Is there a way to delete "Advanced History" for an image or delete 1 or more steps?

Is there a way to delete “Advanced History” for an image or delete 1 or more steps?

Welcome, Theo …

The question that occurs to me, when I read your question is … why would you need to do this ?

The correction steps you apply using PhotoLab have no sequential significance - That is, whether you apply correction “A” before or after correction “B” is of no importance at all … PL will actually apply all your corrections in its own predefined order.

Personally, I haven’t found any use for Advanced History at all - I find it easier to simply toggle settings on/off via the Customise palette.

John M


Normally I don’t use it either but then, the other day, I was helping my friend edit an image and we got to the place where neither of us were happy with the end result. My friend hadn’t made a virtual copy before starting and neither of us could remember what we had done.

Fortunately, this particular image had been previously edited before the history panel was available and I was able to revert the whole visible history back to where it was last edited. Pheww!!!


I hear you, but to make it less complicated I wanted to get rid of certain edit choices that I didn’t like. Could be useful when I look at it again over time…

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Hi @4BYE, and welcome to our forum!

If I understand you correctly, you’d like to have the ability to selectively choose some steps and deleted them from the history: you do not want to remove those changes from your images, just their lines in the history, to get an “even better looking” edit history…Is that right? If not, could please further explain your suggestion?


No, it’s just to delete unnecessary lines and edits that I didn’t like. Mostly for future use so I don’t have to look at some things I tried and didn’t like and wonder why they are there.
It’s not a big deal though. But sometimes I try some plugins, and that fills the list…

OK, I see. Keep in mind though, that edits are stacked in the order you have applied them. If you go back (let’s say to step -5) all the above steps are still there, but grayed out. As soon as you make a new adjustment to your image, all the above lines in the history palette are erased and a new line is added with the last edit you just made…

Thanks for the details.

I agree it would be nice to revert to an earlier stage of the editing process. I’m new to DxO Photolab and not sure if it is possible to review what the image looked like at different steps of processing. These are features I miss moving from Darktable.

That will never be possible. Though many call a converter a parametric editor it’s also a pixel based editor with some sidelines in the conversion. That means that the edits you made are based on the actual status of that image: the pixels you see on your screen. If you take out one step, the next step will have a wrong picture to start with.
You can go back in history though and delete all the edits afterwards just by doing something.


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You can do this by using the Advanced History to go back to an earlier point in time or by creating multiple virtual copies at various stages of the image’s development.


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That’s a good point. Especially for something that’s really worthwhile to work on.

There’s an even easier way to examine the affect of particular correction tools, Riverman - you can simply toggle them On/Off via the corrections palette (because, with PhotoLab, the order in which you apply corrections makes no difference to the end result). Whereas, reverting back to a point in History will undo all corrections applied from that point forward - which, I guess, may be useful in some circumstances (?)

John M


I still don’t believe that. I decide for a correction based on what I see at that moment. Disabling a tool is disabling all the corrections made by that tool and that might be several.
Just go to an event in your history list and click on it. Then you’ll see the image at that moment. Don’t try to do some editing: all the edits afterwards will be deleted at that moment.


Yes - I agree my wording was not the best, George.

I meant exactly as you say: “you’ll see the image at that moment” - but, it will be without any of the correction(s) above/after that point … of which there may be many.


For me also I prefer to act on individual tool toggle on/off to see the effect.

History in certain circumstance could be also useful to check what was done at a previous stage, but less useful than in other softwares.

That’s only possible when you use that tool for the first time in that image. If you use tool A for the first time you can switch it on/of to see the difference. But if you did some more editing afterwards and then use tool A again you will get a complete different image. All the editing is based on the former image.


Going back in history is quite different from enabling/disabling a correction…
As said above, when you “go back” you see your picture at a precise (past) moment and all the corrections applied afterwards, are disabled (greyed out in the history panel). Disabling a correction will just disable that correction…, nothing else is affected. For instance, if you have changed your WB 10 steps ago, and you go back to that previous state, all the corrections applied after the WB are disabled (while your WB is still applied to the image)…If you just disable the WB correction with the toggle, you’re just disabling the WB correction on your image…

A very different behaviour…

That is exactrly why I never really use “History” toggle on/off is just very convenient.

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Indeed. But if you have made several (some plus, some minus) corrections, are you really telling me you can tell which of those corrections in the history caused the problem?

And, if the result of all the adjustments made to that particular tool comes out at -12, by how much are you going to adjust it when you find it in the history list? Bearing in mind that any experimentation will immediately wipe all other changes to all other tools used after it.

If you adjust things based on what you see at the moment, why would you not simply adjust the tool itself, rather than risk disturbing so many other adjustments to so many other tools?

A case in point is deciding whether you should be using ClearView Plus or one or more of the contrast adjustment tools.

Surely far simpler to make a virtual copy for where you are now, then you can enable/disable any of those tools as you see fit until you find which gives you the best results.

If I was experimenting with a particular slider, I would end up with a long list of little adjustments, which I have then got to try and remember whether I made the adjustments before or after something else that has a similar or contrary effect.

Most times, I use the tone curve to adjust contrast and levels but, occasionally, I will use the selective tone sliders. Sometimes, I’ll find I need to use both. But which one made the change that I now find myself wanting to revert?

Are those who support a history list really saying that you can remember where in that list to go back to - especially if there are many changes to one particular tool? And then, when you get back there and find the change they made was wrong, that you have to make the choice whether to change the setting and lose the last couple of hundred changes you made after it?

Take an example :

  1. change the contrast from 50 to 56 (a change of +6)
  2. do a bunch of other stuff
  3. do something else that alters the contrast, like ClearView Plus
  4. do a bunch more stuff
  5. get to the point where you don’t like the present appearance of the image

Do you go back to the contrast change or the ClearView Plus change? Whichever one you go back to, the version of the image you see when you get back there will no longer have any of the subsequent changes after that change, thus how do you know what will happen to the current image (with all changes) when you change that setting in the history list.

No. You don’t like the image as it stands now and going back in the history list will mean you will no longer know what the image looks like now whilst you are trying to figure out how to (or whether to) make an adjustment at that point in the history, knowing that you will lose countless changes made after that point.

Far simpler to make a virtual copy, start playing with the tool that you thought caused the problem and see if you were right. If you weren’t right, revert to a new virtual copy and start playing again.

Never forget, a history list is known in programming parlance as a LIFO (last in first out) stack. There is no way you can do anything to anything in the middle of the stack without losing everything else above it on the stack. All the history list does is to visualise the undo/redo operations made with Cmd-Z and Cmd-Shift-Z and, as you should know from that, once you make a change after a few Cmd-Zs, there is no way for you to redo what used to be there.

You might have made changes in a chronological sequence but the image wouldn’t change if you made those same changes in a different order.

Take a value - an increase of 5 followed by a decrease of 3 followed by an increase of 7 followed by a decrease of 1 makes an overall increase of 8. And what you would see by simply looking at the slider on the tool in question is +8. By judgement, I believe it should be +6. So, now I can either going chasing down some list of past changes to find whether it was some past increase or decrease that contributed to the error, or I can simply move the slider from +8 to +6.

It seems to me that some people think that, after they make a change of +5 from, say, 100 to 105, that 105 becomes the new 100 so that a subsequent change of -5 makes it 95 instead of just going back to 100.

It might look pretty and provides hours of endless amusement for its fans but, in my workflow, the history palette is not even visible.

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You misunderstood me. I just try to tell the difference between going back in history and disable/enable a tool. That are total different things. Read the post of StevenL.

Personal, and that’s me, I often want to play with an image. When it’s a new image there’s no problem. Just reset it. But if it is an image that has been edited, then I would like to have an escape, going back to the original edited image. Off course, I hear already, make a virtual copy. But then I’m back to editing jpg’s: always make a copy.
A question whether I want to save the edits or not would be nice.