Last updated on July 6, 2022
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The Nik Collection is accessible to DxO PhotoLab users as a set of external applications via a dedicated button present in the image explorer, both in the Photo Library tab and the Customize tab.

DxO PhotoLab

Settings

The first thing to do is to set the type of file you will transfer to one of the Nik Collection plugins:

  1. At the bottom right, in the DxO PhotoLab image explorer toolbar, click on the Nik Collection button.
  2. In the Plugin Selector, click Settings.
  3. In the Format section, choose the file format:
    • Action: Choose between TIFF and JPEG format
    • Quality (for TIFF format): Choose from 16-bit, 8-bit, or 8-bit with compression (depth per channel, R, G, and B).
    • Quality (for JPEG format): Use the slider to adjust the compression level.
  4. In the Resize section, you will determine the physical characteristics of images to be processed in the Nik Collection:
    • Resolution: Set to 72 ppi (dots per inch) by default, this setting has no influence on image characteristics until you specify a physical dimension (changing this value automatically activates the resize options). Indeed, if a lab or a printer asks you for 240 or 300 ppi, you will also have to resize the image (for example, a 50×75 cm print at 300 ppi).
    • Resize the image: Click the box to manually activate the resizing options (automatic activation when changing resolution).
    • Maximum dimension lets you set the dimension of the wide side of the image in pixels (px) for images intended for electronic (web) distribution, or the physical dimensions of the wide side of the image in centimeters or inches for images intended for printing.
    • Interpolation: Allows the use of algorithms in the case of physical enlargement of the image, with the algorithms Bicubic (default choice), Sharper Bicubic or Bilinear).
  5. The Watermark section allows you to overlay a text and/or graphic watermark created in DxO PhotoLab. However, at this point, we recommend that you apply a watermark only after processing the image in the Nik Collection.
  6. In the Advanced section, you can assign a space or color profile in the ICC Profile menu:
    • Original: Default choice, keeps the original profile of the image transferred from DxO PhotoLab to the Nik Collection, and back
    • sRGB: Select this space for general use (web, inkjet printing, minilab).
    • Adobe 1998: Select this space for a print run at an off-set printer’s.
    • Choose Profile: allows you to search and assign an ICC profile stored in your operating system (adds to the menu).
    • Clear Menu: Deletes added profiles.

Recommended settings

In general, when processing images in the Nik Collection, maintain maximum quality workflow. You will be able to modify your files afterwards, depending on their usage, during the export phase in DxO PhotoLab.

For a maximum quality workflow, especially if you plan to do further processing and retouching later or need to provide documents of the highest quality:

For a maximum quality workflow, but without considering further processing afterwards:

For a standard workflow, without the need for further processing, for posting on Facebook or sending by email:

Standard workflow

The workflow from DxO PhotoLab is very simple:

  1. Process your original image in DxO PhotoLab (automatic corrections, white balance, tone, noise, etc.).
  2. If you want to send a batch of images to the Nik Collection, whether it’s a batch process (all plug-ins) or an HDR merge (HDR Efex Pro 2), make sure you have selected them all in the Image Explorer.
  3. Click the Nik Collection button.
  4. In the Plugin Selector, click the button for the desired plug-in.
  5. The plugin will open.
  6. Process your image in the plugin.
  7. Once finished, click Save or Save all if there are multiple images (or Apply for Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3) in the bottom right.
  8. Your processed image will return to DxO PhotoLab.
    • If you start from a folder, the return image from the Nik Collection will appear next to the original with the same name, with the suffix _Nik added, the extension depending on the file format chosen in the settings.
    • If you start from a project, the return image from the Nik Collection will not be directly visible, as it is not automatically assigned to that project. To view both the original and the processed image in the Nik Collection, right-click the original and select View Image Folder.
Selecting a Nik Collection plugin from DxO PhotoLab
Editing in the Nik Collection (Analog Efex Pro 3).
Image: Gilles Theophile
Processed image returned to DxO PhotoLab.

*In a standard workflow, the Nik Collection’s return image processing can no longer be changed. If you want to take advantage of this feature from DxO PhotoLab, see Non-destructive workflow (only from Nik Collection 3 onwards).

Adobe Lightroom Classic

The Nik Collection is one of the very first external editors made available for Adobe’s workflow program. Please note that the Nik Collection is only compatible with Lightroom Classic, as the cloud variant, Lightroom (formerly Lightroom CC), does not currently have an interface for plugins.

External editing preferences

To change the default settings after installing the Nik Collection or to set the files that will be transferred to the Nik Collection as desired:

  1. Open the Lightroom Classic Preferences (PC: Edit menu, Mac: Lightroom Classic menu).
  2. Go to the External Editing tab.
  3. In the Additional External Editor section, select one of the Nik Collection plugins from the Preset list.
  4. Choose from among the following settings:
    • File format: Choose TIFF, PSD, or JPEG.
    • Color Space: Choose Prophoto RGB, Adobe RGB (1998), P3 Monitor, or sRGB.
    • Depth: Select the depth per R, G, and B channel, either 16-bit (TIFF and PSD) or 8-bit (TIFF, PSD, and JPEG).
    • Resolution: 240 (leave as is).
    • Compression: TIFF format only; LZW or ZIP methods are available to save disk space.
  5. In the Preset menu (see step 1), the plugin name is followed by: (modified). Go to the very bottom and select Update Preset.
  6. For other plugins, repeat steps 1 to 6*.
  7. In the Stack with Original section, select the checkbox to allow the processed image to be returned to the Nik Collection with the original as an expanded stack.
  8. If you wish, you can create your own suffix in the Edit File Name Externally section. Otherwise, the suffix _Modify will be added to the original file name to form the name of the file processed in the Nik Collection.
  9. Exit Preferences (no restart required).

You can leave the External Editing Preferences as they are, and configure the files in the dialog box that appears when transferring from Lightroom Classic to one of the Nik Collection’s plugins (see the paragraph about Standard workflow below).

For a maximum quality workflow, especially if you plan to do further processing and retouching later, or to provide documents of the highest quality :

For a standard workflow, without the need for further processing, for posting on Facebook or sending by email:

In general, when processing images in the Nik Collection, maintain maximum quality workflow. You will be able to modify your files afterwards, depending on their use, during the export phase in Lightroom Classic.

Standard Workflow with Lightroom

The step-by-step procedure explained here concerns the interaction between Lightroom Classic and all the plugins of the Nik Collection, with the exception of HDR Efex Pro 2 (see next paragraph).

From a RAW file

The workflow with RAW files, as well as DNGs generated by cameras, requires the creation of a TIFF, PSD, or JPEG file, depending on the settings in Lightroom Classic’s external editing preferences (which implies output from a RAW stream):

  1. Make basic corrections to your originals.
  2. In a folder or collection, select one or more images.
  3. Right-click, and from the cascading menus, choose Edit in and select the desired plugin.
  4. In the Retouch Photo(s) with dialog box:
    • Only the Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments option is available. In this case, Lightroom Classic will generate a file according to the options in the External Editing Preferences, to which it will apply any corrections made beforehand.
    • By deploying the File Copy Option arrow, you can change your external editing preferences.
  5. Click on Edit.
  6. The images will open in the selected plugin.
  7. Process your images.
  8. Click Save or Save All if there are multiple images (or Apply… for Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3) at the bottom right; the plugin closes and your images are returned to Lightroom Classic, stacked with their originals in the starting folder or collection with the name of the file followed by the suffix chosen in the External editing preferences.
Selecting an external editor in Lightroom Classic
External editing options
Processing an image in the selected external editor (25th anniversary preset — Hint of Blue, Silver Efex Pro 3)
Image: Gilles Theophile
Return to Lightroom Classic

From a TIFF, PSD, or JPEG file

Several scenarios are possible here, as your TIFF, PSD or JPEG files may come from other sources, unless they are files that you have already processed in the Nik Collection :

  1. In a folder or collection, select one or more images.
  2. Right-click, and from the cascading menus, choose Edit in and select the desired plugin.
  3. In the Retouch Photo(s) with dialog box, select one of the following options :
    • Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments: a copy of the file or group of files will be generated (it will apply any corrections made beforehand in Lightroom to the file(s)).
    • Modify a copy: The copy created will not include any corrections made in Lightroom Classic.
    • Modify the original: transfers the selected file(s) as is, without creating a copy.
    • By deploying the File Copy Option arrow, you can change your external editing preferences (unless you have modified the original).
  4. Click on Edit.
  5. The images will open in the selected plugin.
  6. Process your images.
  7. Click Save or Save All if there are multiple images (or Apply… for Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3) at the bottom right; the plugin closes and your images are returned to Lightroom Classic, stacked with their originals in the starting folder or collection with the name of the file followed by the suffix chosen in the External editing preferences.

Smart Copy/Paste

Smart Copy/Paste mode is a great way to speed up workflow with the ability to apply the latest corrections made in the Nik Collection to a batch of images ready to be exported by Lightroom Classic. There are two scenarios: copy/paste settings within Lightroom Classic, and copy/paste via the Export menu.

Scenario 1: Copy/paste settings to remaining images in Lightroom Classic

Process the image and copy the parameters:

  1. In Lightroom Classic, select a photo and process it with one of the plugins from the Nik Collection.
  2. Once the processed image is back in Lightroom Classic, right-click on it (be sure to do this on the TIFF or JPEG image coming back from the plugin, not on the original Raw file).
  3. In the context menu, go to Export > Nik Collection and then select Copy and apply.
  4. In the dialog box, click on the Copy button that corresponds to the plug-in you are using.
  5. The dialog box shows the name of the file from which the associated effects and settings are copied.
  6. Click OK. The dialog box closes.

Paste the settings to the destination image:

  1. In Lightroom Classic, select the destination image (or images).
  2. Right-click and, in the context menu, go to Export > Nik Collection > Copy and apply.
  3. In the dialog box, click on the Apply button that corresponds to the plugin you are using.
  4. A dialog box gives you the option of creating a copy. If the destination images are Raw files, only the Edit a copy with Lightroom adjustments option will be available, if the destination images are bitmap files (TIFF, JPEG, etc.), all options will be available, and will allow you to either create a copy or edit the destination image itself.
  5. Click on Run.
  6. A series of progress bars from Lightroom Classic and the Nik Collection will show you the current process (no Nik Collection plug-ins will open). If the destination images are Raw files, Lightroom Classic generates the image copies and the Nik Collection effects are applied (if the destination images are bitmap files, the effects will be applied according to the option chosen in step 4).
  7. If you started from a Lightroom Classic folder (and not a collection), the processed images are automatically stacked with the starting image, but the stack is expanded

to display the results.

Scenario 2: Copy and paste parameters via the Export menu

Process the image and copy the parameters:

  1. In Lightroom Classic, select a photo and process it with one of the plugins from the Nik Collection.
  2. Once the processed image is back in Lightroom Classic, right-click on it (be sure to do this on the TIFF or JPEG image coming back from the plugin, not on the original Raw file).
  3. In the context menu, go to Export > Export…
  4. In the Export menu, click on the Nik Collection > Copy and Apply Parameters preset in the left column.
  5. The Export menu reconfigures and gives you two options, File Name and Image Sizing.
  6. Click on Export at the bottom right.
  7. A dialog box shows the name of the file from which the effects and associated settings are copied, and the name of the destination image. Click on Copy.
  8. Click OK. The dialog box closes.

Paste the settings to the destination image:

  1. Select the destination image (or images).
  2. Right-click and in the context menu, go to Export > Export…
  3. In the Export menu, you should find the configuration of the copy step. If not, click on the Nik Collection > Copy and Apply Parameters preset in the left column.
  4. Click on Export at the bottom right.
  5. A dialog box shows the name of the file from which the effects and associated settings are copied. Click on Apply.
  6. A new dialog box informs you that a copy of the destination image will be created.
  7. Click on Run.
  8. Progress bars indicate that the copy of the image is being created and that the Nik Collection processing is being applied.
  9. Click on OK to close the dialog box for applying the processing (Step 5).
  10. If you started from a Lightroom Classic folder (and not a collection), the processed images are automatically stacked with the starting image, but the stack is expanded to display the results.

Workflow with HDR Efex Pro 2

The workflow for merging photos with HDR Efex Pro 2 is unique and does not go through the Edit In cascading menu, but rather through the Export menu. There is also a more direct access.

Via the Export menu

  1. Make basic corrections to your originals.
  2. In a folder or collection, select the images to merge.
  3. Right-click and from the cascading menus, select Export and then Export…
  4. From the Export menu, you can access commands to transfer to HDR Efex Pro 2 in two ways :
    • Export to: From the list at the very top of the Export menu, select HDR Efex Pro 2.
    • HDR Efex Pro 2 preset: In the Export Presets column on the left, open the HDR Efex Pro 2 section and click on the <strong>HDR Efex Pro 2</strong> preset.
  5. Verify the settings or change them as desired in the File Settings section on the right.
  6. Click on Export at the bottom right.
  7. A dialog box prompts you to choose between processing the originals directly, or creating a copy with the Lightroom settings. Select the desired option and then click Edit.
  8. Lightroom Classic generates the files according to the settings in step 5.
  9. The HDR Efex Pro 2 Merge window opens. Create the HDR image, edit it in HDR Efex Pro 2, and then click on Save, or Save all if there are several images, at the bottom right.
  10. Lightroom Classic automatically switches to a collection labeled with the return date and time, within a collection set named HDR Efex Pro 2, to display the created image. In the original folder or collection, the HDR image is stacked with the originals, and the file name has the suffix _HDR.
Selection of files to merge.
Selection of export mode to HDR Efex Pro 2.
File format selection.
HDR Efex Pro 2 merge window.
Selecting the mode for exporting files to HDR Efex Pro 2.
Image: Chris Gorman
Return to Lightroom Classic.

Direct access

To transfer images to be merged into HDR Efex Pro 2 without going through the Export menu:

  1. Select the images.
  2. Right-click and from the cascading menus, select Export and then HDR Efex Pro 2.
  3. Follow the steps in the Via the Export menu section.
Direct access to HDR Efex Pro 2 without going via the Export menu.

Non-destructive workflow combining Lightroom and Photoshop

From Lightroom Classic, you can benefit from two reversible workflows, one via Photoshop, the other via the Nik Collection.

Reversible workflow via Photoshop (smart objects)

Initial processing:

  1. In Lightroom Classic, make the basic corrections to your originals.
  2. In a folder or a collection, select the image (or images) to process in Nik Collection.
  3. Right-click and, from the cascading menus, choose Edit In and then Open as Smart Object in Photoshop.
  4. The image opens as a Smart Object in Photoshop.
  5. Process the image in the Nik Collection with the reversible Photoshop workflow, as explained in the chapter Workflow with Adobe Photoshop.
  6. Back in Lightroom Classic, the processed image is stacked with the original.
Open in Photoshop as a Smart Object from Lightroom Classic.
The smart object in Photoshop
Processing in the Nik Collection (Preset 002 — Blue Hour in Viveza 3)
Image: Fabien Voileau
Smart filter added to the image
Processed image (left) returned to Lightroom

Modify the processing:

  1. In Lightroom Classic, select the previously processed image.
  2. Right-click then Edit in and Edit in Adobe Photoshop (no need to reselect Open as Smart Object in Photoshop).
  3. The image opens in Photoshop, follow the steps explained in the chapter Workflow with Adobe Photoshop, in particular the part devoted to reopening and resuming processing in the Nik Collection.
  4. After saving in the Nik Collection then in Photoshop, the image returns to Lightroom Classic and its thumbnail is refreshed with the modified processing.
Returning the image to Photoshop
Double-click on the smart filter to relaunch Viveza 3
Changing the processing in Viveza 3 (here, preset 002 – Golden Hour)
The modified image in Viveza 3 (left), and image returned to Lightroom Classic (right)

Serif Affinity Photo

The Serif program is an alternative to Adobe Camera Raw and Adobe Photoshop, and you can use the plugins from the Nik Collection in it, as from version 1.8 for Affinity Photo, and version 2.5 for the Nik Collection.

Using Affinity Photo and the Nik Collection together requires a special installation procedure, which is described on the Installation, Activation, and Uninstallation page in the Configuration and installation chapter.

Workflow with Affinity Photo

To process your images in the Nik Collection in Affinity Photo:

  1. In Affinity Photo, develop your RAW files or process your TIFF, PSD, JPEG, or other files as you normally do (basic corrections, etc.).
  2. Go to Filters > Modules > Nik Collection and select the plugin you wish to work with.
  3. Once you have finished working with the plug-in, click OK.
  4. The Nik Collection plug-in will apply the processing and then close.
  5. The processed image is displayed in Affinity Photo.
  6. If you want to return to the image at a later time, you can save it in Affinity Photo format (.afphoto extension) via the File > Save or Save as menu.
  7. If you want to use your image, export it in the desired format via File > Export.
Image opened in Affinity Photo.
Image: Chris Gorman
Opening commands in external modules.
Processing an image in the Nik Collection (Color Efex Pro 4)
Processed image returned to Affinity Photo

Standalone mode

You can use the Nik Collection plugins in standalone mode, without using a host application (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.), as long as you use TIFF or JPEG files. This page presents the standalone mode specific to all Nik Collection plugins other than Analog Efex Pro 3, Color Efex Pro 5, Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3.

Note that on PC, Dfine 2 and Sharpener Pro 3 still use the original interface of the Nik Collection for the time being.

Perspective Efex also has its own specific features, and its menus in standalone mode are the same as in plugin mode. See the Perspective Efex Interface page.

Provided you are opening a TIFF file, you can use the reversible workflow available in standalone mode from version 3.0 of the Nik Collection onwards. For more information, see the Non-Destructive Workflow page in this chapter.

Standalone mode on PC

Image: Chris Gorman

HDR Efex Pro 2

You can directly launch HDR Efex 2 in one of the following ways:

HDR Efex Pro 2 will open, and if you opened it directly, without an image:

  1. Go to the File menu and select Open Images.
  2. A system dialog box enables you to select one or more images to open.
  3. Edit your image as desired.
  4. Click on Save on the bottom right: the processing is applied to the image and HDR Efex Pro 2 will close. The processed image remains in the same format as when it was opened (JPEG > JPEG, TIFF > TIFF).

Dfine 2 and Sharpener Pro 3 (RAW PreSharpener and Output Sharpener)

You can directly launch Dfine 2 or Sharpener Pro 3 (RAW PreSharpener and Output Sharpener) in one of the following ways:

The selected plugin opens, and if you opened it directly without an image:

  1. Click on the Open button at the top left.
  2. A system dialog box lets you select one or more images to open.
  3. Edit your image as desired.
  4. Click on Save on the bottom right: the processing is applied to the image and the plug-in will close. The processed image remains in the same format as when it was opened (JPEG > JPEG, TIFF > TIFF).

Standalone mode (Mac)

You can directly launch Dfine 2, HDR Efex Pro 2 or Sharpener Pro 3 in one of the following ways:

The selected plugin opens, and if you opened it directly without an image:

  1. Go to the File menu and select Open Images.
  2. A system dialog box lets you select an image to open.
  3. Edit your image as desired.
  4. Click on Save: the processing is applied to the image and the plugin will close. The processed image remains in the same format as when it was opened (JPEG > JPEG, TIFF > TIFF).

The menu bar (PC)

HDR Efex Pro 2

The menu bar lets you access the features described here:

  1. File:
    • Open images: lets you open images through a system dialog.
    • Save image as: lets you create another version of the image, possibly in another format and saved in a different location.
    • Exit: closes the plugin (a dialog box prompts you to save the changes made to the image).
    • Save: the processing is applied to the image.
  2. Edit :
    • Apply Last Edit: Applies the effects and corrections from the previous image or session (even after closing/reopening).
  3. Help contains the following links and commands (internet connection required):
    • User Guide (viewable online and downloadable as a PDF).
    • Frequently Asked Questions.
    • Online Support.
    • Learning Hub (webinars, tutorials, etc.).

Dfine 2 and Sharpener Pro 3 (RAW PreSharpener and Output Sharpener)

These two plug-ins, which use the original Nik Collection interface, do not have a menu bar, but have buttons located at the top left instead:

  1. Open allows you to open images via a system dialog box.
  2. Apply Last Edit: Applies the effects and corrections from the previous image or session (even after closing/reopening).

The menu bar (Mac)

HDR Efex Pro 2

The menu bar at the top of the window contains the following menus:

  1. HDR Efex Pro 2:
    • Exit: closes the plug-in.
  2. File:
    • Open allows you to open images via a system dialog box.
    • Save image as: lets you create another version of the image, possibly in another format and saved in a different location.
  3. Edit :
    • Apply Last Edit: Applies the effects and corrections from the previous image or session (even after closing/reopening).
  4. Help contains the following links and options (internet connection required):
    • User Guide (viewable online and downloadable as a PDF).
    • Frequently Asked Questions.
    • Online Support.
    • Learning Hub (webinars, tutorials, etc.).

Standalone mode (since Nik Collection 4)

You can use the Nik Collection plugins in standalone mode, without using a host application (Lightroom, Photoshop, etc.), as long as you use TIFF or JPEG files. This page presents the standalone mode specific to plug-ins from Nik Collection 4: (Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3) and Nik Collection 5 (Analog Efex Pro 3 and Color Efex Pro 5).

In standalone mode, and unlike other Nik Collection plugins, Analog Efex Pro 3, Color Efex Pro 5, Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3 let you open a combination of JPEG and TIFF images.

Standalone mode on PC (Analog Efex Pro 3, Color Efex Pro 5, Silver Efex 3 and Viveza 3)

Standalone mode: open images by drag and drop (PC).
Image: Gilles Theophile
  1. You can launch any of the Nik Collection plugins directly in one of the following ways:
    • Double-click on the icon of the desired plugin in the Nik Collection folder on the Start menu, on the desktop shortcut, or on the plugin icon on the Windows Task Bar (bottom) if you have pinned it there.
    • Right-click on an image and then, in the cascading menus, Open with and select a plugin.
    • The selected plugin opens.
  2. If you have opened the plugin directly, without an image, you can:
    • drag and drop your images in the interface.
    • go to the File menu and select Open (a system dialog box lets you select an image to open).
  3. Edit your image as desired.
  4. To save, go to the File menu and select Save, the processing is applied to the image and the plug-in will close. The processed image remains in the same format as when it was opened (JPEG > JPEG, TIFF > TIFF).
  5. If you want to create another version of the image, perhaps in a different format and location, go to the File menu and select Save Image As… A system dialog box allows you to change the name and choose the save location.
  6. If you have several images open and want to save all your changes at once, even if each one has different processing, select the Save All command from the File menu.
  7. To exit the plugin, go to the File menu and then select Exit.

Standalone mode for Mac (Silver Efex 3 and Viveza 3)

Standalone mode: open images using drag and drop (Mac).
  1. You can launch any of the Nik Collection plugins directly in one of the following ways:
    • Double-click on the icon.
    • Right-click on an image and then, in the cascading menus, select Open with and then a plugin.
  2. The selected plugin opens.
  3. If you have opened the plugin directly, without an image, you can:
    • Drag and drop your images in the interface.
    • Go to the File menu and select Open. A system dialog box lets you select an image or images to open.
    • Use the Cmd + O keyboard shortcut (letter “O”). A system dialog box lets you select an image or images to open.
  4. Edit your image as desired.
  5. In the File menu, click on Save; the processing is applied to the image, and it will be kept in the same format as it was opened in (JPEG > JPEG, TIFF > TIFF), and in the same location.
  6. To save your image in another format (for example, TIFF or JPEG) and/or in another location, select Save As from the File menu.
  7. If you have several images open and want to save all your changes at once, even if each one has different processing, select the Save All command from the File menu.
  8. To exit the plugin, go to the menu named after it, then choose Exit {plugin name}.

The menu bar (PC)

When using any of the Nik Collection suite plug-ins, the menu bar lets you access some of the features described here:

  1. File:
    • Open allows you to open images via a system dialog box.
    • Exit: closes the plugin (a dialog box prompts you to save the changes made to the image).
    • Save image as: lets you create another version of the image, possibly in another format and saved in a different location.
    • Save all: if you have opened several images, saves all the corrections, even if they vary from one image to the next.
    • Preferences: opens the plugin options and settings window.
  2. Edit :
    • Undo: undoes the last correction and then the previous corrections.
    • Redo: restores the last undone correction and then the previous ones.
    • Apply Last Edit: Applies the effects and corrections from the previous image or session (even after closing/reopening).
  3. Help contains the following links and commands (internet connection required):
    • User Guide (viewable online and downloadable as a PDF).
    • Frequently Asked Questions.
    • Online Support.
    • DxO Academy (webinars, tutorials, etc.)
    • Check for Updates.
    • About (displays the home screen and plugin version number; click to close).

The menu bar (Mac)

The menu bar at the top of the window contains the following menus:

  1. Plug-in name: this menu, which bears the name and version number of the plug-in, takes you to Settings.
  2. File:
    • Open allows you to open images via a system dialog box. Save: the processing is applied to the image.
    • Save image as: lets you create another version of the image, possibly in another format and saved in a different location.
    • Save all: if you have opened several images, saves all the corrections, even if they vary from one image to the next.
  3. Edit includes the following commands:
    • Undo: undoes the last correction and then the previous corrections. Redo: restores the last undone correction and then the previous ones.
    • Apply Last Edit: Applies the effects and corrections from the previous image or session (even after closing/reopening).
  4. Help contains the following links and commands (internet connection required):
    • User Guide (viewable online and downloadable as a PDF).
    • Frequently Asked Questions.
    • Online Support.
    • DxO Academy (webinars, tutorials, etc.)
    • Check for Updates.
    • About (displays the home screen and plugin version number; click to close).

Non-destructive workflow

Since Nik Collection 3.0, you can take advantage of a reversible, non-destructive workflow, which allows you to resume or modify the processing you have done, under the following conditions:

  1. Works with TIFF files only.
  2. Can be used in all plugins except Perspective Efex.
  3. Accessible via the following programs*:
    • Workflow with DxO PhotoLab
    • Workflow with Adobe Lightroom Classic
    • Standalone mode

The Nik Collection reversible workflow is not available in Serif Affinity Photo, nor in Adobe Photoshop, which has its own reversible workflow using smart objects.

The principle of the reversible, non-destructive workflow is based on encapsulating a second TIFF file in the TIFF file generated during transfer from the host application to the Nik Collection (or during the workflow in standalone mode). This doubles the size of the file that contains an input TIFF, an output TIFF, and the parameters and settings applied in the Nik Collection.

To take advantage of this workflow, simply check the Save and edit later option, next to the plug-in Save button (files will be larger).

Non-destructive workflow with DxO PhotoLab

Initial processing:

  1. Select a RAW, DNG or TIFF file in the Image Explorer. You can also select multiple images.
  2. Click the Nik Collection button.
  3. In the Plug-in Selector, click Settings.
  4. In the Edit in dialog box, choose Process as TIFF and export and confirm by choosing OK.
  5. In the Plugin Selector, select the desired plugin (except Perspective Efex).
  6. The image will open in the selected plugin.
  7. A dialog box will be displayed in two cases:
    • If it is a TIFF file, you are prompted to use the reversible workflow.
    • If it is a JPEG file, you are prompted to use the TIFF format to take advantage of the reversible workflow.
    • In both cases, you can select Do not display again.
  8. Process your image.
  9. Before saving, check the Save and edit later box. The checkbox is not active if your image is not in TIFF format.
  10. Click Save, or Save all if there are multiple images (or Apply for Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3), at the bottom right.
  11. Processing is applied to the image, and then the plugin closes.
  12. The processed image is visible in DxO PhotoLab.
Opening the image in the Nik Collection
Image: Gilles Theophile
Selecting TIFF format (required for non-destructive workflow)
Information message about the reversible workflow
Processing the image in the Nik Collection (in this case, Analog Efex Pro 3)
Saving with the intention of editing further
Processed image returned to DxO PhotoLab

Modifying the processing (one or more images):

  1. Select the return TIFF file from the Nik Collection.
  2. Click the Nik Collection button.
  3. In the Plug-in Selector, click Settings.
  4. In the Edit in dialog box, choose Export selected file(s) without processing and select OK to confirm.*
  5. In the Plugin Selector, click on the plugin you used for initial processing. (If you choose another plugin this time, its effects combine with the effects applied during the first processing.).
  6. The image will open in the selected plugin.
  7. Modify the processing of your image.
  8. Click Save.**
  9. Processing is applied to the image, and then the plugin closes.
  10. The processed image is visible in DxO PhotoLab.

* Choosing this option is crucial, because if you select one of the other two, you will not be able to change the processing.
** If you want to keep the ability to repeatedly change the processing of your image, make sure that you have checked the Save and edit later box.

Exporting selected files without processing (required for reversible workflow)
Processing modification in the plugin
Returned to DxO PhotoLab

Non-destructive workflow with Adobe Lightroom Classic

Initial processing (you can process one or several images):

  1. Select a file.
  2. Go to the Edit in cascading menu and select one of the Nik Collection plugins*.
  3. In the Edit Photo With… dialog box, in the File Copy Options section, verify that the format is TIFF.
  4. The image will open in the selected plugin.
  5. A dialog box will be displayed in two cases:
    • If it is a TIFF file, you are prompted to use the reversible workflow.
    • If it is a JPEG file, you are prompted to use the TIFF format to take advantage of the reversible workflow.
    • In both cases, you can select Do not display again.
  6. Process your image.
  7. Before saving, check the Save and edit later box.
  8. Click on Save or Save All if there are several images (or Apply for Silver Efex Pro 3 and Viveza 3) on the bottom right.
  9. Processing is applied to the image, and then the plugin closes.
  10. The processed image returns to Lightroom Classic, stacked with the original.

* Perspective Efex does not benefit from the reversible workflow. For HDR Efex Pro 2, access is via Export (see the Adobe Lightroom Classic page).

Opening the Nik Collection (Silver Efex Pro 3) from Lightroom Classic
Image: Gilles Theophile
Lightroom Classic dialogue box showing editing options
Information message about the reversible workflow.
Processing the image in Silver Efex Pro 3
Reversible workflow option checkbox
Processed image returned to Lightroom Classic

Modifying the processing (one or more images):

  1. Select the return TIFF file from the Nik Collection.
  2. Go to the Edit In cascading menu and select the plugin used in initial processing.
  3. In the Process Photo With… dialog box, select Edit Original or Edit Copy*.
  4. The image will open in the selected plugin.
  5. Modify the image processing as desired**.
  6. Make sure the Non-destructive edits (larger files) checkbox is checked, otherwise uncheck it if you do not plan to edit it again**.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Processing is applied to the image, and then the plugin closes.
  9. The processed image returns to Lightroom Classic, stacked with the original.
Selection of the image to modify and opening it in the Nik Collection (Silver Efex Pro 3).
The 2 options to retain for the reversible flow.
Modification of the processing in Silver Efex Pro 3.
Processed image returned to Lightroom Classic.

* The Edit a Copy with Lightroom Adjustments option does not let you reverse the processing.
** You can re-edit the image as many times as you like, as long as you do not clear the Save and edit later check box.

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