PhotoLab interface difficult to use

Click on the Presets button, the Presets window opens, obscuring most of the image being edited. It would make more sense for the window to be resizable horizontally, or for the Presets thumbnails to be presented in a single column, like in Nik Silver Efex.

The scroll bars are too narrow - it’s not very easy to distinguish between the Preset window bar and the Corrections bar.

The text size is too small.

Adding keywords is cumbersome. From the manual: “If you start typing a keyword that is already stored in the database, the program will suggest keywords that start with the same letters. So you can select a desired keyword by using the up and down arrows on the keyboard, instead of having to type in the word completely.” You select a keyword by using the up and down arrows, then pressing Enter. The text of the keyword is put into the Add Keywords field, then you have to press enter again for the keyword to be added to the image. You shouldn’t need to press Enter twice.

There seems to be a bug with the Preset thumbnail images. Occasionally I see the thumbnails all looking the same, with icon suggesting the interface is updating the thumbnail, but they don’t get updated. I have to quit and restart to correct this.

It would be nice to be able to view only a selected subset of IPTC fields. Something I could do in 10-years-dead Apple Aperture.

It’s not only about learning to use a new piece of software, it’s disappointing to feel you’re compromising with the replacement software.

macOS Monterey 12.7.5 / DxO PhotoLab 7 7.7.1

I am on a PC so I can’t comment on how things look on a Mac, but on my 28 inch 4K monitor I don’t miss seeing the editing window when the Preset window is open. The preset images are approximately 4.5 inches wide and 3 inches tall on my monitor with 4K resolution. I suppose that for those running PhotoLab on a small screened laptop it is a bit more problematic.

Again, on my monitor the scroll bars are a perfect width and there is no confusion with regard to a preset vs correction bar. The text size is also not an issue on my monitor. I know that there are some interface contrast issues that some Mac users have complained about. Perhaps one of our veteran Mac users can comment on your concerns. I am not certain if MacOS has any resizing flexibility similar to Windows

All in all, I find the interface exceptionally easy to use. I was a Lightroom 6.14 user until late in 2017 when I discovered PhotoLab 1. I immediately found I was able to get better results in less time as a brand new user of PhotoLab than I was after several years as a Lightroom user. I have never looked back. We probably all have different expectations from our software, which is why most of us tend to prefer one post processing program over another. It is terrific that we all have so many affordable choices these days. Perhaps PhotoLab is just not the best choice for you.


I am on Windows and there is no issue with the Presets drop down. Never had an issue with this and seeing the possible changes applied to sample images in a larger scale compared to a tiny image such as Nik is a lot easier. It is different and you get used to it.

Text sizes is a function of how you set up Windows. I have set mine up with “Small” and I do agree some items are hard to read, but it is not the DXO software.

I can’t comment on your requirements for IPTC fields but do agree there is some improvement that can be made on the DAM side. This is something new with DXO as their main focus up till a few years back was purely on RAW manipulation, which is where the software excels in. Most users use a separate DAM as DXO is still catching up in this regard (which is not really why we originally bought the software). It is getting better though.

DXO does offer a free thirty-day trial period, so you don’t need to buy if this is not for you. However, I suggest you give it a go and you get used to the small issues (which you can raise with them) and you may see that this is one of the best available RAW converters around.


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The PhotoLab UI is exemplary for a less than optimal UI design.

Many requests for an amelioration of the situation have been posted, but the UI is still difficult to use. Earlier versions of PhotoLab were easier to use.


… for example, to operate local adjustments.

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You’re not alone. I’ve posted about the microscopic size of scrollbars a few weeks ago and was basically told to suck it up. Photolab is, for me, one of the best RAW editor but its interface it really getting on my nerves.

25" screen. I believe the size of the screen doesn’t matter on a Mac: scrollbars and text aren’t bigger - there’s just more space for stuff.

As a reference, this is what I see on a 28 inch 4K monitor using Windows 10. Keep in mind that the image I posted is much smaller than what I actually see on my monitor which has a diagonal measurement a bit greater than 27 & 7/8 inches.