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Integrating Smart Photo Editor with Lightroom

After posts some time ago about the software Smart Photo Editor I have received some enquires about how I integrated the software with Adobe's Lightroom. The process is fairly simply so this is how I did it.

Firstly, on very old versions of Smart Photo Editor it was not possible to get the integration to work. I suspect it was some problem with the OLE implementation but I won't digress into some technical stuff that I don't fully understand. What we need to do before we attempt to set up the integration between Lightroom and Smart Photo Editor is test the software to make sure it'll accept the file from Lightroom. The way I did this is to simply drag an tiff file on my desktop to the Smart Photo Editor shortcut icon. If this doesn't launch Smart Photo Editor with the tiff file then stop here and contact Anthropics because it is unlikely anything else is going work.

Drag a tiff image onto the Smart Photo Editor desktop icon and it should launch with chosen image. If not then it won't be possible to integrate Lightroom.

Drag a tiff image onto the Smart Photo Editor desktop icon and it should launch with chosen image. If not then it won't be possible to integrate Lightroom.

Having determined that Smart Photo Editor should work, within Lightroom we need to set up our link. This is done in the Lightroom Preferences which are available in the Edit Menu. In the preferences there's a tab called "External Editing" and this is where you create the link to Smart Photo Editor (or any external editing tool).

The logic of the external editing dialogue is a bit backwards, so start with the application field and work down. When done, go back up to the preset field.

At the application select the "choose" button. This launches a Windows file selection dialogue and what you'll need to do is work out where your copy of Smart Photo Editor is installed. On my machine it's here...

c:\Program Files (x86)\Smart Photo Editor

And the file you need to select is...

SmartPhotoEditor.exe

If you're struggling to find this you can always look at the properties of the Smart Photo Editor shortcut on your desktop which will be pointing to the same file.

The rest I set up as follows...

Example of my settings to in the External Editing Preferences to create a link to Smart Photo Editor

Example of my settings to in the External Editing Preferences to create a link to Smart Photo Editor

Lightroom will manage the creation of the tiff using the settings selected here, pass it to Smart Photo Editor and stack it with the original when saved from Smart Photo Editor. When you've finished this, now go to the Preset option and at the bottom of the list of presets there's an option to "Save Current Settings as a New Preset..." This is where you give Lightroom a title for your preset. Having done this you're ready to go.

Right Click on an image, select "Edit In" and then "Smart Photo Editor" to pass the image to Smart Photo Editor.

Right Click on an image, select "Edit In" and then "Smart Photo Editor" to pass the image to Smart Photo Editor.

In Lightroom, right click on an image and select "Edit in..." where you should see your preset entitled "Smart Photo Editor" or whatever you called it. Following this there's the usual dialogue from Lightroom asking you if you wish to create a copy. After choosing your preferred approach (I'd create a copy!) Lightroom will churn and create a new tiff file that it passes to Smart Photo Editor. When the image is saved from Smart Photo Editor Lightroom will update itself with your new image.

Gotcha! One problem is left. Lightroom creates a file which is calls filename-edit.tif and this is what it expects back from Smart Photo Editor. When the file is saved in Smart Photo Editor it changes the filename automatically to filename_pe which isn't what Lightroom expects. This means that Lightroom won't see the edited file without a little help.

Option 1 - Save the file as suggested by Smart Photo Editor and synchronise the folder in Lightroom so it imports the new file.

Option 2 - Select the original filename exported from lightroom when Smart Photo Editor saves the image.