Ex-Lightroom user loving DxO PL BUT the healing tool is driving me crazy

Having been a Lightroom users for 8 years I’ve recently tried and switched to DxO PL. After seeing the results of the far superior noise reduction and sharpening, and the perfect lens corrections etc i could never go back to Lightroom. I’m simply loving DxO PL.

BUT there’s a big but! The healing tool is driving me crazy! 9 times out of 10 it’s brilliant. The automatic AI healing is impressive, and the area that it automatically samples from works well. Then you come to a spot in the image where the automatic AI area that is sampled from gives poor results. You can of course try changing the healing area a bit or its size and often you can get it to change its mind and get better results (although sometimes you’ll be clicking away for ages). BUT you sometimes get a spot that you want healed and there’s nothing left that you can try to get DxO PL to sample from a different area than the one it keeps providing automatically. For example in 1 of my photos i had a pole in the background sticking out the top of my subjects head and i could remove most of it with the healing tool but the bit where it met her head there was nothing i could do to get an automatic healing correction at that point without a terrible choice of sampling area from the tool. I had to give up in the end and do it in Lightroom instead. I don’t want to subscribe to Lightroom anymore. So far I’ve gone back and re-done about 200 of my family photos in DxO PL that i had previously done in Lightroom. I’ve had trouble with about 5 of those and couldn’t do them in PL. I don’t want to have to take a finished photo from DxO and open it up in another program just to finish the healing because in the future if i ever go back and change something in DxO PL like the crop ratio etc i’d have to do the healing again in the other program and might forget what still needed doing.

My question is this: Why would you make DxO so good in so many ways, where it’s as good or better than Lightroom in all those ways apart from the essential healing tool? In my opinion DxO PL is really let down by its healing tool.

The DxO PL healing tool is not that much different to Lightroom’s in the sense that in both programs you click on a spot that needs healing, the AI chooses a spot that it thinks is the ideal sample area to heal from but in Lightroom you get the option to move the sampled spot around, something you don’t get in PL. I wouldn’t think it’s that hard to add this extra level of functionality to the healing tool.


This is a well known limitation to the otherwise excellent Repair tool. There is currently a Clone tool in PhotoLab’s backlog which should address your issue by allowing you to manually select the sampling area you want to use. It is unclear when this tool will be available, but it may not be for some time


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Thank you for the feedback :).

  • Yes, indeed. Probably we can make you happy sooner than you expect :wink:

Svetlana G.


Thank you for the feedback.


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That’s so good to hear. Thanks :slight_smile:

Fortunately, there are free alternatives to Lightroom that offer good clone stamps, such as The GIMP and Paint-dot-net. Still, great as the healing tool is, having a clone tool in PhotoLab is invaluable and my number one wish. Thanks, Svetlana! :grin:

I hope the new clone tool will be able to paint in areas made black by perspective correction and image rotation. That’s another wish of mine that’s been submitted as a feature request. I’ll understand if that’s not possible, though.

Well, I was told something similar about correcting the automatic mask tool in local adjustments, more than a year ago. Nothing has happened since then.

So I must confess that I don’t trust such information any more - until it’s really implemented and released.

(And yes, healing the healing tool is really necessary - I also desperately tried to correct a rather simple detail but the AI always picked the wrong samples…)



I doubt very much that you will be able to paint those black slivers on a raw file, for the simple reason that those areas are not part of the image, and their presence is just an artifact of an image’s edges being shifted in angle. Like with other pp programs, judicious use of a cropping tool will probably still be needed to correct it. However, If you were to export the raw file to a JPEG or Tiff file with those slivers, they would become baked into the image itself. I’m pretty confident a clone tool should be able to cover them up, but how effective that would be I can’t say.


Yep, I hear you. That’s why I didn’t even think about asking when it’s planned for. But, at least, it is nice to know they are presumably working on it. I’m going to put it out of my mind until it’s actually available.



I’ve done it several times - exporting from PhotoLab to TIFF and then using the clone stamp in GIMP or something else to fill in the black areas. It works just fine as a means of painting in missing scenery. The appearance of replication is minimized by varying the brush and overlapping chunks cloned from different places. Takes a while when the scenery is complex - but it’s very effective.

The OP (Paul) indicated he doesn’t want to use LR.

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I have lightroom 6 (the last version you could buy outright). I recently bought a new camera that wasn’t supported in that old version. I then faceed a choice of either going down the Lightroom subscription service with Lightroom Classic or looking elsewhere. I tried DxO and loved it so much I decided to switch from Adobe/Lightroom over to DxO. So my old cameras will still work in Lightrooom 6 but my new one won’t. I prefer DxO now anyway and I’m in the process of redoing all my precious family photos from scratch in DxO. I don’t want to have to use Lightroom anymore.

I don’t want to have to use more than 1 program to edit and then finish off my editing. Why? Let’s say I edit a Raw in DxO but then have to finish off the healing in Lightroom or Gimp etc sometimes, but then in the future I need a new crop of a photo for printing for that photo, I’d then have to go back to DxO change the crop ratio, export, then do all the healing all over again, and trying to remember what extra healing needed doing in that photo (if at all). It’s too much of a inconvenience, and not really practical.

DxO is almost perfect to me. It just needs that essential cloning tool, or a healing tool that isn’t totally automatic.

That’s a good point. Personally speaking though I would prefer to do everything I need in one program like how I did in Lightroom. For me DxO would be perfect for my needs if it had the extra functionality of a clone tool or semi automatic healing tool. I only really edit in a way to make a photo look normal in the best way possible. I don’t really go in for all the effects, bells & whistles etc like many do. I suppose everybody has their own style and needs and lots of others would need to use more than 1 program.

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I have exactle the same proble too often. Healing is good for spots, stains or removing flying birds (yes, I do that sometimes), but in may case more often than not, the tool is not valid. It’s quite hard to remove cables, for example. The tool tends to taka ANOTHER cable paralel to the one you want to remove and paste it in

Let’s hope that cloning tool comes soon.


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I did some testing for other things then isolated objects and the healingtool can be surpricingly accurate when you use the “paint a mask” methode.
But yes a movable source area for choosing our own doner spot is a well wanted feature.

Best is three type one.

  • present healing tool.
  • a clone tool which can be clone a spotting circle or a painted mask.
  • and a mirror flip of a painted mask ( can be just a checkbox for invert/ flip)
    Repairing a situation which has windows and other repetable structures but in mirror wize look is almost imposible with a normal clone tool.
    So ideal will be a paintable mask with erazor tool to fine tune the mask lineout and a movable source patch to line up the flipped patch image.
    And of course the feathering and opacity sliders to blend in manual if needed.

They are working on improvements as we speak so fingers crossed how much we get.

Hi. What is the “paint a mask method” for healing?

I think he means clicking and holding the mouse button down while dragging the mouse pointer and painting an object to be removed in one smooth move rather than multiple clicks and releases over the object to be removed. If he means something else than I’m in the dark.



exactly, “painting” a object you want to lose “blue”.
At this moment it is when you release the mouse button it immediately start to “heal” but i hope that when we can use the clone function a extra option is possible. Namely fine tune the blued area before it starts with a flip function to mirror the source.

My ideal thought about this cloning feature would be the power of the healing tool to recreate pixels by looking around the blued section and fill in as good as possible with a prewatch function to control the section of the patch and the source patch and the possibility to line up and clean up by moving the source area and using a erazor tool for fine tune the shape of the blue mask area of both area’s.
a flip for mirror checkbox as cherry on the icing. (the opacity and feathering is more for exposure contrast control of the patched area).

I really think this can be used as endless repair toolkit and you can deal with almost anything you have on a image which you need to magic away.

I have the same problem. Healing sometimes fine, but sometimes (especially when close to a contrasting piece of image) selects source badly.

A clone tool sounds like the solution … BUT … one thing I like about DxO compared to the competition is its simplicity. I really don’t like the idea of a proliferation of tools which do almost the same thing. I’d much rather have a single tool which has a tick box or similar to choose between “DxO selects source” or “user selects source”. The words “clone” and “heal” do not make this distinction clear to normal folk; only to people already indoctrinated in this bizarre vocab by use of other PP software.

(While I’m on the subject of confusing vocab, why ever do post processing software vendors use the word “shadows” to mean “fairly dark areas”? It’s very confusing. I started out with high hopes that a slider might be able to identify the shadows and remove them, but all it does is select all areas of a certain level of darkness (whether this is caused by obstructions to sun rays or by colour of surface) and treat them alike. )

Well it doesn’t look as if the hint of an updated healing tool came to anything. Why am I not surprised as we keep having this on improvements that never get into new builds! Valuable new cameras and lenses and good old miner bug fixes .