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Can't Get Past Preview Unavailable for a PSD File

May 11, 2013 1:09 PM

Tags: #photoshop

I know that Lightroom is unable to generate previews for PSD files if they haven't been saved with the Maximize Compatibility option. But, it seems that once you begin a preview for a folder Lightroom gets stuck in that mode even if you then go ahead and resave the file with the Maximize Compatibility option set to Always.


In a test just now I opened one of the problem files in Photoshop CS6 and saved it. Then I went back to Lightroom and tried to reimport the file but it still said Preview Unavailable. I tried toggling on/off a couple of layers and resaving but it still didn't help. So, next I actually tried making a change to the file and resaving. That still didn't work. I've tried exiting from the Import dialog in LR and restarting the import and even restarting Lightroom but nothing makes a difference.


If I save a new copy of the file in Photoshop (without changing any settings in my Photoshop preferences) Lightroom is able to show a preview and import the copy. So, the file itself is fine. In fact, it's just a simple 1MB file with a background layer and a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer.


I've found this same behavior with both LR 4 and LR 5 Beta.


I have a lot of PSD files that I've edited over the years in Photoshop. Now, I'm considering using Lightroom but if I have to create new copies of every one of my PSD files in order to see them in Lightroom I don't know if it's going to be worth the trouble. Is there any workaround?


David Salahi

  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 11, 2013 2:23 PM   in reply to DavidSalahi



    Adobe are recommending that you use TIFF files instead of PSDs. It's probably easiest to use Photoshop's Image Processor (Bridge/Tools/Photoshop/Image Processor...) to convert all your PSDs to TIFFs and then import the TIFFs. They'll all keep all their layers, and they'll have proper previews. It's an automated process: start it running and go make yourself a cup of coffee.



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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 12, 2013 2:23 PM   in reply to DavidSalahi



    TIFFs will hold everything that PSDs do. Adobe owns both formats, and TIFF is in the public domain, so other software manufacturers are able to deal with them when they cannot deal with PSD.


    Basically, they are two different ways to wrap the same data. I'd feel OK about deleting the PSDs, but I'd probably archive them somewhere safe and offline before doing so. (Being a belt and suspenders kind of guy.)



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