Last updated on February 6, 2023
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Adding watermarks

Purpose and usefulness of watermarks

DxO PhotoLab lets you add a watermark to your images in the form of text, graphics, or both. The DxO Instant Watermarking tool offers the advantage of a live preview of the watermark in the image, during creation and alteration. Then it is up to you to decide whether or not to add the watermark to your exported images.

The purpose of a Watermark is to:

The text or image, if embedded judiciously (avoiding placement too close to the edges), will discourage theft, reuse, or unauthorized republication of your images. On the other hand, an overly conspicuous watermark can also alter and even discourage others from viewing your images.

If you choose an Image watermark, you will need to create it first in an image editing or graphic design program. DxO PhotoLab does not let you create logos and other graphic elements.

A watermark is not a substitute for the author and copyright information in the image metadata; we encourage you to continue to fill in these fields, particularly the Metadata palette.

The Watermark palette

The Watermark palette is located at the very bottom of the right pane of the Customize tab (DxO Advanced workspace) or as a sub-palette at the bottom of the Basic Tools palette. Inactive by default, it is activated as soon as you click on one of the modes (Image or Text); the tools displayed depend on your choice.

When you apply a watermark to an image, it will always be visible, both in the Viewer and in the image browser thumbnail. Although the look of the watermark can be undone — in other words, you can change or replace it at any time — its application will be permanent in exported images.*

* Watermarks will not be applied to images exported using the Export to DNG option (denoising & optical corrections only).

Embedding an image

To embed a watermark image:

  1. Display your photo in Fit to Screen mode so you can check the size, proportions, and appearance of the watermark in real time.
  2. In the Watermark sub-palette, select the image mode by clicking the Image button.
  3. In the Preview window, click on Browse.
  4. A system dialog box allows you to locate and select your image. Click on Open.
  5. The watermark image will appear in the Preview window as well as in your photo, depending on the selected position. The name of the file is displayed below the preview window.
  6. The checkerboard lets you position the image in the center, top, bottom, left, right or corners of your photo; click on one of the 9 blocks to place it where you want it.
  7. When you select a position other than the center, margin sliders activate in the palette: for example, Left margin for the left position, or Left margin + Top margin for the top left position, etc. These sliders (set to 0 by default) allow you to position your image exactly where you want it in the photo.
  8. The Rotate watermark button, to the left of the positioning grid, allows you to rotate your image in 90° increments with each click.
  9. Adjust the image size** with the Scale slider, between 1 and 100 (default value: 15).
  10. The Blending Mode menu lets you select how the embedded image will blend into the photo. 7 blending modes are available (see section on Blending modes below).
  11. Use the Opacity slider to play with the transparency of the watermark and thus its presence in your photo.

** Make sure your image file is of a size and resolution high enough to avoid edge potential cropping and degradation of its appearance.

Embedding text

Text is the easiest way to mark your photos with your name or your company name if you are a professional, for example. Unlike images and logos, which you need to create outside of DxO PhotoLab, DxO PhotoLab lets you enter your text directly thanks to the pre-installed fonts of your operating system.

To insert a text watermark:

  1. Display your photo in Fit to Screen mode so you can check the size, proportions, and appearance of the watermark in real time.
  2. In the Watermark sub-palette, select text mode by clicking the Text button.
  3. Click in the input field just below the Image/Text buttons and enter your text, which will also activate all the other tools in the sub- palette. Enter your text and validate with the Enter key; the embedded text will appear in the image.
  4. Select your favorite font from the drop-down list below the input field (the default font is Arial).
  5. You can also change the default white of the font by clicking on the white tile, which opens the operating system’s color picker where you can select another color.
  6. The menu to the left of the tile lets you change the style of your font (bold, italic, etc.).
  7. The checkerboard lets you position the text in the center, top, bottom, left, right or corners of your photo; click on one of the 9 blocks to place it where you want it.
  8. When you select a position other than the center, margin sliders will activate in the palette: for example, Left margin for the left position, or Left margin + Top margin for the top left position, etc. These sliders (set to 0 by default) allow you to position your text exactly where you want it in the photo.
  9. The Rotate watermark button, to the left of the positioning grid, allows you to rotate your text in 90° increments with each click.
  10. Adjust the size of the text with the Scale slider, between 1 and 100 (default value: 35).
  11. The Mode menu allows you to choose how the embedded text will blend in relative to your photo. There are seven blending modes available (see below).
  12. You can use the Opacity slider (set to 100 by default) to play with the transparency and presence of the text in your photo.

For watermarks, there are no prohibited characters, no incompatible fonts, and no limit to the number of characters.

Blending modes

You can control how the embedded watermark, text or image, appears in the image, depending on the colors, brightness, opacity or background you choose. The use of blending modes requires a little experimentation on your part; the result depends largely on the type of watermark, its settings, and the image in which it will be embedded, of course. There are seven different blending modes:

Embedding an image and text

The Watermarking tool offers great flexibility by giving you the possibility of embedding both an image (logo or other) and some text:

  1. In the Watermark sub-palette, click on the Image button and then follow the same steps as in the Embedding an Image section above.
  2. Once the image is embedded, click on the Text button, then repeat all the steps in the Embedding Text section.

Creating, applying, and managing watermark presets

If you want to use more than one type of watermark, the sub-palette allows you to create, save, apply, and modify as many watermarks as you want, as presets.

Creating and saving a preset

  1. Create an image and/or text watermark* by following the instructions detailed in the Embedding an image and/or Embedding text sections above.
  2. In the sub-palette at the bottom, click Create Preset.
  3. Enter a unique name in the dialog box that appears and confirm by clicking OK.
  4. The name of the watermark is displayed in the Preset list at the top of the sub-palette: This is the preset you just created, and it is active.

*You can create a preset that includes both image and text, no matter whether you are in Image or Text mode, both will be taken into account. There is no limit to the number of presets that you can create.

Applying a preset

  1. In the Preset list, select the desired watermark.
  2. The watermark will be embedded in the photo.
  3. The sub-palette shows the settings for the selected watermark.

Changing a preset

  1. In the Preset list, select the watermark you want to change.
  2. The watermark will be embedded in the photo.
  3. The sub-palette shows the settings for the selected watermark.
  4. Change the settings as desired. To return the settings to the original watermark settings, click on the round-arrow (reset) button.
  5. To keep the watermark with its changes, click Update.
  6. To keep the original watermark and its modified version, click Create Preset and enter a new name.

Deleting a preset

  1. In the Watermark sub-palette, choose the watermark you want to remove from the Preset list.
  2. Click the trash can button on the right side of the Preset menu.
  3. A dialog box will ask you to confirm the deletion. In this case, choose OK.
  4. The watermark disappears from the Preset list.

Applying, exporting, and printing a watermarked photo

Applying a watermark to one or more photos

When you create a watermark, the watermark is displayed in real time on the photo in the Viewer and in the image browser. To apply the watermark to multiple photos at the same time, select the photos in the image browser (in which case, the first selection will be displayed in the Viewer).

Exporting one or more watermarked photos

Whatever export mode you choose – disk, application, etc. – the watermark will be applied to your photos, with the following exceptions:

Printing a watermarked photo

These are the options when it comes to printing your watermarked photos:

A few tips

Whether or not you should embed a watermark is a matter of much debate. Does the watermark really protect your images and your rights? Does it interfere with the look of your photos? If you decide to embed a watermark, here are some tips:

ReTouch Tool

The ReTouch tool lets you clean the dust from images as well as remove elements.


The ReTouch tool (formerly known as the Repair tool) not only lets you clean-up marks and dust from the camera’s sensor, but also remove unwanted elements from the image, with a level of control that forgoes the need for retouching software in most instances. The ReTouch tool includes the following:


The ReTouch tool in the top toolbar of the Customize tab.
The ReTouch tool in the Detail palette.

The ReTouch tool is located in the Customize tab and can be accessed in two ways:

The tools are located in an embedded settings palette to the bottom left of the image. A palette of keyboard shortcuts can also be found to the bottom right or, on Mac, in the toolbar under the image.

Mac version

The tools are available in the lower toolbar under the image, in the form of a palette of settings to the bottom left of the image and a collapsible palette of keyboard shortcuts to the bottom right.

Left: settings palette with the Brush active. Right: with the Transform tool active (Mac).
Left: settings palette with the Brush active. Right: with the Transform tool active (PC).

The tools are available in a palette of settings to the bottom left of the image, and in a collapsible palette of keyboard shortcuts to the bottom right.

The settings palette contains all of the tools, as well as their associated options (from top to bottom and left to right):

The lower ReTouch toolbar (Mac).

The lower toolbar contains the following options (left to right):

The keyboard shortcuts palette (top : Mac, bottom : PC).

The palette of keyboard shortcuts can be opened or closed by clicking on the question mark to the bottom right of the image.

Tool functions

The brush

The Mac version brush (left) and PC version (right).

The circular-shaped brush is activated by clicking on the New Mask button in the floating palette to the bottom left. You can adjust its characteristics using the sliders for Size (diameter), Feathering (edge hardness), and Opacity (transparency of the repair).

Left: size 200 px, featherin 100%, opacity 100%.
Center: size 100 px, feathering 50 %, opacity 100%.
Right: size 100 px, feathering 0%, opacity 100%.

A New mask (first button) is made up of the following elements (from center to edge):

A mask made with a brush stroke.

Add stroke mode (2nd button) lets you enlarge an active mask. It has the same appearance as the brush in New mask mode, but is distinguishable by the following element:

Add stroke mode.

Erase stroke mode (3rd button), lets you erase all or part of the active mask, and appears as follows:

Erase stroke mode.

The masks

Moving a mask by hand.

When you are doing a repair, provided they are set to display, the masks are represented by white outlines (a circle in the case of single click with the brush) with a circular tile in the center which will vary according to the situation:

The shape of the mask is invisible when it is inactive (translucent tile). Move your mouse pointer over the circular tile to see it. This avoids unnecessary cluttering of the image if you have applied lots of retouching masks.

To fine-tune or resume a repair, you can move the repair mask or the sample source, or both, by clicking on their respective patches to activate them. The mouse pointer changes to the Hand tool as soon as you place it on one of the patches.

You can also change the settings of the feathering and opacity sliders. In which case, the repair area mask will display any changes to these settings in real time.

For better clarity and visibility, the shapes of any inactive masks are not displayed. Only the circular tiles are visible, as well as the shape of the active mask.

To move a circular tile associated with a repair mask and/or sampling mask: activate the repair mask by placing the mouse pointer on the tile (which temporarily becomes the Main tool) then reposition it as you wish by dragging-and-dropping. This option to move masks around helps you refine or restart a repair.

To delete a retouch mask:

To remove all the masks at once:

The Transform Source Tool

Fine retouching with the Transform tool.

With the Transform source tool, you can go much further with the precision and finesse of your repairs and retouching. Indeed, you can do the following with the transform tool:

The transform box, once activated, appears as a dashed rectangle that covers the source mask for the repair or retouch. The transform box has 8 anchor points, 3 on each side with 1 on each corner. How the anchor points work will also depend on which keys are pressed:

To invert the transform box, click on one of the flip Icons in the floating palette. To reset it, click on the curved arrow.

Using the ReTouch tool

Cleaning up dust and marks from the sensor

Example of dust cleanup (on a scan from a film).

The ReTouch tool is ideal for cleaning away marks and dust that came from the sensor, on the image. All you have to do is use the following steps:

  1. Activate the ReTouch tool.
  2. Zoom in on the image to at least 1:1.
  3. In the Move/Zoom palette, move to the top left of the image.
  4. For effective cleaning, set the tool to Repair, Feather 100%, and Opacity 100%.
  5. Place the brush over a mark and adjust the size to cover it completely.
  6. Click: the mark is removed, active masks (sample source and repair area) are indicated by an opaque tile connected by an arrow (pointing towards the repair area).
  7. Proceed to the next specks or defects and repeat steps 5 and 6 as many times as necessary.
  8. When you are done cleaning a portion of the image, use the frame in the Move/Zoom palette to move to another spot (you can also move the image by using the Space bar to temporarily enable the Hand tool).
  9. Continue to clean the image one area at a time until you finish at the bottom right of the image.
  10. Click Close to exit the ReTouch tool.

Better visualization of dust and marks

The Microcontrast tool temporarily set to maximum will help you locate the dust and marks.

Sometimes dust that is barely visible on the screen can be seen in the output document, especially when printing. Tip: To more easily identify marks and dust, temporarily alter the contrast, using Microcontrast or DxO ClearView Plus (ELITE edition). With major adjustment, these tools will enhance the contrast of the details and therefore reveal defects that need to be retouched. Once your repairs are made, return the contrast tools back to their default settings.

Retouching skin

Curtailing wrinkles and cleaning the skin of a model.

The ReTouch tool is also useful for cleaning up skin blemishes. For example, you can remove or attenuate details such as moles, freckles, acne, beauty spots, scars, wrinkles, crows feet, rogue hairs, etc.

When retouching a face, you should not attempt to remove details that distinguish the person, that are integral to their visual character, such as a moles or wrinkles. However, you can reduce their visual impact slightly using the Opacity slider.

Repair or Clone?

Example of using Clone mode.

In most cases you will use Repair mode, which takes into account characteristics such as the luminosity, contrast, and color of the image portion for cleaning or retouching, as this will blend well with the rest of the image.

However, Clone mode will copy an element of the image so you can easily rebuild portions of images that contain well-defined structures or textures. Furthermore, the adjustment of mask size, proportion, and inversion offered by Transform mode will help you attain a high level of accuracy in your retouching tasks.

Batch repairing and retouching

Selecting ReTouch tool for batch processing.

If a number of images share the same defect, you can do the following:

  1. Using the ReTouch tool, repair, clean and retouch the first image.
  2. Right-click on the image and then select Copy correction settings from the context menu.
  3. Select the target images.
  4. Right-click on the image selection and choose Paste correction settings > Paste all correction settings in the context menu.
  5. In the dialog box, make sure Detail > ReTouch is checked (as well as the other corrections you want to apply, otherwise select everything else).
  6. Click Paste.
  7. Your corrections and retouching are applied to the destination images.

For best results, only correct defects located in the same location on each image. If there are framing and orientation differences from one image to the next, you will need to change the source sample.

Fixing colors with the HSL tool

HSL Palette

The Hue/Saturation/Luminance (HSL) palette allows you to selectively and precisely correct colors using a color wheel, 8 color channels, and a global channel, as well as 3 sliders that affect saturation, luminance, and uniformity. This tool also allows you to:

The Hue/Saturation/Luminance sub-palette is located in the Color palette.

Color channels

At the top of the sub-palette, the colored dots show the selectable color channels (from left to right):

The dots represent the global channel (white) and the color channels. On the right, the reset arrow.

The selected channel is indicated by a white outline around its dot. As soon as you make a hue, saturation, luminance, and/or uniformity adjustment, a white dot appears under the active channel indicator.

The white outline indicates that the orange channel is active and the white dot indicates that the corresponding shade has been changed.

To the right of the channels, the curved arrow resets all the adjustments made in the palette—both to the settings of the color wheel and to those of the sliders. However, the channel you previously selected remains active, as indicated by a white outline.

DxO ColorWheel

The DxO ColorWheel replaces the HSL tool hue slider in versions prior to DxO PhotoLab 3. Equipped with both broader and finer adjustment options, it consists of the following elements:

As the inner wheel represents the source color (the one you want to change) and the outer wheel represents the target color, you should read and interpret the DxO ColorWheel from the inside to the outside.

The behavior of the DxO ColorWheel thus depends on what you select in the global channel or in one of the color channels.

The DxO ColorWheel (left, global channel active; right, blue channel active).

When the global channel (white dot) is selected, only the Saturation slider is active.

If the global channel is selected

Using the handle, you can rotate the outer wheel of the DxO ColorWheel 360°, and in this case, each inner color range (source color) will take on the hue it aligns with in the outer wheel (target color).

With the global channel active (white dot), the handle has rotated the outer wheel (target color) 180° around the inner wheel (source color).

Let’s take the example of a photo with a blue sky and fairly yellow grass:

If the global channel is active (white dot) and no adjustments have been made, the two wheels will be aligned (slider to the right): the blues next to the blues, the reds next to the reds, the greens next to the greens, as well as the complementary colors (yellow, cyan, magenta). The sky and grass maintain their original colors.

Global channel active, wheels aligned.

Grab the handle and then rotate the outer wheel so that the handle is at the bottom: the blue range of the inner wheel (source color) ends up aligned with the red/magenta range of the outer wheel (target color) and therefore the sky turns a red/magenta tint. The yellow/orange range of the inner wheel (source color) aligns with the green range of the outer wheel (target color) and thus the yellow grass turns a bluish green.

Outer wheel handle moved a quarter turn: the blues turn magenta, the yellows turn green.

Continue until the handle is positioned to the left of the wheel: the internal blue zone (source color) is next to the orange zone (target color) so the sky turns an orange hue, the yellow zone of the internal wheel is aligned with the blue zone of the external wheel; then the grass turns blue and so on as you return to the default position (slider on the right, in line with the internal marker and both wheels aligned).

With the handle positioned on the left, the blue of the sky turns orange, and the yellow grass turns blue.

If a color channel is selected

Let’s use the same photo as before:

Click on the blue dot to activate the blue channel.

Please also note the following behaviors:


You can use the Saturation, Luminance, and Uniformity sliders to refine the color corrections you make with the DxO ColorWheel. All sliders are set to and remain at 0 by default, regardless of the ColorWheel settings.

The Saturation and Luminance slider bars show the target hue. For example, if you click on the blue channel, or if you have positioned the outer wheel handle on the blue (at 90°), the Saturation and Luminance slider bars will turn blue. If you change the target hue, the color of the sliders will also change to match the target hue.


The Saturation slider subtly attenuates or strengthens the active hue: if you move it to the left, the hue gradually shifts to grey; to the right, the hue becomes more and more vivid, but without the risk of clipping or oversaturating the color.


The Luminance slider affects the brightness of the selected or active hue. By moving it to the left (dark end), you darken the hue and, to the right (light end), you make it brighter, while preserving the saturation as much as possible.

From left to right, after adjusting the color of the sky with the DxO ColorWheel wheel: starting image; Saturation slider moved right (stronger blue); Luminance slider moved left (denser blue).


The Uniformity slider allows you to influence the color homogeneity of a defined and active range. Increasing the value (to the right) will reduce the shade variations of the target hue. Reducing the value (to the left) will increase the shade variations within the active range.

After you adjust the skin tones with the DxO ColorWheel, fine-tune the results with the Uniformity slider. From left to right: slider to the left (less uniformity); untuned image (slider at 0); slider to the right (more uniform).

The algorithms that the HSL tool uses are not implemented by the Saturation and Vibrancy sliders (global & local settings), nor by the Hue slider (local settings).

Color sampler

You can also select a shade even more precisely with the Hue picker tool, found in the center of the DxO ColorWheel. It works with each of the color channels except the Global channel (white tile). To use the hue picker:

  1. In the HSL palette, select the desired channel.
  2. In the center of the DxO ColorWheel, click on the eyedropper to activate it.
  3. Click on the desired hue in the image.
  4. The corresponding shade range is automatically activated in the DxO ColorWheel.
  5. Make your shade and color adjustments using the DxO ColorWheel and associated sliders.

When you activate the hue picker, a toolbar is displayed below the image (Mac), or above (PC) and includes the following items:

  1. Name or icon of the active tool (hue picker).
  2. The selected channel and then the hue after modification are indicated (Mac).
  3. Radius: Allows you to adjust the hue picker’s sampling diameter from 1 to 50 pixels (the sampling area is indicated by a circle at the tip of the eyedropper).
  4. Reset button (Mac) or icon (PC): Resets the sampling; the indicator [2] returns to the base color of the selected channel.
  5. Close (Mac): Deactivates the hue picker (but not the corrections).

Display mask for the selected color range

After selecting a color channel by clicking on one of the pads (and possibly refining the selection with the eyedropper), you can display only the colors concerned by clicking in the range of the DxO ColorWheel, while holding down the Ctrl (PC) or Cmd (Mac) key. The rest of the image and colors outside this range will be shown in grayscale. 

This method will allow you to select the colors to be processed even more precisely, since their display will vary depending on the settings you make in the DxO ColorWheel, both in terms of range and hue transitions.

Normal display
Display using the Cmd (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) key

Mastering colors and image rendering

Using DCP and ICC profiles (ELITE Edition)

In addition to ICC profiles, DxO PhotoLab lets you use DCP input profiles to obtain optimal image rendering and colors, depending on the illuminant used to light the scene, and/or to apply a particular rendering, or even to homogenize the image colors produced by different camera models.

Before/after applying DCP profile (for taking full control of the corrections): A higher-contrast profile (right) than the device manufacturer’s rendering (left)

What are a DCP and an ICC profile?

Your camera’s sensor converts the photons that reach the photosites (the sensitive elements that capture light) into electrical signals. These electrical signals are then converted into data stored in a RAW file which, in turn, need to be processed using software such as DxO PhotoLab to produce a usable image. To restore color throughout this process, the program applies an input profile, and therefore its own rendering.

However, you can change this rendering using another input profile. Until now, DxO PhotoLab let you use ICC profiles, an already old technology that allowed you use just one illuminant when adjusting colors. (Note that ICC profiles are more suitable for daylight-type illuminants.)

DxO PhotoLab supports DCP profiles, a technology developed by Adobe. DCP (DNG Color Profiles) are based on DNG (Digital NeGative), a free and open RAW format that Adobe has provided to the image, photo and film industry, and which has been universally adopted by mobile devices running iOS and Android.

DCPs have a number of advantages over ICC profiles, in particular their flexibility. Indeed, DCPs make it possible to incorporate two types of illuminants — for example, daylight and incandescent lighting — to obtain the right colors and white balance in all circumstances. Profiles also affect image contrast: for example, you can use profiles with a more or less soft rendering, or linear-type profiles, to produce a flat rendered image, thus giving you a neutral working base on which to create your own rendering.

ICC stands for International Color Consortium, an industry group that includes Adobe, Apple, Microsoft, Canon, Nikon, Sony and many others, and which offers a standard and universal color management system.

How to create a DCP or ICC profile

DxO PhotoLab does not let you create input profiles. Instead, you need to use generally inexpensive, commercially available, specific color schemes, and software solutions. If you don’t want to produce your own profiles, service providers are available to create input profiles for your particular camera.

Importing and applying a DCP

To easily import and apply a DCP input profile into DxO PhotoLab, go into the Customize tab and then into the Color palette. Open the Color Rendering sub-palette, and from the Category menu, select DCP Profile. In the Render field just below, choose Import DCP profile, which will open a system dialog box that will allowing you to locate and select the profile to import after you click the Open (PC) or DCP Profile (Mac) button.

DxO PhotoLab immediately applies the input profile to your image; you can use the slider (set to 100 by default) to adjust the intensity of its effect.

When should you apply a DCP profile? Ideally, you should apply it at the beginning of the workflow, before performing any image corrections:

* NB: since DxO PhotoLab 4, the user has been able to choose a correction preset that determines what happens when images are opened in the program. See the Getting Start with DxO PhotoLab page for more information.

Soft Proofing

Soft proofing enabled with white background image and color indication off gamut according to the selected profile.

About soft proofing and recommendations

Screen proofing, or soft proofing, consists of simulating the rendering of a paper print on your screen, taking into account paper characteristics, such as its tint, as well as inks used by the printer or lab. This simulation, based on ICC colorimetric profiles, also lets you identify possible off-line (non-printable) colors as well as any corrections that may to be made before you start printing.

Soft proofing is not limited to printing, it also lets you simulate specific display renderings for where you plan to present your images (TV, tablets, etc.).

DxO PhotoLab lets you test on screen using ICC and CMYK profiles installed in your system, having obtained them from the following sources:

All sites offering download profiles offer detailed installation instructions. This is done at operating system level, and DxO PhotoLab will be able to offer them to you and display them without you having to do anything special within the program itself, simply reach them through the Profile menu, in the soft proofing subpalette.

IMPORTANT: For soft proofing to be reliable and efficient, it goes without saying that your graphic chain – from the screen to the printer – must be calibrated using the corresponding tools (for colors and associated software), with screen adjustments (brightness, contrast, color temperature) set for printing. Also note that calibrations need to be updated regularly and, for an optimal result, must take into account the brightness and neutrality of your working environment. Do not hesitate to consult specialist sites and books, as well as the documentation of the manufacturers of this type of equipment.

Soft proofing Tools

Soft proofing is done in the Customize tab where the associated tools are to be found:

Soft proofing Subpalette and White Background

Soft proofing subpalette in the Color palette

The Soft proofing Subpalette has the following elements:

Histogram off gamut warnings

The histogram in soft proofing mode, with off-gamut indications for the screen and for the active destination media.
Out-of-gamut notification (blue: for monitors, red: paper output)

The histogram not only displays RGB or CMYK channels, depending on the selected profile in the Soft proofing subpalette, but also off-gamut warnings (out of color range) in the form of colored masks embedded in the image.

To do this, you have the following two buttons, which you can also use together:

Depending on the selected mode, RGB or CMYK, you can view the channels of the histogram by clicking on the corresponding buttons. This will let you determine which channel is affected by a gamut clipping or overflow problem, depending on the profile type:

Thumbnail Indications

Soft proofing Icons.

When you do a soft proof and apply an ICC profile to an image, a specific icon will be displayed in the bottom left corner of the thumbnail image. Hovering the mouse pointer over this icon will display a tooltip with the assigned profile.

The display icon is only visible if soft proofing is enabled, and also works on virtual copies.

Filtering and Displaying Soft proofs

Filtering images with or without soft proofing

Image Browser allows you to filter images that either soft proofed or not. Click Image Filtering and select one of the following criteria from the list:

This way you can easily find the images with soft proofing and potentially group them into a project.

How to use soft proofing

We advise you to use virtual copies for all your simulation and soft proofing work. This will allow you to keep the master image, while creating multiple test copies with different profiles and/or renderings.

To do soft proofing:

  1. Go to the PhotoLibrary tab, then select your master image.
  2. A dialog box confirms that you are in soft proofing mode and invites you to create a virtual copy instead of using the master image (recommended workflow).
  3. In the Color palette, enable the soft proofing subpalette.
  4. Select the desired profile from the Profile menu.
  5. If the test is for printing, check Simulate Paper and Ink.
  6. In the Histogram palette, enable off gamut warning depending on the image destination: for screen (web display or on a particular device, tablet, mobile, etc.) or for a destination media (printing paper, publishing).
  7. If the image shows off gamut indications (blue for screen, red for paper), make the necessary corrections with the tools in the Custom tab (Saturation, Vibrance, TSL, etc.) to reduce non-printable colors. You can also use it to make any corrections that affect image rendering.
  8. You can also alter color saturation and detail in saturated areas with the saturated color protection slider in the softproofing subpalette.
  9. Once the corrections have been made and verified, you can leave the screen test on, especially if you are using virtual copies. This way you will always see the thumbnails with the test icon in your Image Browser.

Whether you turn the soft proof off or not, if you are printing it yourself it will be up to you to select the correct profile in the printer driver (the soft proofing does not convert your image).

When exporting images for your printer, follow their instructions as to whether you should attach the ICC profile or not (usually labs and printers do the conversion themselves).

If the profile used during the test is no longer available at the time of export, DxO PhotoLab automatically returns to the default sRGB profile, and an error message is displayed.

If you export images with a CMYK profile, they will be converted to CMYK. If the export takes place in the original folder or any folder managed by DxO PhotoLab, it will not be able to display them and you will not be able to correct them. A warning will be displayed instead of the image.

Geometry correction

The Perspective tool (ELITE edition)

In architecture, the photographer’s position with respect to a building makes it impossible to shoot it face-on. In such cases, the object will look deformed because of divergent lines that are more pronounced the closer they are to the edges of the image.

The Perspective tool lets you correct vertical parallels, horizontal parallels, force a rectangle, and perform an 8-point correction in a completely independent way on each side.

Perspective adjustment could result in significant cropping of your image, so try to avoid pronounced angles when shooting. Do not frame too tightly either, as you risk not having enough space around the subject for perspective adjustment and cropping.


Located in the Geometry palette, the Perspective tool consists of the following elements:

The buttons on the top toolbar let you activate the different adjustment modes:

The Perspective subpalette is composed of the following elements:

  1. The buttons correspond to the different adjustment modes.
  2. Cancel perspective corrections button.
  3. The Magic Wand in Auto mode (different Auto modes can be found in the Advanced Settings section).
  4. The Intensity slider, set to 100 by default, which lets you re-introduce a leaning effect and restores a more natural appearance to your correction as the setting is reduced.
  5. The advanced settings section is accessed by clicking on “+” (Mac) or on Advanced Settings (PC).
  6. The up/down, Left/Right and X/Y Ratio sliders turn the image along a horizontal or vertical axis to flatten or stretch the image.
  7. Choice of automatic, vertical and horizontal, vertical only, and horizontal only adjustment modes.

The lower toolbar has the following functionalities:

Control Lines

The function of the Perspective tool is based on control lines, two lines in Force parallels mode, 4 connected to each other in Rectangle mode, and 4 without connections in 8 points mode. Each control line is displayed as follows:

Control lines can be moved with the mouse:

You can draw a new line using the “+” pointer that appears as the mouse passes over the image.

Background cropping

Adjusting the perspective and modifying the geometry of the image in general leads to distortion which is more or less noticeable according to the amount of correction applied, but will inevitably involve some cropping. Background cropping, that is the portion of the image that will disappear on cropping is indicated by the black areas around the image.

When you confirm the correction with the Close button, the image will automatically be reframed as tightly as possible, keeping the maximum amount of the image, after cropping has been into account. Of course, you can reframe afterwards using the Crop tool (Geometry palette).

Fixing perspective

Auto mode

If your image has enough horizontal and/or vertical reference elements, you can use automatic mode, which you can manually redo if you wish.

Here is how to use it:

  1. In the Geometry palette, Advanced Settings, Auto Mode menu, select one of the 3 modes on offer, the default mode takes into account both verticals and horizontals.
  2. Click on the magic wand.
  3. Here, no confirmation is required. Once the correction has been completed, you can switch to another image or another tool.

Forcing parallels

This mode lets you correct simple scenes like a building with an obvious shifting of vertical or horizontal lines:

  1. Go to the Perspective subpalette and click the Force Parallels button.
  2. Two vertical lines appear as overlays on your image.
  3. Position them on two vertical or horizontal elements in your image, preferably in the same plane.
  4. Adjust the position, size and inclination of the control lines.
  5. Click Apply to see the result.
  6. If the correction gives the impression that the building gets wider at the top, you can restore a natural aspect by reducing the adjustment of the Intensity slider (75 is a good compromise).
  7. Click Close to approve (image is automatically cropped).
Perspective of a building that seems to get wider at the top with, intensity set to 100% (top), and a more natural perspective, with intensity set to 75% (bottom).

Forcing a Rectangle

With this mode, where 4 lines are connected to each other, you can easily add a subject such as a painting, window, door, or any frame that you were unable to perfectly align to and whose different parts are on the same plane:

  1. Go to the Perspective subpalette and click the Rectangle button.
  2. 4 connected lines appear overlaid on your image.
  3. Position the disks at each corner of the subject and adjust the position and inclination of the lines using the reference lines from the image.
  4. Click Apply to see the result.
  5. Click Close to approve (image is automatically cropped).

8 points

This mode works like the rectangle mode, but all 4 lines are independent which lets you place them where you want in the image, this is useful if the reference lines are located on different planes and at different distances:

  1. Go to the Perspective subpalette and click the 8 points button.
  2. 4 independent lines appear overlaid on your image.
  3. Position the lines over the reference lines in the image, adjust their slant and length.
  4. Click Apply to see the result.
  5. Click Close to approve (image is automatically cropped).

Advanced adjustment sliders

Vertical stretch of image with X/Y ratio slider

When you make perspective adjustments and depending on the image and care that was taken with the shot, results can sometimes cause problems with orientation, geometric deformation and, quite simply, the natural look of the image. The following three sliders let you compensate for these problems, but keep in mind that they are intended as subtle adjustments:

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