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Edit in External Editor

Keyboard Shortcut
Open in External Editor


Photo Mechanic integrates easily with image editors such as Adobe® Photoshop®. Any image, or selection of images, may be opened into your choice of pixel editor for further work. If you are working with JPEGs or the DNG format, any changes made and saved will be reflected in the thumbnail in the Contact Sheet display. If you are working with other Raw formats, then the editing software will need to update the embedded JPEG preview in order for the changes to be visible in Photo Mechanic. (As an example, if you make changes made to Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw, you will not see updated thumbnails in Photo Mechanic. If you are working with DNG's in Camera Raw, you can go into Adobe's Camera Raw preferences and make sure that "Update embedded JPEG previews" is turned on.)

One possible way to work with Raw files in an external editor is to save a JPEG with the same base name in the same folder as your Raw. Photo Mechanic works well with RAW+JPEG pairings so this is a good way to see your changes in Photo Mechanic when working with Raw files.

Before using this function you need to define your external editor in Preferences / Launching.

There are several ways to open an image into an external editor:

  1. Select an image or group of images and choose Image / Edit Photos from the main menu. The external editor with be launched if it is not already active and the selected images will be opened.
  2. Use the keyboard shortcut: ⌘E.
  3. Right click on the selected image(s) and choose ‘Edit Selected photos’. (You will also see an option ‘Edit Photo’ which just opens the one image that you right clicked on even if there are multiple images selected. It is easy to mistake these two options and wonder why only one image opened.)
  4. You can also Drag and Drop images and image selections directly from Photo Mechanic into an open Image Editor, even if it is not the one defined in Preferences as the default editor.
  5. There is a further option, only available with a right-click, that allows you to select different external editors to use to open images. In the right-click context menu you will see ‘Edit Photo with’ and Edit Selected Photos with’. Highlighting these options will show a submenu menu with all the different image editors you have assigned in Preferences / Launching / Set. See Launching Preferences for details.

Note: If sending multiple images to an external editor using this method does not open them all in the external editor, you can try dragging those images from Photo Mechanic to the editor. This works better on some systems.

Save As

Keyboard Shortcut
Save As

Mac: ⌘-S
Windows: Ctrl-S

Photo Mechanic does not need to use an External Editor to perform certain useful workflow related functions. The Save As function directly provides the facility to Save an image, or selection of images, into another format, another size and another destination.

One of the most useful ways to use the Save As function is for web image generation. Regardless of the file size of the original Photo Mechanic can take the image, resize it to a specified size, add IPTC information and save it to a new folder as a JPEG. This can be done on a single image but the ability to perform this operation on a selection of images from the Contact Sheet view is very powerful.

Save As can be called from the main menu under File / Save Photos As, by using the keyboard shortcuts or by right-clicking on the selected image and choosing ‘Save Photo As’. Note that this last option only applies to the single image which is right-clicked on, not a selection of images - use the shortcut or the menu to Save As for a selection of images.

Save as dialog annotations.jpg
  • Image Type: Choose your output file type, if JPEG you can select the quality level. High is for minimal compression and Low is for high compression, see JPEG Compression for how this compares to Photoshop’s settings.
  • Cropping: If a Crop has been defined for an image, checking this box will apply it when the file is saved.
  • Scaling: To Fit is for when you want an image to fit inside a specified pixel or cm dimension, whether it is oriented horizontal or landscape. To Percentage sizes the image to the specified percentage size, e.g. 50% would result in an image half as high and half as long as the original and 200% would double the linear image dimensions.
  • Resolution: Sets the pixels per inch of the saved file.


  • Apply IPTC Stationery: adds whatever is currently set on the IPTC Stationery Pad to all the selected images. As always, the Stationery Pad can make use of Variables and Snapshots.
  • Preserve EXIF Info: Includes as much EXIF Info as the original file contains. Copy WAV Files: Copies any WAV files associated with each file.
  • Rename: Uses the standard Photo Mechanic renaming tools to generate new names. See Renaming.
  • Destination: This box contains four options on where your files are going to be placed:
    • Original folder: Saves files back to the same folder as the original file. If filename collisions occur then the new files will be renamed according to your renaming resolution choice.
    • Create subfolder: Creates a subfolder in the same folder where the original file resides. You can use variables to create the name of your subfolder.
    • Copy to this folder: Saves files to the base path plus an additional (optional) subfolder. You can use variables to create the name of your subfolder
    • Always pick destination: Allows you to choose where the files are saved to each time you perform the Save As operation.

Open destination as Contact Sheet: Opens the destination folder as a new Contact Sheet tab if it is not already open.


Keyboard Shortcut


Photo Mechanic can attach selected images to email messages, which is useful for sending images to clients for approval. It would be difficult to send the original image file so Photo Mechanic offers options to resize and compress the image before it is sent.

The Send Photos via Email function is accessible via the main menu under File / Send photos via Email or by using the keyboard shortcut Shift-⌘-E.

It is also available through the right-click (option-click) context menu but only applies to the image actually clicked on.


Like many Photo Mechanic functions, Variables can make life easier and they can be inserted into the Subject line or the Body of the email. If you use the ‘one image per email’ option you could insert the variable {filename} into the subject line so the email has the file name of the attached file in the subject line and which makes it easier for the recipient to identify which image is in which email without having to open the emails itself.

If you want to send the original photos, use Full size, JPEG quality at maximum, uncheck Convert to sRGB, Apply crop, Sharpen and Watermark, and set the source to JPEG.

To choose a different email client than the default, choose from the dropdown menu at the bottom of the "Send Photos Via Email" dialog.

Upload Services

The Uploader dialog allows you to transmit photos from your computer to various upload services like FTP, SFTP, PhotoShelter, etc. Use the ‘Selected Uploader:’ popup menu to choose the service you want to upload photos to. The Uploader dialog has its own Preferences dialog whose settings pertain to all uploader templates. These settings control “Upload Stall Detection” and “Concurent Uploads”. Upload Stall Detection is a feature where the Uploader detects lack of progress in an upload and brings up a warning dialog so that you can monitor your internet connection. The Upload Stall Detection can be set to wait anywhere from 45 seconds to 320 seconds before warning you, or it can be disabled entirely by unchecking the ‘Wait’ checkbox. The ‘Allow concurrent uploads’ enables the uploader to send more than one file simultaneously which can improve upload speeds significantly as long as you have a high bandwidth connection to the internet. You can disable this feature by unchecking that checkbox.

Here is a list of services in the Uploader dialog:

  • Amazon S3
  • DF Studio LINK
  • Demotix
  • ExposureManager
  • FTP and SFTP
  • Flickr
  • Gallery 2
  • PhotoDeck v 1.4
  • PhotoShelter
  • Retouchup
  • SmugMug
  • Twitter
  • Zenfolio (Note: Uploading to Zenfolio is temporarily unavailable as of 11/1/2017, but it will be back.)

For notes on some of the individual services, read on below.

File Uploader

Keyboard Shortcut
FTP photos as...

Mac: ⌘-U
Windows: Ctrl-U


FTP stands for File Transfer Protocol. This is a standard method of transmitting files from your computer to a server via the internet when you know the address of the receiving server. It is a great way to send images for approval by a client and is more robust than using Email attachments which might cause problems with big files on the receiving server.


Trigger the FTP function for a selection of images by using File / FTP Photos As or using the keyboard shortcut ⌘U. (For a single image in the Contact Sheet view, the keyboard shortcut is just U.) This will bring up the Uploader dialog (with the FTP template selected) which is very similar in operation to the Save As dialog where you can resize, compress and rename images.

  • Transmit: This area of the dialog determines what you wish to transmit.

Original Photos: checking this radio button will activate the dropdown box for which file you wish to send if there is a RAW+JPEG pair. For single files this will transmit the original file with no changes to size or compression. All other options will grey out. Saved as JPEG: This activates the compression and resizing options. Use the slider to set the compression amount, lower quality equates to smaller files.

  • Cropping: Check this box to apply Cropping if it has been set previously.
  • Scaling: Choose No Scaling to keep the file the original size. To Fit Box reduces the image size to fit within specified pixel dimensions while keeping the same proportions. Percentage reduces the image to the specified percent size, 50% would be half the width and half the height.
  • Resolution: Resets the pixels per inch to a specified amount. This might be 240ppi for inkjet printing or 300ppi for offset printing. This has no effect on images displayed in web browsers.
  • Operations: This area determines what is done to the file names and the metadata as they are transmitted.
  • Apply IPTC Stationery Pad: Applies the IPTC Stationery Pad to each image as it is transmitted, like during the Ingest function. See IPTC Stationery Pad for more details.
  • Preserve EXIF Info where possible: Keeps relevant EXIF and IPTC data with the files when Photo Mechanic creates new JPEGs.
  • Rename As: Allows renaming of files as they are transmitted. See Rename for more details.
  • Save Copy of Transmitted Photos: Check this box to save a copy of all transmitted images in either a subdirectory of the current folder or in a specified folder elsewhere. Useful to keep a track of exactly what you have transmitted to whom.

Connection Settings

For FTP to work you need to specify the FTP server name or IP address of the server so Photo Mechanic can log onto the target server, authenticate its connection with a logon name and password and then transmit the file to the correct folder on the target server. Click on the “Connections” button at the top of the Uploader dialog.

FTP Connection Setting Name: You can give a name to the settings for a particular connection. For example, if you FTP files on a regular basis to certain clients you might use the client’s name in the Connection name i.e. “ABC Advertising Connection”. This name will appear as an option in the Connection box in the Destination FTP Server options on the main Uploader dialog - see previous page.

  • New: Click this button to clear all the fields to enter a new connection setting.
  • Delete: Deletes the currently displayed connection.
  • FTP Server Name or Address: enter the name of the server that the files will be transmitted to. This can be a normal top level URL like www.abc_advertising.com or an actual server name like ‘ftp.server-web.com’. Only enter the top level name here, not the folder the file should be transmitted to, and leave off ‘ftp://’.
  • Login: The Login name for the server. You may have to ask the client for this. Password: The password for the login name. You may have to ask the client for


  • Port: Leave set to 21 unless you have a good reason to change it, Port 21 is the default setting expected by most servers.
  • Passive Connection: Check this box, unless the Network Admin tells you otherwise.
  • Anonymous Login: Should be left unchecked unless you are connection to a server that allows anonymous login.
  • Destination Folder: This is where you specify the folder on the target server that you wish the files to be transmitted to. If you need to specify a sub-folder use a forward slash (/) like this: images/new. The folder you need to transmit to will often be specified by the client.
  • Copy Photos: This gives you the option to create a new folder in the destination folder, either based on the date or a specified name, or both. Useful if you are transmitting sets of images that need to be kept separated on the server.

Click OK to return to the main Uploader dialog and you will see the Connection Name displayed in the Connection popup menu and to the right, the full destination path for the transmitted files.

If a file is transmitted and there is a file with the same name on the destination server you can choose what you would like to happen from the “If a file already exists...” drop down box.

  1. Replace overwrites the server file with the transmitted file
  2. Rename the transmitted file before uploading
  3. Rename the file on the server, keeping the transmitted file name the same

Once all these settings have been made, click the Send button to transmit the selected files. All of the settings are sticky so if you come back to the Uploader dialog later all of the settings will be the same.

If you hold down the modifier key when choosing FTP As, the whole dialog box will be bypassed quickly and the last settings will be used. This offers a convenient way to transmit files if you use one FTP destination regularly or just wish to queue up some more photos into a current FTP session.

Uploader Preferences

Upload prefs.jpg

In this dialog, you can change the way the Uploader behaves. In some cases, you may be sending to an FTP host that doesn't like more than one connection at a time. In that case, you could disable "Allow concurrent uploads" here.

Amazon S3

When uploading photos to an Amazon S3 account, it may only work if you use the location bucket for US-Standard. Trying to use more precise location bucket may result in your files not being uploaded.


With the PhotoShelter template you can securely upload photos to your PhotoShelter account from within Photo Mechanic. PhotoShelter is a service useful for backing up your photos and for providing them for sale to prospective clients. IPTC caption data that you enter into your photos in Photo Mechanic will be preserved and will be searchable by people using PhotoShelter. Even the tag checkbox setting on each photo is recognized by PhotoShelter. The PhotoShelter template allows you to upload to existing Archives, or you can create new ones during upload. This integration even supports multiuser collaboration with PhotoShelter accounts that support it.


The PhotoShelter template is based upon the FTP template and most of its interface should look familiar. The major differences are account related. Instead of FTP Connections Settings, you have PhotoShelter Connection Settings.

One other difference that is found in the PhotoShelter template is the lack of a destination path that is instead represented by an Archive Folder: combo menu and a New Archive Folder... button. The Archive Folder popup menu shows you the possible destination archives that your photos can be uploaded into, and the New Archive Folder button allows you to create new archive folders. Clicking on the New Archive Folder button brings up the following dialog that allows you to choose the Parent Archive folder for creating your new archive folder:

Use the Parent Archive popup menu to choose the archive you want to be the parent of your new archive. If you want to create a top-level archive, choose the item at the top of the list titled **ROOT**. Enter your New Archive Name in the text field and then click on the Create button. PhotoShelter will then create the new archive and the dialog will close. The Archive Folder popup menu will now display your newly created Archive’s name.

Also, if you want to quickly create a new archive folder and you want it to be a top-level archive you can just type the name into the ‘Archive Folder:’ combo menu. The new archive will be created when the photos are uploaded. You can also press the New Archive Folder... button to create the folder before you start the upload if you wish, but this extra step is unnecessary.

Now you can adjust the rest of the parameters and begin uploading your photos.

The remaining Uploader templates work in very much the same way as both the FTP and PhotoShelter templates do and should for the most part be self explanatory. Please be familiar with the terminology used by the service you’re using. The Uploader templates are written to use the same terminology as is used on the individual services they work with.


You can upload photos to your Twitter account. Photos uploaded to Twitter via Photo Mechanic are hosted on Twitter's servers. Please note that Twitter removes all IPTC and EXIF metadata from photos uploaded to its servers, regardless of any settings in Photo Mechanic. Therefore, we suggest that you consider a watermark for photos uploaded this way, to preserve proper credit. You can specify how a watermark will appear right from the Uploader module. (Note: You may send "direct message" tweets to other Twitter users using the 'd' shortcut in your tweet through Photo Mechanic, but Twitter will not deliver the image(s) in the DM. This is due to how Twitter processes direct messages.)

Upload Progress

Once files have begun the upload process, the Upload Progress window will appear, listing all of the files in the upload queue:

Ftp progress.jpg

You can use the Upload Progress window to track the progress of your uploads. It is here that you can also ‘Cancel’ the entire upload operation (files already uploaded will not be removed), and handle any errors that may occur during the upload process. You can minimize the window to the Dock (or the TaskBar on Windows) by clicking on the ‘minimize’ icon in the titlebar.

Upload Status Indicators

Another way to monitor the progress of uploading files is by looking for the Upload Status Indicators on the thumbnails in the Contact Sheet. They appear in the upper right corner of each queued thumbnail:

Ftp status.jpg

A blank rectangle indicates that the photo has been queued, but hasn’t been sent yet. A yellow rectangle indicates that the photo is being uploaded. A green rectangle indicates that the upload is complete. A red rectangle indicates that a failure of some sort has occurred while uploading the photo. Viewing the Upload Progress window would now be in order.

RAW+JPEG mode images will show up to two indicators when uploading both the RAW photo and JPEG photo. The upper indicator shows the progress of the JPEG and the lower indicator shows the progress of the RAW file.