PLv7 Request/Suggestion: Clarity for when PLv7 is in (or not in) Local Adjustment mode

Yes - I understand your point, Martin … Tho, I doubt many users at all would be using either of those techniques in the usage of Local Adjustments.

Regardless; as you say, the new implementation does not provide an intuitive user-experience …

Instead, it’s now quite convoluted and, therefore, confusing … For example;

  • It’s not enough to have selected one of the LA-masks in the LA-list to be able to work with it … It’s also necessary to be in “LA-mode” … and that’s enabled only if one of the LA-tools in the LA-toolbar is selected; and it doesn’t even need to be the same LA-tool type as the LA-mask that one intends to work with … How is a new/inexperienced user expected work that out ? … It’s bizarre !

I’m sure DxO could come up with a much better, far less confusing, UI - and that’s my aim here.


I share your opinion and optimism. Current UX is less than ideal indeed and fixing can be done in software, because that is what software is for.

In global adjustments, all tools are active all the time, move a global slider and move on, that is all there is to it. In LA, an additional step is necessary though: Select the mask, move the local slider(s) and move on, either to another LA mask, slider or a GA slider etc.

(In global, not all tools switch on, when a slider is moved. that is another item that should be fixed for a more consistent UX.) @StevenL

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From a user standpoint, it is a bug. It’s a ‘sticky’ modal switch with no obvious way to exit the mode. At the very minimum, there needs to be a user-obvious way to do that. For instance, an ‘X’ to the right of the LA tools that de-highlights any that are lit - and exits LA mode if some other tab (e.g. color) is selected. Or a ‘hold mode’ on/off slider switch. Then, if a user wants LA active while they move away from that column, they can do that.
One lesson from 25+ years of building application software: users don’t do well with modes, even worse with ones that are ‘sticky’.


Maybe it’s the applications that should do well with the users instead. :grin:

That was the point. Don’t use modes unless there’s no other way to do it - and if you do, then make it clear to the user they’re in a different mode (clear enough in PL7 as the cursor stays appropriate to the LA tool selected). My only issue is that there’s no clear way to exit LA mode.

…the blue toolbar button was useful after all and it might be an idea to bring in some kind of informational element or dropdown to the toolbar again. Let it be smaller though in order to fit DPL on small screens too…and make the toolbar customizable.

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You could do what image editing programs have done for years and simply add a “Base/Background /Image Layer” to the layers palette. It is a UI that is well established and familiar to many.

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THIS could be a solution – at least for now …

had been thinking about it for a while

  • there was a proposal to modify the LA TAB into a switch, which should work for most, except …
    – breaking the ‘convention’ that the TABs (only) serve as shortcut,
    switching between (visible) tool groups without deactivating any
    – is in the way when additionally using a ‘floating’ palette or a second screen

  • simply showing the LA‘s state (active / not active) avoids any misunderstanding

( and apart from this … allow the user to keep the LA’s box visible at top → see Nik 6 )

Some one mitigated not returning to the Blue button On/Off.
But it was so easy before with it and whilst ON if the floating panel is visible you can, as we did before, work on LA’s and Global at the same time.
Surely that covers everything we would require and no confusion what so ever.?

…and move the LA panel to the left sidebar to always know what we’re fiddling with…

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In fact, dealing with the LA is starting to give me a headache :wink: I also just found this. Sorry if it is already mentioned somewhere else.

I created a control point. Then I added a control line inside it. Selecting it does nothing.

You have to select a tool before you can see anything. So if I come back to this photo after a while and I haven’t given the LA a good description, it’s a kind of trial and error to find out what it’s good for.

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I predicted this confusion earlier and the main problem is that there are local and global tools. In Capture One these problems are far of a problem since the idea is that ALL tools shall work both globally and locally. The way to achieve that is to separate the global and local modes are through the layers AND NOT through different sets of menus.

In Capture One the global “mode” is not a global mode at all really, it is just a separate layer called “Background” and all the tools that works “globally - on the Background” works “locally - on every other local adjustment layer” too. These problems in Photolab occurs because DXO is still trapped in the old metafor of “Control Point” think that has prevailed since the Google times. The Local Adjustments were never integrated with Photolab but just “bolted” on as sort of a “strange bird”.

There is really no good solution of this problem in Photolab where we are supposed to live in parallell worlds and DXO will have a maintenance problem that Capture One doesn´t even have and these problems won´t go away if we get back the old “Local Adjustment”-button. Do we really think that button shall solve this problem??

This interface problem of Photolab wil not go away until DXO takes a whole new grip on the layer system in Photolab I think. I also think there should be a possibility to turn a color pick into an own layer and a possibility to use the Color Wheel in all other layers.

Agree 100% Steni. Such a simple solution to use a background layer. These UI issues will only grow as they try to add extra local tools like curves, allow HSL. To be used on brush layers etc.

Yes I can´t see anything but problems with the approach they have taken now but I think they at least can fix a static banner like the one below that gives us quick access to both the global and the local menus:


That way we will get kind of a dash board to quickly activate both the global and local menus and when activating the “Local Adjustments” the static part of that menu might look something like below where also the layer list and the layer tools would be exposed.

How about that? As it is now I feel a solution like that will speed up the shifts we now are forced to make between the global and local Color Wheel for example.

Today they have hidden the background layer but I´m convinced there is one, just that we can´t handle it in the layer list.

That said I still prefer version 7 over version 6 when it comes to the local layers and tools. I think it is easier today to make retouch works with version 7 than the versions before due to the new Luminous layer and the local Color Wheel.

Here my granddaughter turned into an “Easter Witch”, with a little helt of a few layers and the local Color Wheel.

In fact, it is possible to use even the “color picker” tool with a little work around even in Local Adjustments. As some people already figured out, we can first start on the “global” side and activate the Color Wheel and then click the “color picker” in the center of the wheel and pick the color you want to edit or change.

Then activate the Local Adjustment and apply a layer with “auto Mask” or “Brush” including the cyan colored “lanyard”. In this case it doesn´t even have to be especially precise since there is nothing else in that color close to it. Se to that the layer is still active and then open the local “Color Wheel”.

After that you are set to either change the color completely or just adjust the saturation or luminance. In this case I have changed the color from cyan to yellow to better match the color of the helmet.

Even if it´s not absolutely intuitive I don´t think this work around is any bigger problem that I can´t live with until DXO has fixed us a proper local “color picker”.

Another thing I wonder about is why the “Control Line” control point has both a Chroma- and a Luma-sliider…

… and why the Chrome-slider is missing in the Luminous-layer tools. Wouldn´t it be nice to have a “chroma”-slider in that case too? It should give us better control when adjusting the masks shouldn´t it?

I have always thought of global adjustments as being applied to the base photo (base layer if you like) and then LAs as being applied on top of that base photo. In a sense there are layers but you do not have control like you do in other programs. Base layer (global adjustments) applied first, then all LAs in the order that DxO decides!

I always try to do everything globally first then only use LAs if required to fine tune local areas. If your stick to this doctrine you should be fine - keep it simple!


Sure, Keith but you won´t get around the backsides of that approach which is a global and a local set of menus where many tools are doubled. You don´t need that complication and maintenance overhead with a background layer that is handled the way all other layers are handled.

Sometimes it´s very practical and efficient that both the Background layer and “color picks” turned into dedicated layers for color picks (which is a nice feature of CO that DXO still lacks), when working with layers.

They made a major overhaul of the interface of Capture One three or four versions ago (correct me with more precise data if you wish) just in order to harmonize the way global and local tools worked. It is a lot easier to learn to use a software with a set of tools that work in a consistent way through the whole software. Capture One is a very competent software with a lot of advanced tools that earlier came with a much steeper learning curve than there is today, since their developers have been working hard to improve and simplify the user dialogue in many ways. I think DXO will end up facing the same problems the CO people saw earlier in Capture One.

Yes, and it doesn’t even need to be the same tool-type as the one you wish to (re)work with … it can even be a tool that’s not relevant to the one you intend to work with (such as selecting the Eraser to work with a Control Point !)

It’s behaviour like this that makes PLv7’s LA implementation so obscure and puzzling - - esp. for new / inexperienced users.


Add that the show/hide mask switch is only active, when a LA slider has been moved.

Why not couple functionality to the phase of the moon? Okay, seriously, if those dependencies could be removed, DPL could, again, be relatively straightforward to use.

Let’s just be clear: Masking is the problem, everything else in LA is fine imo.


This is not a problem, instead this is the strength of PhotoLab giving much less complexity to local adjustments using these best suited Control Points and Lines.
I do agree that the tools being migrated to the palettes should be easier managed thru a clear and simpler activation of the tools and masks, but this does not diminish the interest of not having layers.
And btw, what you call « old metafor » does not come from google but from Nik.


Thanks for the hint, Platypus. I’ve been struggling with this too, wondering what the point is of hiding the mask if it doesn’t work. Had this experience before.
When unchecked, you can turn the mask off. But it has no effect. When hovering it is still shown.