appropriate file format (TIFF or PSD) from the External Editor File Format pop-up menu, then enter a resolution in the “dpi” field.

    This is the file format Aperture uses when opening files in external editors.

    Tip: It’s a good idea to choose the 16-bit option for the External Editor file format because the larger bit depth provides an exponentially higher number of colors each pixel can express, and the higher bit depth option helps reduce color clipping and banding.

To set an external editor for audio and video files in Aperture
  1. Choose Aperture > Preferences, then click Export.

  2. Do one or both of the following:

    • To set an external editor for audio files: Click the Choose button to the right of the External Audio Editor field, navigate to an application in the Select Audio Application dialog, then click Select.

      The application’s name appears in the External Audio Editor field.

    • To set an external editor for video files: Click the Choose button to the right of the External Video Editor field, navigate to an application in the Select Video Application dialog, then click Select.

      The application’s name appears in the External Video Editor field.

To use an external editor in Aperture
  1. Select an item in the Browser.

  2. Choose Photos > Edit with > [application name] (or press Command-Shift-O).

    Aperture creates a new master (leaving the original unchanged), converts it to the chosen file format, and then opens the file in the external editor. The file is tracked as a new master stacked with the original master.

  3. When you’ve finished modifying the image, audio, or video file in the external application, save the file.

The saved file is automatically updated in Aperture.