The main control buttons let you specify the action that Camera Raw will perform on your raw image. They also provide a subtle yet visually obvious clue as to whether Camera Raw is being hosted by Bridge or by Photoshopsee Figure 4-19.
Figure 4-19. The main control buttons in Camera Raw hosted by Bridge and by Photoshop
When Camera Raw is hosted by Bridge, the default button is Done. When hosted by Photoshop, it's Open.
No matter which application is hosting Camera Raw, the functionality of the buttons is the same.
The Save...button (Command-S) lets you save an image as a DNG, TIFF, JPEG, or Photoshop file directly from the Camera Raw dialog box without actually opening it in Photoshop. Clicking Save opens the Save Options dialog box shown in Figure 4-20. It lets you specify the destination, the file format, any format-specific save options such as compression, and the name for the saved file or files. When you click Save in the Save Options dialog box, you're returned to Camera Raw, and the file gets saved in the background.
Figure 4-20. Save Options dialog box
Save Options for DNG
Save Options for JPEG
Save Options for TIFF
In single-image mode, this feature is only mildly useful. Its real power becomes apparent when you open multiple images in Camera Raw's "filmstrip" mode, because the conversion from the raw to a saved RGB image happens in the background. That means that you can continue to edit other images while Camera Raw processes the ones you're saving, a workflow that wasn't possible with previous versions of Camera Raw. See "Saving Images in the Background," in Chapter 5, Hands-On Camera Raw, and "Background Processing" in Chapter 7, It's All About the Workflow, for deeper discussion of the workflow implications of this feature.
It's also worth noting that Camera Raw is in itself a DNG converter. If you've decided that you want to stay with proprietary raws as your working files, but would prefer to hand off DNG files when you need to submit raw images (to make sure that your metadata gets preserved), it's much easier to save out DNG files as you need them from Camera Raw than it is to run them through Adobe DNG Converter.
The Cancel button (Escape) does exactly what it says. It ignores any adjustments you've made since opening Camera Raw, dismisses the Camera Raw dialog box, and returns you to the host application, leaving the raw file settings unchanged.
The Open button (Command-O) dismisses the Camera Raw dialog box and opens the image in Photoshop, using the settings you applied in Camera Raw. These settings are written to the raw file's metadata, and Bridge's previews and thumbnails are updated to reflect the new settings. When Camera Raw is hosted by Photoshop, Open is the default button.
The Done button (Return or Enter) dismisses the Camera Raw dialog box, writes the settings you applied in Camera Raw to the raw file's metadata, and returns you to the host application. Bridge's previews and thumbnails are updated to reflect the new settings. When Camera Raw is hosted by Bridge, Done is the default button.
When you press Option/Alt, the buttons change, as shown in Figure 4-21. Note the different behavior depending on which application is hosting Camera Raw.
Figure 4-21. The main control buttons with Option/Alt pressed
Save (Command-Option-S) saves the image, bypassing the Save Options dialog box, using the settings that were in effect the last time you opened the Save Options dialog box, and keeps Camera Raw open.
Reset returns all Camera Raw settings to the state they were in when you launched Camera Raw (either Image Settings, if the image had previously had its own Camera Raw settings applied, or Camera Raw Defaults if it hadn't), and keeps Camera Raw open.
Open a Copy (Photoshop onlypress Command-Option-O) dismisses the Camera Raw dialog box and opens a copy of the raw file without writing the settings to the file's metadata. This feature is especially useful when you want to blend different renderings of the same raw image in Photoshop, but it's also handy when you have a rendering of an image that you like but suspect is capable of improvement. You can quickly try different tweaks without losing the settings that gave you the rendering you liked, and without having to go to the trouble of saving those settings.