Photoshop recording action to save as 8-bit jpeg

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  • Updated 5 months ago
A few versions ago, editing a raw file (Control+E) in Lightroom Classic switched to 16-bit mode from 8-bit when it shows up in Photoshop.

I often edit a raw file into a jpeg via Lightroom->Photoshop, and I do not need 16 bits. Anyway, you only get file-size previews with 8-bit (which is how I noticed).

So I recorded a Photoshop Action (and assigned it to F10) which switches to 8-bit mode and then does "Save As" at JPEG full quality to the current directory with the same file name (but different extension). So if I am editing "foo.raw" in Photoshop and hit F10, it gets saved as 8-bit "foo.jpg"

I was pleased with that! It saves quite a number of keystrokes and mouse moves.

Then I found that after I move to a set of files in a different directory the action saves the jpeg to the directory where I originally recorded it. After some trial and error, I found that the menu item "Record Again" will reset the current directory for the Action. Not ideal, but still more convenient than doing every step manually.

Now, in the most recent version of Photoshop/Lightroom, I find that when I record the Action again, it pops up the save-as file dialog with a file name like "foo copy.jpg". If I then save the file (under any name) it does not show up in Lightroom without a resync. If I record the entire action over again with "Start Recording" then I get the old behavior.

Can we get the old behavior back please?

I know that I can change my LR "External Editing" preferences to something other than the recommended 16-bit TIFF but I always feel that changing defaults like these encourages buggier behavior.

(I feel that this question is somewhat linked to the mysterious way in which LR knows when a file has been saved from Photoshop. If you do anything complex in PS, like with transforms or layers, then LR refuses to know the new file. Like a mother sheep whose lamb has a funny smell. I looked at some conversations on this topic, but it's intimidatingly messy.)
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Erich Schlaikjer

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  • impeded

Posted 5 months ago

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Photo of Rikk Flohr

Rikk Flohr, Official Rep

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I don't know if you are aware Erich, but you can create multiple instances of Photoshop in the Lightroom External Editor Preferences. That way you can leave a default (16 Bit) in place and have the 8 Bit option as a secondary editor.  It still will have a shortcut available [Cmd/Ctrl]+[Opt/Alt]+[E]
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Erich Schlaikjer

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That's an interesting idea, as long as I don't do many more adjustments in Photoshop that need the extra color depth. In the end I have just been re-recording the Action from scratch in each directory.