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Chapter 4. The File Browser > Working in the File Browser

Working in the File Browser

Camera Raw is a wonderful raw converter, and the File Browser is maturing into a more-than-competent image manager, but what really makes Photoshop CS a compelling solution for a raw digital workflow is the integration between the two. As soon as the File Browser encounters a folder of raw files, Camera Raw kicks in automatically, generating thumbnails and generous-size previews that allow you to make good judgments about each image without actually converting it, so that you can quickly make your initial selects.

Note that the high-quality previews are based on Camera Raw's default settings for your camera. If you find that they're consistently off, it's a sign that you need to change your Camera Default settings—see “Saving Settings” in Chapter 3, Using Camera Raw.

Then, when you've decided which images you want to work with, the File Browser lets you apply conversion settings from Camera Raw by writing them to the image's metadata, again without doing an actual conversion, using the Apply Camera Raw Settings command.

When I do conversions other than quick one-offs, I almost always do so as batch processes, incorporating other actions—I might set up one batch to produce high-res JPEGs for client approval, another to produce low-res JPEGs for emailing, and still another to prepare images for serious editing, with adjustment layers already added so that much of the grunt work is already done for me. Then, when the computer is busy doing my work for me, I go off and lead my glamorous life….

So let's look at the many ways in which Camera Raw and the File Browser can work together to help you to be more efficient and more productive.

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