Last updated on February 8, 2023
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DxO Advanced History

History purpose and function

Located in the left pane of the Customize tab, the Advanced History palette displays all the steps in the work and corrections made to an image, including the date it was opened in the program and the application of initial automatic corrections (Standard DxO Presets), in ascending chronological order (most recent step at the top). All this information is stored in real time in the DxO PhotoLab database, and requires no intervention on your part.


Depending on the user, the history has a number of uses:

The nature of the recorded information

The DxO Advanced History palette records the following information, which is retained when you exit the program (Mac only):

Limiting the number of steps (Mac)

The history recorded in the DxO PhotoLab database represents a negligible amount of information in terms of impact on the program’s reactivity. However, on a Mac, you can limit the number of steps in Preferences > Advanced tab > History states section. By default, the number of entries is set to 100, and the available values range from 10 to Unlimited.

Using the History palette

Going back in the history and comparing

To see the state of an image at a particular stage of correction, scroll through the Advanced History palette and click on a step: the image returns to the precise state it was in at that stage of correction, and the sub-palettes and tools concerned show the settings and values used at that time. Click on a newer or older step, go back in time through the various stages of tool use, and see how the image looks in real time in the Viewer.

Erasing the history

You can’t erase just one or more steps in the history, simply because doing so doesn’t make sense, as corrections are usually made relative to each other (for example, you do the white balance before correcting colors, and erasing the white balance step would not make sense).

If you want to take back a correction, simply act on the tool concerned, by changing its setting or value. In this case, this action will appear at the top of the history.

However, you can erase the whole history. At the very bottom of the History palette, click on Clear History. A dialog box will warn you that the operation is irreversible and, after clicking OK, the contents of the palette will be cleared, only one step (“Clear History”) is displayed.

Important: Deleting the history does not delete or reset your corrections and settings!

Of course, after you have erased the history, it starts saving again as soon as you apply new corrections to the image. In this case, the displayed values and settings start again from this step onwards; the corrections you erased from the history stay erased.


About DxO PhotoLab presets

The visual presets window

A preset is a set of corrections that you can apply in one go to any pictures in DxO PhotoLab. The goal of the presets is to help you to record and keep track of your favorite corrections, and to ease and accelerate your workflow within the application.

There are two kinds of presets in DxO PhotoLab:

As soon as you open an image in DxO PhotoLab, the default full preset DxO Standard is automatically applied. You can choose a different preset as the default if desired.

The different categories of available presets

DxO PhotoLab offers a set of 30 full presets divided into eight categories:

General use

The General use category includes five presets:

You can change the default preset in Preferences. The new default preset will be applied only to images that you process after making the change, not to images that were already opened with the previous or original default preset.

Portrait and Landscape

The Portrait and Landscape category is composed of two groups of presets that have been designed for these two uses. For portraits, for example, the contrast is softer and the skin tones have been optimized, whereas for landscapes, the contrast and the colors have greater emphasis. The following eight presets are available in this category:

Black & White

The Black & White category also provides eight presets that let you modify your images by playing with the contrast. You will find here presets that are adapted for “him” and “her” portraiture and for landscapes; presets that produce highly detailed images, and others which are shrouded to give a dream-like effect. Of course, all of these presets can be applied to any subject:


The Atmospheres category offers eight creative presets based on toning. They can be applied to both color and black & white images:

High Dynamic Range (single-shot HDR)

This category contains four presets that simulate HDR effects – that is, images with an extended dynamic range but with a tonal range that is redistributed to be used without having to use special software or 32-bit files. These single-shot image presets do not require combining multiple images shot at different exposures, and can be used on both RAW and JPEG files:


This category contains two presets that have been optimized for images taken with mobile phones.

DxO FilmPack Designer and DxO FilmPack Time Machine

Designer presets, available when DxO FilmPack is installed, are based on film renderings and graphic effects – filters, toning, vignetting, textures, defects – that bring a new artistic dimension to your images.

Time Machine presets are installed from DxO FilmPack 6 onwards, and offer you film renderings from 1827 to 2019, the history of which you can consult via the Time Machine function.

Designer renderings are available from DxO FilmPack 4 or DxO FilmPack 5.

Time Machines renderings are available from DxO FilmPack 6.

They appear automatically when activating DxO FilmPack (a license is required).

DxO ONE scene modes

This preset category lets you apply the renderings of DxO ONE scene modes to any photos processed in DxO PhotoLab:

Applying a preset

Applying a predefined preset

To apply a preset to your image, click on the Presets (Mac) / Apply a preset (PC) button in the command bar. Doing so opens a window in which all of the available presets and their effects on the selected image appear.

You can also right-click on a thumbnail in the Image Browser and select Apply Preset in the context menu, or click on the preset of your choice in the list in the Preset Editor.

Combining presets

You can use more than one preset on an image. If each preset has a different value for the same correction, the rule is simple: The values of the last applied preset take precedence; for example:

This rule in particular makes it possible to create partial presets that are based on a limited range of corrections to be applied on top of “overall” (or full) presets. When a correction is assigned a value by the partial preset, it will be governed by it. When there is no value assigned to a correction by the partial preset, the correction will be governed by the underlying full preset.

Creating a full preset from current settings

To create a preset from current settings:

  1. Correcting your image.
  2. When you are satisfied with the results, right-click on the image thumbnail in the Image Browser, and select Create preset from current settings in the context menu.
  3. Enter a name for your preset in the dialogue box and click on Save.
  4. The new preset will appear in the Visual Presets window and in the list in the Preset Editor.

Any preset that you create in this manner will affect all setting values, as it is a full preset.

Managing presets with the Preset Editor (ELITE Edition)

The Preset Editor is a palette in the Customize tab that lets you create and manage your own custom presets, including those that you create “from scratch,” and others that you can create by modifying existing presets.

Preset Editor commands


The Preset Editor lets you create a preset by defining each correction setting:

DxO PhotoLab provides a locked preset (marked with a padlock icon) so you cannot modify or delete it.

You can create as many presets as you want and save them in custom folders, import them into other sessions or versions of DxO PhotoLab, and export them to share them with other users.

To verify or to change a preset’s settings, select it in the Preset Editor and then click on Edit: the relevant palettes will then be displayed in edit mode.


A drop-down menu located in the upper right corner of the palette offers the following commands (also available in the editor by right- clicking on the preset): New preset from current settings, New empty preset, New group, Duplicate preset, Rename, Delete, Apply preset, Edit preset, Save, Save copy, Cancel changes, Import [note that importing several presets simultaneously is possible], and Export.

Modifying a preset from an existing preset (ELITE Edition)

PC and Mac

To change an existing preset:

  1. Click on the preset that you want to change.
  2. Click on the Edit button on the top left of the Preset Editor palette. The relevant correction palette tools will switch to editing mode (indicated by blue banding on the left edge of the palettes).
  3. Uncheck the settings in the palettes that you want to deactivate, or modify the setting parameters as desired. You can expand the hidden palettes to activate, deactivate, or modify their settings.
  4. When you are finished making all the changes to the settings, click on the Save button in the Preset Editor palette.
  5. Click again on the Edit button to quit the create/edit preset mode.

To create a variant of a locked DxO preset, click on the Copy button in the command bar of the Preset Editor and then rename the copy.

In all cases, changes to preset parameters can be canceled either by selecting Undo in the Edit menu or by using the Ctrl (PC) / Cmd (Mac) + Z keyboard shortcut.

Preset folders (ELITE Edition)

You can open folders in the preset folder list by either double-clicking on them, or by a single click on the arrow on the top left. Clicking on the name of a folder lets you rename it, just like the way you rename a file. To rename a folder, just click on its name. You should give your folders relevant names in order to efficiently organize and classify your presets.

Doing basic corrections

About the histogram

RGB histogram
The histogram shows, color by color, how many pixels there are for each level of luminance.
The three color channels (RGB) and the Luminance channel can be displayed separately (Left: PC, right: Mac).
CMYK histogram
This shows the histogram of an image with a CMYK profile, indicating the luminance levels in the Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black channels.

About the histogram

The histogram is the most convenient way to determine how an image has been exposed, in order to correct it effectively. In simple terms, the histogram is a graph showing the number of pixels per brightness level: the larger a vertical line, the more pixels there are at that brightness level. If the histogram is shifted to the right, the image is brighter and, conversely, the more it is shifted to the left, the darker it is. When the histogram is well spread out from left to right, with a nice peak in the center (corresponding to the midtones), the exposure can be considered balanced, with a wide dynamic range.

RGB and L channels

The histogram tool calculates the brightness values for each color channel, and displays them all together on the same chart. However, you can also display the values per channel, as your camera does, by clicking on one of the buttons located on the right side of the chart:

The palette displays the characteristics of the area, above the histogram, when you move the mouse pointer over the image. The exact color of this small area is duplicated and magnified in a square tile, next to which its RGB (red, green, blue) primary color composition, each on a scale from 0 to 255, is displayed.

CMYK channels

The DxO PhotoLab histogram also calculates and indicates the distribution of brightness values for each channel of an image with a CMYK profile (cyan, magenta, yellow and black). You can view channels individually, using the corresponding buttons located in the palette (above the histogram on PC, under the histogram on Mac):


When a luminance level goes below the left end of the histogram – the so-called black point, or above the right end – the white point, it will be constrained to pure black or pure white. Pixels in this position, or close to it, are said to be “clipped.” Of course, it is highly desirable to avoid this situation and retain the details in these areas of the image. For this purpose, the DxO PhotoLab histogram offers two tools, represented by two icons located under the histogram:

Clipping of highlights is visible as false colors in the right-hand image

When all color channels are affected, the affected area will be displayed as black; if information is still available in one of the channels, the relevant areas will be displayed in false colors.


Exposure Compensation

About exposure compensation

The image on the left is overexposed globally, with burnt areas in the background.
The image on the right shows the result achieved with the “Center-Weighted Average” in the Exposure Compensation palette.

Exposure Compensation adjusts the image exposure level— that is, it increases or reduces the brightness coefficient of each pixel in the image. Because photographic systems record a reduced range of luminosities, in all cases of an inferior range to that offered by nature, most photos exhibit over- or under- exposed areas, or both at once.

Overexposure presents the biggest problem in digital photography, since a saturated camera sensor cannot cope with brightness above a certain level and returns all-white pixels. The Exposure Compensation tool can often recover information in these areas that have been incorrectly exposed, particularly with respect to RAW images, whose color channels generally retain some information even for burnt areas. With JPEG images, which have already undergone a series of in-camera processes relative to each RGB channel, however, highlights that are lost are gone for good.

In DxO software prior to DxO PhotoLab, exposure compensation set to “Smart” was part of the default DxO Standard preset. In DxO PhotoLab, Exposure Compensation is no longer enabled by default; rather, DxO Smart Lighting handles all automatic tone corrections.

Correcting a RAW file

There are three automatic correction modes for priority highlight recovery: slight, medium, and strong.

The Correction drop-down menu, specific to RAW-format images, proposes five automatic correction modes and one manual option:

Choosing one of the automatic exposure options can speed up your workflow by providing custom settings for many types of shooting situations. For example, the “slight” correction is usually enough to deal with a normally contrasted image.

The Exposure compensation slider is also available in the Local Adjustments.

Correcting a JPEG or TIFF file

You can correct JPEG and TIFF files in manual mode by using the Intensity slider, whose range goes from –4 EV to +4 EV.

Move the slider in small steps while monitoring the changes in the histogram, with the highlight zone visibility button activated so you can see if the exposure has been increased too much (some clipped zones appear) or not reduced enough (clipping still visible).


The Contrast sub-palette consists of the Contrast and Microcontrast sliders.

If you have installed DxO FilmPack (ELITE Edition), four other sliders will also be present: Fine contrast and three advanced settings tied to it: Highlights, Midtones, and Shadows.

The Contrast sub-palette.

The global contrast correction can interfere with the Tone curve settings.

You can adjust the Microcontrast in two ways:

Automatic mode takes into account the presence of faces in order to preserve them, and also takes into account digital noise so as to avoid accentuating it excessively. For JPEG images, automatic Microcontrast is limited to a value of +5.

To reset the automatic correction, click again on the magic wand.

We advise you not to apply a strong Microcontrast correction, especially if you are applying the Sharpness Mask correction from the Detail palette.

Each slider range goes from –100 to +100, with the default value set at 0.

DxO Smart Lighting

About DxO Smart Lighting

Backlit subjects are a typical case that calls for DxO Smart Lighting correction. Here, because of the very strong contrast, a high level of correction has been applied to open the shadows – as if a fill-in flash had been used.

Ordinarily, image corrections are applied to the whole photograph: when you modify the brightness or the contrast, you make the whole image brighter, darker, and more or less contrasted.

DxO Smart Lighting’s Uniform mode lets you automatically brighten or darken certain areas in your image without affecting other areas. You can also modify the contrast wherever necessary, such as in the following cases:

As for Spot Weighted processing, it uses face detection and works with Smart Lighting to give priority to correctly exposing faces. This is not precisely a local correction, but rather a way to weight the exposure in favor of faces while preserving the correct exposure of the rest of the image, for a balanced and natural result.

DxO Smart Lighting: Uniform mode

DxO Smart Lighting’s Uniform mode offers three levels of correction which take care of the vast majority of cases.

As with the majority of corrections, DxO Smart Lighting’s Uniform mode functions automatically. In this case, the software analyzes the image content and applies the correction in a homogenous way. You have two tools you can use either together or separately to adjust the correction:

DxO Smart Lighting: Spot Weighted mode

DxO Smart Lighting Spot Weighted mode still offers three levels of correction, with one additional tool.

DxO Smart Lighting’s Spot Weighted mode is based on detection of faces in a photo in order to optimize the exposure — without radically modifying the rest of the image. This feature is particularly useful in the following cases:

When you click on the Spot Weighted button, DxO Smart Lighting will apply a correction in Slight mode by default, taking into account the faces present in the image. The number of areas detected is indicated in the sub-palette, to the right of the Spot Weighted processing tool icon.

To see the detected areas, click on the tool icon. In the image, each detected face is surrounded by a rectangle. If you move the mouse over one of these rectangles, it will activate (that is, its sides will appear as dotted lines and there will be handles in each corner), thus letting you move it, resize it, or delete it (for this last, click on the cross in the upper right corner of the frame).

You can also use the mouse’s cross pointer to draw a new area. When you do this, the software will perform a new analysis and apply a new correction to the image.

If the system does not detect a face when you turn on Spot Weighted, a No faces detected message will appear in the DxO Smart Lighting subpalette. Generally speaking, non-detection occurs when a face is partially hidden. In these cases, you can manually draw a rectangle, and here, too, the software will perform a new analysis and apply a new correction to the image.

The toolbar located underneath the image lets you activate and deactivate the display of weighted areas (rectangles); to reset the correction; or to close the tool (which you can also do by clicking on the icon in the sub-palette).

You can change the intensity of correction by choosing from among three predefined modes (Slight, Medium, Strong), or by using the Intensity slider to make manual adjustments. In every case, the algorithms take faces into account.

Which settings to use with DxO Smart Lighting

DxO Smart Lighting is probably the most complex of our corrections. It has a global and a local effect on the image – affecting the whole picture and local details – and has a strong influence on contrast and brightness. Such a complex correction can only be mastered with practice. However, you will quickly see for yourself how effective DxO Smart Lighting is even for difficult images.

First, reserve it for photos where the shadows need to be brought back. It has little effect on highlights, unlike Exposure Compensation. Second, you should stick with the three automatic correction modes as much as possible, as they can cope with most situations, and then fine-tune with the Intensity slider afterwards. If you need to do further corrections, use the Selective tone palette or the Tone Curve.

Selective tone

The Selective tone sub-palette

The Selective tone palette is a very intuitive and precise way to control and adjust the brightness of well-defined tonal ranges in an image:

– The Selective tone sliders can drastically change the contrast of your pictures. Use them in moderation and check your histogram to avoid clipping.

– The Selective Tone slides are also available in the Local Adjustments.

DxO ClearView Plus (ELITE Edition)

The DxO ClearView Plus tool automatically eliminates atmospheric haze in both RAW and JPEG files.

Atmospheric haze is caused by heat, humidity, or pollution, and frequently causes problems in landscape photos by obscuring details and adversely affecting contrast.

The Intensity slider, set at 50 by default, lets you choose the strength of the correction ranging from 0 to 100.

To return to the default setting (50), double-click on the slider.

You can also use DxO ClearView Plus on images that do not have atmospheric haze, for example to enhance the presence of a sky or landscape.


White Balance

Regardless of its origin (artificial or natural), light usually appears white to our eyes. It is, however, nothing of the sort. Even daylight can contain strong blue dominants, particularly in shadows or when the sky is overcast. At the other end of the spectrum, incandescent bulbs have a yellow cast, while fluorescent lights produce complex green casts.

Adjusting white balance serves to correct these undesirable light dominants.

The White Balance palette

The settings available depend on the file type:

When you select a RAW file or a RGB file (JPEG or TIFF) in the Image Browser, the White Balance palette automatically adapts accordingly.

Using presets (RAW files)

The drop-down Setting menu contains a certain number of settings that cover most known light sources, ranging from daylight, cloudy, or shade to tungsten, different types of fluorescent, or industrial (sodium, mercury) lights.

The default choice is Original, which corresponds to the white balance of the camera used to shoot the image. Manual or Custom mode is automatically selected as soon as you use the Color temperature or Tint sliders (see the corresponding paragraphs further below).

The presets are:

Extending white balance to 50,000 allows for very specific corrections, such as those for the Aquatic preset that efficiently compensate for the strong blue-green dominant in underwater images.

The original white balance is the only camera setting that DxO PhotoLab takes into account.

Using the eyedropper (RAW and RGB files)

To use the eyedropper, you will first need to find an area or element in your image that is as close as possible to a neutral gray color, preferably a relatively light gray. Next, click on the area to establish the white balance. You can do this as many times as you want until you achieve the result you are looking for.

If the neutral area repeats in the image is small, zoom in to perform a more accurate pick.

Underneath the Viewer (Mac), or above it (PC), you will find a Radius slider that will allow you to change the size of the sampling area (indicated by a circle that accompanies the eyedropper). You can adjust the radius from 1 to 50 pixels.

White balance Radius slider (PC)
White balance Radius slider (Mac)

For images taken at high ISO speeds, we recommend increasing the Radius slider value to 10, to reduce pointing errors due to possible noisy patches.

After you finish using the white balance eyedropper, click on Close in the bottom right of the toolbar directly underneath the image.

Fine-tuning the white balance of a RAW file

However you choose to initially correct your images for white balance — via pre-established settings or the eyedropper, you can fine-tune the corrections using the Color temperature and Tint sliders. The Color temperature slider has a range of 2,000 °K to 50,000 °K, and can often be combined with the Tint slider to remove residual colorcasts.

In all cases, choosing As shot in the drop-down menu lets you safely revert to the settings provided by the image EXIF data.

Fine-tuning white balance for a RGB file (TIFF or JPEG)

When you select a JPEG or TIFF file in the Image Browser to set the white balance, the RAW white balance palette changes automatically to the RGB white balance palette, in which a simplified Color temperature slider is available in addition to the color picker. Strictly speaking, it is not possible nor recommended to set the white balance for a JPEG or TIFF file, since the white balance has already been established by in- camera processing. Therefore, any modification in one tonal range will produce imbalances in other tonal ranges: if we correct the midtone greys, then highlight greys or low-key greys will inevitably suffer a slight colored hue. For this reason, any white balance adjustments on images like his should be very slight. You can use either the color picker (eyedropper — see above) or a dedicated slider, both available in the advanced settings (OS X), to move from cooler (blue) tones to warmer (yellow) tones and vice-versa.

To reset slider adjustments, double-click on the slider. For both RAW or RGB files, it is not always necessary to look for perfect white balance. Keep in mind the atmosphere of the scene you have photographed, and try to adjust the settings to maintain that atmosphere.

Noise reduction

Noise in digital photography

All digital cameras suffer from noise to a certain degree. Noise is characterized by grain (luminance noise) and random color pixels (color noise). Noise is much more of a problem in the shadows (where the luminance signal is low) than in highlights (where it is weaker than the luminance signal). Noise is aggravated at high sensitivities (high ISOs) that basically amplify the image signal and thus amplify the noise along with it.

PRIME, DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD modes are only available in the DxO PhotoLab ELITE edition. Furthermore, they only concern RAW files.

Image 20,000 ISO processed with DeepPRIME XD (left) and original image (right).

DxO PhotoLab offers three noise reduction modes:

DxO Denoising Technologies Subpalette

The DxO Denoising Technologies subpalette contains buttons to access different noise processing modes, associated tools, as well as a preview loupe.

The DxO Denoising Technology subpalette in High Quality mode, sliders collapsed (left: Mac, right: PC).

Selecting noise reduction modes

The mode selection buttons are greyed out when inactive and blue when selected and active:

Noise reduction sliders and settings

DxO Denoising Technology subpalette sliders (left: High Quality and PRIME; right: DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD modes).

The Luminance slider is always accessible, you will need to click the + button (Mac) or Advanced Settings (PC) to display the other sliders. Some sliders are not available for RGB files:

In DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD mode, the Chrominance, Low Freq. and Labyrinth sliders are therefore not available.

Each slider has its own display and input fields; the magic wand to the right of each slider lets you return to the default settings at any time.

Thumbnail icons

Noise reduction Icons, left to right: High Quality (no icon), PRIME, DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD.

When you are processing images in one of the noise reduction modes, you will see an icon in the top left of the thumbnail. All modes, except High Quality, have a unique icon (see picture above). The icon appears as soon as you select one of the modes, including before export, for PRIME, DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD modes.


The Loupe (dimensions are 260 x 155 pixels), lets you preview the noise reduction in the image, and is used primarily in two situations:

Positioning the loupe

To move the location of the loupe magnifier around the image to check specific areas:

  1. Click the loupe tool button (Mac: under the loupe; PC: in the top right corner of the loupe).
  2. A tile will appear in the center of the image; grab it with the mouse to move it to the desired location.
  3. The contents of the magnifier will refresh and display the selected portion of the image with the current noise reduction settings. Each time you move or reposition the magnifier, the view refreshes (which can take several seconds in PRIME or DeepPRIME mode).
  4. When you place the mouse pointer in the image, it will change to a dotted rectangle; click to place it where you want.
  5. Refresh is indicated by an animated circular arrow in the magnifier.

For a quick comparison with and without noise reduction, click and hold the loupe to see the image portion before, then release the mouse button to see the image portion with noise reduction.

When PRIME and DeepPRIME modes are selected, the DxO Denoising Technologies palette displays a crossed-out eye next to its name, indicating that there is no noise reduction preview in the Viewer.

HQ (high quality) denoising

Image at 20,000 ISO: original (left), High Quality (right).
The High Quality mode is applied by default with the DxO Standard setting.

How HQ denoising works

You can apply the High Quality denoising mode to all files supported by DxO PhotoLab (JPEG, TIFF, RAW, and DNG). It offers the best compromise between quality and speed, and is automatically applied via the DxO Standard preset when you open an image in the program.

Noise reduction is applied and displayed in real time in the Viewer, even when zooming and using the comparison tools. To judge the outcome, it is best to set the zoom to 100%.

All sliders are implemented, and DxO PhotoLab takes into account the characteristics of the camera, whose noise has been measured and characterized by DxO Labs, and of course, the ISO sensitivity you used. Even if, by default, the sliders display the same values, HQ noise reduction is not generic.

If you want t{3}{4}o do the corrections manually, you will use mainly the Luminance and Chrominance sliders to adjust the ratio between granulation and detail, and the presence of colored pixels, especially in the dark parts of the image.

DxO PRIME denoising (Elite edition, RAW files)

Image at 20,000 ISO: High Quality (left), PRIME (right).


Although DeepPRIME represents a great leap forward in terms of noise reduction technology and the quality of results, PRIME remains available in DxO PhotoLab for users of older computers that cannot meet the demands of current software, primarily in terms of processing and computing power.

How PRIME functions

The DxO PRIME noise reduction mode (Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement) applies only to RAW files. Its operation is based on the following principles:

Advantages of PRIME

DxO PRIME takes noise reduction even further, but with the aim of keeping as much detail and color in the image as possible. The advantages are:

Images taken with older cameras, which are more prone to noise than newer models, also benefit from this technology. Finally, the higher the ISO sensitivity is, the more the difference in processing quality compared to the HQ mode will be perceptible. As a general rule, the divergence begins to be marked as early as ISO 1600, though this value may vary depending on the camera used and the image.

Drawbacks of PRIME

On the other hand, DxO PRIME implements complex algorithms that require a lot of computing power, which can lead to some constraints:

The processing time varies depending on the power of the computer and the size of the file, which can take from a few tens of seconds to several minutes, or even several tens of minutes for an older or less powerful computer.


With PRIME, only RAW files can be processed:

To check and definitively apply the PRIME noise reduction, proceed to image export.

If you want to compare the original image with its processed version, select the original Image Folder in the Destination options section of Export to disk. Once exported, right-click on the original image and select View Image Folder, and there you will see the two images, co-located in the Image Browser.

DxO DeepPRIME and DxO DeepPRIME XD noise reduction (ELITE edition, RAW files)

Image at 20,000 ISO: High Quality (left), DeepPRIME XD (right).

DxO DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD noise reduction (Deep, for deep learning, and derived from Probabilistic Raw IMage Enhancement) goes even further in noise processing. Based on artificial intelligence and neural network technology, its algorithms have been trained using the millions of images produced by DxO over many years, for laboratory analysis. DeepPRIME XD has been developed to let you extract even more detail (XD: eXtra Details).

DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD both use denoising and demosaicing in a holistic approach that consists of analyzing image problems in full context, rather than focusing solely on the problems of digital noise.

Advantages of DeepPRIME/DeepPRIME XD

While the constraints are similar in terms of machine resources and workflow as DxO PRIME, the advantages of DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD are:

Drawbacks of DeepPRIME/DeepPRIME XD

DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD fully exploit the computing power of graphics cards, and having a relatively recent computer is therefore an advantage. However, in the Preferences you can force DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD to use the CPU (main processor), which will increase the processing and export time.

The computational power requirements mean you should only use DeepPRIME and DeepPRIME XD on selected images after sorting, not on all of the images from a shoot.


With DeepPRIME or DeepPRIME, only RAW files are processed:

To check and definitively apply the DeepPRIME / DeepPRIME XD noise reduction, proceed to image export.

If you want to compare the original image with its processed version, select the original Image Folder in the Destination options section of Export to disk. Once exported, right-click on the original image and select View Image Folder, and there you will see the two images, co-located in the Image Browser.

Optimizing the performance of DeepPRIME/DeepPRIME XD

DxO DeepPRIME takes advantage of the power of the graphics card (GPU) to perform its calculations and relieve the load on the processor (CPU). If your computer and its graphics card are compatible, the calculations are automatically taken into account. However, in the Preferences, you have a number of options:

Other drawbacks

There are also a number of constraints, depending on the configuration of your computer:

DeepPRIME/DeepPRIME XD acceleration options (top: Mac, bottom: PC).

Correcting red-eye

Red-eye correction is fully automatic, although there is also a manual mode to use in cases when the automatic mode does not detect the problem. You can use the tool with RAW and DNG files, as well as with JPEG and TIFF files. The Red-eye sub-palette in the Detail palette

The Red-eye sub-palette

To activate automatic correction, click on the Red-Eye button, either in the upper control bar or in the Red-eye sub-palette of the Detail palette. The correction is controlled by selection ellipses around each red eye detected in the picture. (with the number of red eyes shown in the sub-palette).

Rolling the mouse over the ellipses activates them to perform the following operations:

If the tool does not detect red-eye because of the orientation of the face or the instance is too small, it will show the message “No red-eye detected” in the sub-palette. In this case, you can make the corrections by hand:

The toolbar below the image allows you to enable or disable the display of ellipses (also called pupil areas), reset corrections, and close the tool.

Tone & Color advanced adjustments

Tone curve

You can adjust the tone curve either by channel or globally

About the Tone curve

The Tone curve is a powerful but complex tool. We recommend practicing a bit before attempting to use it to correct real photos. Note that you can obtain many of the same results by using the HSL palette or DxO Smart Lighting and Selective tone in the Essential Tools palette.

Essentially, the tone curve represents how input luminosity values (horizontal axis) are converted into output luminosity values (vertical axis). The simplest case is one in which the tone curve is a straight line ascending at 45° from the origin, as in the illustration above. Such a tone curve is neutral: every input value of light, whether in dark, medium, or light tones, is translated exactly into the same output value.

For the photographer, the tone curve adjusts the rendering of each tonal range, and even each color, in order to suit each photograph. Quite often this takes the form of an “S-shaped curve” that compresses the dark shadows and the highlights, but expands the mid-tones.

This can often result in a more contrasty, “punchy” — and ultimately more pleasing — image. But once again, playing with the tone curve is not a matter of set recipes; it is a complex matter that takes practice and experience.

Modifying the Tone Curve

You can adjust the slope of only the central part of the curve (the “gamma”) by setting the slope value in the middle of the x-axis with the Gamma slider, set to 1 by default. Values can range from 0.05 to 6.00:

Redraw the curve by defining and then moving points on the neutral curve (most often one point in the light shadows and one point in the lowest highlights, but more points are possible). Define points by clicking on the curve. When multiple points have been defined, only one is active (represented by a black dot), while the others are inactive (represented by white dots). You can drag an active point toward the top or the bottom to modify the curve.

An active point can be deleted by right-clicking or by moving the pointer over it and pressing Delete.

You can modify the black and white points on the x-axis and on the y-axis either by dragging them along their axis, or by entering the desired value in the adjacent boxes.

The drop-down menu at the top of the Tone Curve palette lets you apply the tone curve either to all three color channels (RGB) simultaneously, or channel by channel. Two reset buttons to the right let you revert to the default neutral curve (straight line at 45°) either channel by channel, or for all three channels at once.

Color accentuation

Color accentuation palette

The Color accentuation palette contains two sliders that enhance colors in very different ways: Saturation and Vibrancy.


Compared to the Saturation slider, which reinforces all colors, the Vibrancy slider operates in a much more subtle way, taking into account the colors already present in the image. It can be defined as a “smart” color saturation setting. The range is from –100 to 100, and the default setting is 0. When the slider has a positive value, vibrancy increases the overall saturation, but with some very particular behaviors:

When the slider has a negative setting, overall saturation is reduced, with the following restrictions:


The Saturation slider is easy to understand: it increases the entire image color saturation if you move it to the right, and decreases it if you move it to the left, ultimately converting the image to gray levels when you reach a value of –100. The default setting is 0.

Beware of undesirable results if you combine a strong vibrancy correction with an excessive level of saturation.

You can also adjust Vibrance and Saturation with Local Adjustments.

Unsharp Mask

Unsharp mask

The purpose of the Unsharp Mask tool is to sharpen an image. The tool makes a blurred copy of the original picture, then subtracts the original from the blurred copy, leaving the finest details, which can then be enhanced.

The Unsharp Mask sub-palette

The Unsharp Mask palette includes the following four sliders:

75% zoom is the minimum level for working with the Unsharp Mask palette corrections; however, we recommend that you always choose to work using at least 100% zoom to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

Using the Unsharp Mask

The Unsharp Mask correction is disabled by default. It is unnecessary for JPEG files, as in-camera processing has already sharpened them, and it is usually unnecessary for RAW images for which a DxO Module is available. This means its use is really confined to unsharpened JPEG files and RAW files without a DxO Optics Module. In the latter instance, we advise fine-tuning the Unsharp Mask settings, and then creating a preset.

We recommend that you try fine-tuning the three sliders using these starting values: Intensity = 100, Radius = 0.5, and Threshold = 4. For most images, Threshold should stay within a range from 4 to 10. Radius determines how subtle the correction is: excessive values will result in halos. Finally, you can set the Intensity slider up to 200.

The negative values in the Intensity slider (from -100 to 0) can be used to soften instead of sharpening an image (which can be useful for portraits).

You can deal locally with sharpness and blur with Local Adjustments.

Fine-tuning lens corrections & geometry

Lens sharpness

About optical sharpness

DxO PhotoLab’s exclusive DxO Lens Sharpness tool is one of its major strengths. Lens sharpness is an optical aberration which results in a point being transformed by the lens into a small blurred circle. (This should not be confused with out-of-focus or motion blur, which DxO PhotoLab does not correct.) DxO Optics Modules have been created by measuring the amount of blur for every point in the image area for each supported camera body and lens combination. By combining the shooting parameters saved in the EXIF metadata (aperture, focal length, etc.) and the information provided by the Optics Module, DxO PhotoLab can apply corrections that are tailored to each pixel in the image. These corrections are not uniform, given that lenses are sharper in the center, which means that the pixels closer to the edges of the image will be subjected to a stronger correction than those near the center.

The Lens Sharpness palette is visible only for images for which the appropriate DxO Optics Module is loaded. If no module is available, you should use the Edge offset slider in the Unsharp Mask palette to manually adjust the sharpness in image corners.

It is important not to increase the sharpness of a shot that has already been sharpened by the camera, as is the case for JPEG images. So if you intend to post-process your images, you should shoot without any in-camera sharpening.

Unlike the Unsharp Mask tool, enhancing details with the DxO Lens Sharpness tool does not create white edges or halos around the sharpened areas.

Lens Sharpness and Unsharp Mask

We recommend that you perform as much of your sharpening as possible using the DxO Lens Sharpness correction tool before using the Unsharp Mask. Of course, for images where the appropriate DxO Optics Module is not installed, you will have to use the Unsharp Mask for all manual sharpening tasks.

Chromatic aberrations

About chromatic aberration

Chromatic aberration results from different colors focusing on slightly different places, In any case, this is a very visible problem, especially along objects and elements in a high contrast image

: green and red fringes (lateral aberrations), just green or purple fringes (longitudinal aberrations). A particular phenomenon that is also mostly due to chromatic aberration, “purple fringing” is when a ghost-like purple image appears along highly contrasted edges.

For most images, correcting chromatic aberrations and purple fringing is unavoidable

Correcting chromatic aberrations

Lateral chromatic aberration (e.g., magenta or green fringes along edges) is automatically corrected only if the appropriate DxO Optics Module is available. In this case, no further manual action is necessary.

The Chromatic Aberrations sub-palette

You can correct the other types of chromatic aberrations (longitudinal or other) using the two sliders in their respective sections of the palette:

You should check the Purple fringing correction box for all backlit scenes, or when shooting with a lens prone to this optical defect.

Moiré (ELITE Edition)

Moiré appears as colored artifacts or patterns when fine, high-frequency details interfere with the camera sensor. This is particularly true for cameras with weak or no low-pass filters. The photos they produce are sharper than those taken with traditional digital cameras (which use strong bypass filters), but the risk of introducing moiré will be much higher. Moiré is especially apparent in image details such as tile roofs, wire fences, mesh, feathers, fur, hair, and fabrics.

The Moiré sub-palette

The Intensity slider helps to reduce or recover these artifacts. Its range goes from 0 to 100, with 99 as the default value in auto mode. After any adjustments, you can reset to the default value by clicking on the magic wand.

The effect of this tool can be previewed only if your image is displayed at 75% zoom or higher.

Focal length and focusing distance

The lens focal length and focusing distance of a photo are recorded in the EXIF data of your images. However, this information is not always accurate. For example, different but close positions of the focal length ring (say, 17 and 18 mm) could result in the same value (say 18 mm) being recorded in the EXIF data. In this case, the distortion correction may be less than optimal. In the same manner, the focusing distance might be recorded in the EXIF data with insufficient precision, and similarly lead to an imprecise correction. In both cases, to improve the effectiveness of the optical corrections, you can provide more accurate values in one (or both) of the sliders that appear in the Geometry palette:

The Focal Distance and Distance focusing sliders are permanently displayed in the Mac version, and appear automatically in the PC version.


The two principal types of distortion: pincushion (left) and barrel (right)

About distortion correction

The geometric distortion introduced by a lens may be in pincushion or barrel form – or sometimes even a mixture of the two. In each case, DxO Labs’ analytical measurements make it possible to correct the distortion such that straight lines in the original scene are correctly reproduced as straight lines in the photo.

The Distortion sub-palette

The Correction drop down menu allows you to select either automatic correction based on a DxO Optics Module, or manual correction. Only the manual option will be active if a DxO Optics Module is not available.

The Intensity slider controls the degree of the correction, with a range from 0 to 100%. The default setting is 100%, and you should only depart from this either to avoid the cropping of important details near edges, or for creative reasons.

Automatic distortion correction

Provided the appropriate DxO Optics Module is loaded on your computer for the image you are working on, DxO PhotoLab will automatically correct any distortions.

Manual distortion correction

Select Manual in the drop-down menu if the relevant DxO Optics Module for your camera/lens combination is not available, or not loaded on your computer, or for creative reasons. In any case, first select the type of distortion you want to correct: Barrel, Pincushion, or Fisheye (for fisheye lenses).

Use the grid to help you manually correct distortion.

Changing a fisheye lens into a super-wide-angle lens

You can automatically turn your fisheye shots into ultra-wide-angle-style photos without circular distortion if the camera/fisheye lens combination is supported by a DxO Optics Module. This will be done automatically if the equipment is supported by a DxO optical module, or manually otherwise, by selecting Fisheye in the distortion type dropdown menu, and by refining the adjustment with the Intensity slider.

If you use the Fisheye correction tool, you can uncheck Keep aspect ratio so as to recover a non-negligible quantity of the angle of view.

Constrain to image

Correcting distortion always requires some degree of cropping. By default, DxO PhotoLab displays the cropped image, with the Constrain to image box checked. Uncheck this box if you want to display the whole image including the black areas around the edges that are the result of distortion correction.

Maintaining the aspect ratio

Most of the time the distortion correction changes the aspect ratio (i.e., the ratio between width and height) of the image. Since the aspect ratio is of great importance, especially if the photo is to be published, it is maintained by default, resulting in some cut-off (cropped) parts along the image edges. If you want to make sure that the entire usable part of the image stays visible, uncheck the Keep aspect ratio box at the bottom of the palette.

DxO ViewPoint

About the DxO ViewPoint palette

– This palette only appears if the DxO ViewPoint plugin license has been activated.

– For a complete description of the plugin tools, consult the DxO ViewPoint user guide. Nonetheless, given that the Perspective and ReShape tools reside outside the DxO ViewPoint palette, you will find more about them in your DxO PhotoLab user guide (after this section).

When you install DxO ViewPoint, a specific palette appears in the Customize tab, which offers you the following tools:

The DxO ViewPoint Guide tool is only available in the plug-in, for Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom Classic, as well as the standalone program.

The DxO ViewPoint palette

From DxO PhotoLab 6, the Perspective tool is available natively and so is no longer displayed by the DxO ViewPoint plug-in. You can find the Perspective tool in the PhotoLab Geometry palette.

Correcting volume deformation

The deformation of subjects situated on the edges of images is a geometric flaw that is frequently seem in interior, event, and wedding photos. Known as volume deformation, it frequently occurs when using a wide-angle or wide-angle zoom lens to photograph objects, people, or groups of people. The elements on the edges appear elongated or stretched out. The DxO ViewPoint palette lets you correct this phenomenon as well as horizontal/vertical and diagonal distortion.

For more information about the different tools available depending on the version, see the DxO ViewPoint user guide.

Miniature effect (since DxO ViewPoint 3)

The miniature effect simulates a tilt-shift lens that moves the plane of sharpness in an image, lending it the appearance of a scale model or of a diorama in a landscape photo. This effect is even more dramatic in images of urban landscapes when shot from above. The Miniature Effect tool provides great flexibility in the positioning and intensity of the focus areas.

When you activate the Miniature Effect, two gradients of blur appear on the screen (you will see 4 superimposed on the image): the solid lines delineate the area of the image that will remain sharp (generally in the center), and the dotted lines mark the transition zone between sharp and blurry at the top and bottom of the image. You can reposition the miniature effect anywhere in the photo, and you can also rotate it up to 360°.

The intensity of the shape and the blur are adjustable, and you can also deactivate the symmetry between the positions of the two blur gradients, as well as the intensity of the blur symmetry (meaning that you can have a different blur for each gradient).

ReShape Tool (since DxO ViewPoint 4)

The ReShape tool allows you to modify one or more elements in the image using a deformable point grid. It can be used for a variety of applications:

Flip horizontally/vertically (since DxO ViewPoint 4)

Activating DxO ViewPoint installs two inversion tools into DxO PhotoLab:

These commands are available either in the Image > Orientation menu, or in the right-click context menu > Orientation. You can combine, as well as reset, them.

Features specific to using DxO ViewPoint in DxO PhotoLab

A certain number of tools and features are specific to using DxO ViewPoint in plugin mode:

Adding image effects

Light Rendering


The appearance of the two Vignetting sliders when a DxO Optics Module is available

Vignetting is an optical aberration that results in corners and edges that are darker than the center of an image. The vignetting correction works differently and uses different commands depending on whether or not the relevant DxO Optics Module is available.

DxO Optics Module available

When a DxO Optics Module is available, the Correction drop-down menu will display Auto with DxO Optics Module, and the correction will be automatic. You also have the option to refine the correction by hand, or switch to a completely manual mode, as if the DxO optics module were not available (see the next paragraph).

The vignetting correction actually takes place in two steps, both of which can be fine-tuned:

  1. First, from the lens data, focal length, and aperture setting, the DxO Optics Module calculates the necessary correction for every pixel in the image. The Intensity slider allows you to decide how much vignetting should be removed (within a range of 0 to 100%).
  2. Second, a filter is applied to avoid clipping in bright areas and increased noise in dark areas. You can use the Preservation slider to set the intensity of this filter (from 0 to 100%), as follows:
    • If set to 0%, the vignetting correction will be applied without any restrictions.
    • If set to 80%, for example, the largest highlights and shadows will remain uncorrected.

When adjusting these two combined settings, we suggest sticking to the default 100% for the first Intensity slider, since the Middle slider is usually more effective in preventing undesirable vignetting correction side effects. Only vignetting due to the lens or sensor is corrected. Mechanical vignetting caused by a lens shade, for example, cannot be corrected. In the case of mechanical vignetting, you may want to use the Crop tool to remove the unwanted parts of your picture.

As with many other DxO PhotoLab corrections, the magic wand allows you to revert to the default settings.

No DxO Optics Module available

If the DxO optics module is not available, manual mode will be displayed. The Intensity slider will visually correct the darkening of the image at the edges and, in the advanced settings, the Middle amplification slider lets you determine the extent of the effect from the center of the image.

Color Rendering

Working Color Space

DxO PhotoLab (from version 6) uses an extended color workspace: DxO Wide Gamut, in addition to the Classic profile (Legacy), which matches the Adobe RGB 1998 profile, kept to prevent users from applying unwanted changes to images that they have already processed. The Colorimetric Space Subpalette lets you to manage images according to their color profile and convert them:

Converting images processed in Adobe RGB to the DxO Wide Gamut profile may change some colors and so, depending on how the picture looks, you may need to redo some corrections.

Indeed, soft proofing is available for the DxO Wide Gamut space, as well as the Legacy colorspace.


Since version 6 (October 2022), DxO PhotoLab is no longer constrained by the color space of the input image, as each one is converted to use the expansive DxO Wide Gamut color space. For most screens with restrained color spaces, out-of-range color warnings may appear in the Soft Proofing tool when correcting images. However, getting rid of these warnings should not be your aim as they do not concern the quality obtained in exported files or prints.

Since DxO PhotoLab 6.3 (February 2023), the DxO Wide Gamut color space applies to both RAW and RGB files (JPEG, TIFF, linear DNG). 

A number of effects and renderings are not compatible with the DxO Wide Gamut working color space, and therefore are not visible in the relevant menus (left: Classic color space, right: DxO Wide Gamut color space):


Color rendering (DxO FilmPack not activated) – ELITE Edition

Every camera, every processing software, and for traditional photography, every film, has a particular color rendering (and some renderings have contributed positively to their manufacturers’ reputations). The purpose of the Color Rendering palette is to simulate the rendering of a camera or film. Beyond aesthetics, this correction has a practical application for photographers who work with multiple cameras, enabling them to unify the appearance of their images regardless of the camera used. And professionals might also want also to deliver to their customers a neutral set of images that bears no noticeable signature of any particular camera.

Color palette and Color Rendering sub-palette (left: default; right: with DxO FilmPack and Time Machine enabled).

Color rendering (DxO FilmPack enabled)

Starting with version 6.0, if FilmPack is enabled, the DxO FilmPack Time Machine button appears in the Color Rendering sub-palette. Clicking on it will open the Time Machine floating window that lets you browse through an illustrated history of photography, from the 19th century to the year 2020. You can also apply directly the presets proposed by Time Machine (see the section on DxO FilmPack and Time Machine for more details).

TIFF or JPEG images

As with several other corrections, Color rendering is inherently limited when applied to TIFF or JPEG images: the images have already been processed to some degree, and thus there is no access to the original file data. So for these formats, only certain film emulations are available.

You can access film options by combining certain choices found in the two drop-down menus, Category and Rendering (see below). The Intensity slider allows progressive changing of the original image into the selected emulation. The default setting is 100, with 0 for the original image, and all values above 100 “hyper-correcting” the image.

RAW images

Because RAW images still contain all the luminance information and have never been converted into any color space, they are particularly suitable for the Color rendering correction. This means that many creative opportunities are open to you, as you can see from the contents of the two drop-down menus Category and Rendering:

DxO PhotoLab does not take into account the photo styles provided by some camera makers. However, it will try to match the standard original rendering as closely as possible. Note that DxO PhotoLab lets you apply Fuji renderings (see below).

If DxO FilmPack is not installed and activated on your computer, the available analog film simulations will be limited to a very small list of well-known positive color films (Kodachrome, Fuji Velvia, etc.). However, if DxO FilmPack is activated, you can choose among many more different film types (for more information, see the DxO FilmPack user guide).

The Saturated Color Protection slider only works if you apply a special color rendering. On RAW files it always works because you have to apply a color rendering system (the default camera renderer); For JPEGs, the device has already applied a rendering, in which case DxO PhotoLab will not apply color rendering unless explicitly requested.

Fuji images

If you are using a Fuji camera, you have the option to automatically apply the camera’s generic or analog rendering. To do this, you will need to activate the option Automatically use Fuji camera rendering for Fujifilm images in the Preferences > General tab of DxO PhotoLab. There are two possible scenarios, depending on whether DxO FilmPack is installed or not:

  1. DxO FilmPack not installed: the rendering will be the generic rendering of the camera, and DxO Photolab will apply this rendering if the camera is set to Fuji film rendering.
  2. DxO FilmPack installed: in addition to the generic Fuji rendering, you will have the choice of all Fuji renderings to apply as you wish. Note that in this scenario, you will also be able to apply Fuji renderings to any brand and model of camera supported by DxO PhotoLab (renderings are available either in the Color > Color Rendering > Rendering palette or in the Presets, DxO FilmPack Designer – Color and DxO FilmPack Designer – Black & White sections).

Style – Toning (DxO FilmPack not activated)

The Style-toning palette offers four presets to alter the contrast and saturation of the selected photos. The four styles on offer are:

You can adjust the effects with the Intensity slider. The default value is 100, and 0 corresponds to the original image.

The contents of the Style – Toning palette depends on whether or not DxO FilmPack has been activated. For more information, see section on DxO FilmPack below.

DxO FilmPack & Time Machine

This palette is displayed only if a DxO FilmPack plugin license has been activated.

The DxO FilmPack palette integrates the film emulations and editing tools specific to DxO FilmPack with your usual workflow in DxO PhotoLab.

The DxO FilmPack palette

Several palettes are at your disposal:

For more information on the different tools available, depending on the version and/or edition, see the DxO FilmPack user guide.

Time Machine is an illustrated history of photography by decade, going from the 19th century through to the years 2010-20. In addition to consulting this history, the Time Machine window allows you to directly apply the proposed presets:*

* Time Machine renderings are also available via the Presets button, in the top right-hand corner of the Organize and Customize tabs.

The DxO FilmPack Time Machine window

Straightening & cropping images


The Horizon sub-palette

The Horizon tool lets you automatically or manually straighten out a slanted image.

You can also right the horizon with the crop grid (Crop tool).

Automatic mode:

  1. Click on the magic wand to the right of the Horizon slider.
  2. To cancel the automatic correction, click again on the magic wand.
  3. To modify or fine-tune the correction, use the Horizon slider.

Manual mode:

This user-friendly tool, also available in the command bar, lets you easily straighten out a tilted horizon.

  1. Click on the Horizon button.
  2. Superimpose the reference line on the tilted horizon by placing the anchor points on the desired areas.
  3. You can also trace a new reference line in the image and refine its position by moving the anchor points to the desired locations.
  4. If you have enlarged the view by zooming in, you can navigate in the image by using the Move/Zoom palette.
  5. Click on the Preview button on the lower right, underneath the image, to return to the default view.
  6. You can cancel the correction and start over by clicking on Reset.
  7. Confirm the correction by clicking on the Apply button.

The Horizon tool is just as practical for applying small rotations (less than 5%) to your image. To do this, you can use the slider or enter a value.


The crop sub-palette

Automatic cropping

An image whose perspective has been corrected by the Horizon/Perspective tools generally loses some information at the edges – a great deal more if the correction is significant. This is why the Crop palette is set to Auto based on Perspective / Horizon by default, and the aspect ratio is set to Original, meaning that cropping is performed automatically on the corrected image while retaining as much information as possible.

The grid display is activated by default.

Manual cropping

The lower toolbar

Top: PC. Bottom: Mac.

When you activate the Crop tool by clicking on the Crop button in the upper toolbar, another toolbar appears just below the image. This one contains the following options (from left to right):

Straightening the Horizon

Whether you are auto-cropping or manually cropping, you have the option to straighten the horizon directly, without having to go through the Horizon tool:

Cropping manually

If you click on the Crop tool button, a dotted-line crop box will display on the image. You can move or extend this box by dragging its corners. If you have chosen a specific aspect ratio, the box will display the proportions of this aspect ratio, and you will be allowed to change only one of its dimensions, the other tracking automatically. If you have chosen an unconstrained aspect ratio, you will be able to freely change both dimensions of the box.

You can also draw the cropping frame yourself by clicking and dragging on the image while holding down the left button of your mouse. To change the size, simply grab the frame at the side or at the corner.

You can move the frame around the image by clicking the mouse pointer inside the frame and dragging (a quadruple arrow will appear as the pointer).

Clicking outside the box removes the box and lets you create a new box from scratch.

If you have selected Unconstrained in the Aspect Ratio drop-down menu, holding down the Shift key will allow you to preserve the proportions.

From there, you can select a predefined aspect ratio, type in your own values, show or hide the grid overlay, reset and close the tool. When you manually crop, the dimensions in pixels are displayed in the lower-right corner of the frame.

When the crop tool is active, a command bar is displayed below the Viewer pane. You can choose a predefined aspect ratio for your image, or enter a custom ratio, display or hide the “rule of thirds” grid, reset the crop, or close the tool.

You can apply the settings and close the tool by pressing the Enter key, or reset the crop and close the tool by pressing the Escape key.

Custom ratios

The custom ratio will allow you to crop your image according to a format that you would need to (for example) publish on the web, in a book, or simply, for making a print according to the dimensions proposed by a photo lab. In these cases, you will be able to recompose your image exactly as you will see it after publication or printing, without any unexpected surprises. Here, we will use a panoramic format of 175 x 50.


To apply a custom ratio:

To delete a custom ratio:


To apply a custom ratio:

To delete a custom ratio:


If your custom ratio corresponds to an existing ratio, the values of the latter will be automatically selected and displayed (for example, entered for a 75×50 print = 3×2).

If you enter fancy or inconsistent ratios, DxO PhotoLab will display the limit of accepted ratios.

The values can have a decimal (for example: 22.5×5), with a point (Mac and PC) or a comma (Mac).

There is no limit to the number of custom ratios that you can save.

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