I don't know what was happening before, but the behavior you are describing now is the way it has always worked on my system. The adjustments made in Lightroom are precisely the same ones that would be made in ACR. So the process is to make your raw adjustments using Lightroom and then send the image to Photoshop to finish. In that transfer to Photoshop, ACR is used to apply the raw adjustments made in Lightroom, but ACR is not opened in the process.
That may be the case; it may be the way it's supposed to work. It was working as described, however. That's the baffling thing. I'm okay with using Lightroom for my "ACR" work, but having to reimport the photos afterwards is a pain. Is this also how it's supposed to be? I'm fairly new at the whole Lightroom/Photoshop workflow. Thanks for your help.
My typical workflow goes like this:
1. Download images into Lightroom and make adjustments to the raw images.
2. When needed, choose to "edit in Photoshop CS6".
3. Image transfers to Photoshop (no ACR).
4. Make adjustments in Photoshop and save/close the image.
5. Photoshop saves a TIF image and returns it to Lightroom.
6. In Lightroom, newly created TIF image is automatically in the catalog and highlighted.
If for some reason you think you will need to make further adjustments to the raw image, you can open the image as a smart object. Then, from within Photoshop, you can double-click on the background layer, and it will open in ACR.
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If LR and PS’s ACR are matched, (LR 5.x and ACR 8.x are matched, but LR 4.x and ACR 8.x are not, and LR 5.x and ACR 7.x are not) you won’t see the ACR UI even though PS is using ACR to render the image into PS’s memory behind the scenes.
When LR and PS’s ACR aren’t matched, especially if LR is newer than ACR but also when LR was older, at least in previous versions, then LR may be writing a TIF on the way into PS, and PS is configured to open that TIF with ACR although the default is to not use ACR to open a TIF on the way into PS.
When you were seeing ACR on the way into PS were you editing a raw file or a TIF or PSD file?
ssprengel - I thought I was opening DNG files but with what I am learning here I may have been mistakenly opening tiff files.
Still, my photoshop changes aren't being noted by lightroom. If I use ctrl-e, ctri-i, and ctrl-s in series to open, invert and save the dng file i'm working on, then when closing the file in Photoshop, I am not returned to Lightroom.
Again, thanks for all your help, both of you.