Can ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) be set to work on dual screens on MAC?
Panels/tools on one monitor, and the image on another?
No, because Adobe Camera Raw is like a filter, contained in one modal dialog box. The controls can’t be pulled out of the dialog box.
ON1 (Photo RAW), CAPTURE ONE (Phase One), and PHOCUS (Hasselblad) all support dual monitors.
Are there any plans for Adobe going in that direction?
Those are full independent applications. The problem with Camera Raw is that it’s only a plug-in. It cannot be launched independently, it needs a host application such as Photoshop, Bridge, or After Effects.
I agree that multiple displays are useful, so I use Adobe Lightroom Classic which includes the Camera Raw engine. Lightroom Classic can open a Secondary Display window where you can show various alternate views (such as a thumbnail grid) on another connected display. So that’s one answer to your question: Camera Raw has already been implemented as a standalone application that supports multiple displays, and it’s called Lightroom Classic.
However, Lightroom Classic will not ultimately solve your problem, because Adobe has chosen to lock the panels to the main application window that contains the active image. The panels cannot be torn off and moved to another display. So if your goal is to free up space on your main display by moving tools to a secondary display, that can’t be done in Lightroom Classic either.
If you want either Camera Raw or Lightroom Classic to support detachable panels that can be moved to another display, you can advocate for it on the official Camera Raw feedback or Lightroom Classic feedback sites where feature requests are tracked.
Open ACR, click on upper right to minimize size, drag to second monitor, click on upper right to fill monitor.
The original post wanted “Panels/tools on one monitor, and the image on another” but moving the entire ACR window to another display won’t achieve that, unfortunately, because the controls are still trapped in the same window as the image, on the same display.
However, things have changed slightly from the last replies that were posted last spring. Camera Raw 14, released in fall 2021, has new masking controls that are in a new Masking panel. For the first time in Camera Raw history, it is possible to tear off that Masking panel and put it on a different display than the Camera Raw window. (But it won’t remember that after you close and re-open ACR, so you have to drag the Masking panel over to the other display every time.)
So far, the Masking panel is the only ACR panel that can be moved to a different display than the ACR window. All of the rest of the ACR controls continue to be trapped in the same window as the image. But the surprising new ability to float the Masking panel might mean that someday, Adobe might be planning to let us separate all of the panels. We just don’t know if Adobe actually plans to do that, and if so, when.
Adobe is hostile to the idea of many Mac software features and conventions. Don't expect the UI to change as the Windows users would lose their minds.
That may not be an accurate characterization. The way ACR works does not take full advantage of Windows UI abilities either.
It’s more a case of Adobe often implementing their own way of doing things that is not always based on Windows and Mac standards.
For example, going the other way, many Windows Photoshop users have complained of having to suffer through the Save As/Save a Copy fiasco since the change was made only to work around a Mac limitation; the Windows users feel they should not have to alter habits because of something
In use both operating systems- Windows because I'm paid to and work IS is hostile towards Macs, Macs because at home I do whatever I want. I find macOS to be much superior but yes, Adobe is not good with interfaces. Aperture was all around much more user-friendly than Lightroom. ACR makes a bunch of boneheaded UI choices. :sigh:
Just one little comment to this off-topic tangent: Photoshop market shares have always been roughly fifty-fifty Mac/Win. The idea that Adobe should be "hostile" to one of them is completely unrealistic.
As a matter of curiosity, what brings a non-Adobe user to an Adobe users forum?