Photoshop – can’t use any tools on my new layer apart from the paint brush, using a RAW converted image?

Question by laura: Photoshop – can’t use any tools on my new layer apart from the paint brush, using a RAW converted image?
This is my first time using a RAW file. I can make changes on the background layer, but not the new layer. Any ideas?

Answer:

Answer by Nahum
Most of Photoshop’s tools only work at certain ‘bit depths’. 8 bits per channel is the most common, and is used by JPEG and PNG graphics. However, raw format images use whatever bit depth is available on the camera. (My Nikon D40X for example makes 14bpc images.)

You might want to make a copy of your image—after applying all the high-definition edits you wish to make—and then convert it to 8 bit color mode (Image > Mode > 8 bits per channel) to gain access to your other tools and layers. Keep in mind that the raw format image has more flexibility for editing, and all this flexibility is lost when converting down to 8 bpc.

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