DNG Compatibility issues with Photoshop and Quick Fix

DNG files are a type of RAW format developed by Adobe. The advantage of DNG files is that they are generic, meaning they can be read by other software unlike other RAW formats and occupy less storage space.

However, your Adobe tools such as Photoshop and Photoshop Elements cannot open these RAW files such as DNG directly. They need to be processed before using it with Photoshop.

And processing is done through a plugin called Camera Raw. It is a powerful tool that processes the RAW file using camera info and meta-data. This image can then be used with Photoshop to suit your needs.

Note that Camera RAW (called ACR) plugin is automatically installed when you install Photoshop. So, the RAW images should open by default. If for some reason, you have trouble opening the file or you encounter errors such as

  1. Cannot complete your request because it is not the right kind of document
  2. Cannot complete your request because Photoshop does not recognize this type of file

It is probably because the plugin is not installed or it is not up to date. First check the status of your plugin and fix them accordingly. So, it is a good idea to check the version of the plugin installed.

How to Resolve DNG compatibility issues with Photoshop?

To fix the compatibility issues with Photoshop, first check the plugins installed on your Photoshop. There are two different ways to resolve them. Based on the plugin status you can choose one.

  • In Windows, go to Help > About Plug-in
  • In Mac, go to Photoshop > About Plug-in

Note: If the plugin is not listed, go to solution 1.

If the plugin is listed and you know the version number of the plugin installed, verify if it’s the right version needed for your camera using the Adobe help. If it matches, go to solution 2.

If it does not match, determine whether your Photoshop is compatible with the Camera Raw plug. If it is compatible, go to Solution 1. If not, upgrade to the latest version of Photoshop or use a DNG converter.

Solution 1: Install the latest plug-in compatible with your Photoshop

Install the latest version of the ACR plugin that is compatible with your version of Photoshop.(It’s the same as above). Latest versions support a large number of cameras and formats and hence more beneficial.

Solution 2: Reinstall Photoshop

Note: Before you reinstall Photoshop, make sure you have installation CD to reinstall the application later.

In Windows,

  1. Backup any personal files in Photoshop and close the application
  2. Go to Start > Control Panel
  3. Select Uninstall a program
  4. Select Photoshop from the list of programs and then click Uninstall
  5. Then go to Program Files\Common Files\Adobe
  6. Here, delete the Plugins folder within Adobe

In Mac,

  1. First backup any personal files you have in Photoshop and close the application.
  2. Double click on the uninstaller for Photoshop and follow the on screen instructions to remove Photoshop
  3. In the Finder, go to /Library/Application Support/Adobe
  4. Remove plugins from the Adobe folder
  5. Restart your computer

Now reinstall Photoshop and try to open the RAW files. With this you should be able to open them. Even though there are quite few issues with DNG files, these are widely used due to its compression and compatibility with most Camera models. Light-room uses a compression technology, called lossy DNG compression that will save your 67% of disk space. Just few steps and with few added plugins on Photoshop, you can create photos of DSLR quality using these DNG files.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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