Requesting a new Preferences : unconstrained or Preserve ratio

When using the image crop tool or Viewpoint, PL4 preserves the aspect ratio.

Example scenario:

  1. Use Viewpoint to straighten vertical lines :
  2. The aspect ratio is automatically preserved; the result is an image cropped more than necessary.
  3. In order to to restore the auto-cropped parts, use the crop tool to change aspect ratio to unconstrained

I would prefer that cropping works unconstrained by default. A new user preference could be implemented to set a cropping preference.

Hi Pierre - You can achieve that by changing a setting in the Crop tool;
… From this: image

… to this: image

And, if you save the state of this setting to your default preset (for newly encountered images) then it will always be applied this way.

HtH - John

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@John-M Thanks John, I will try it.

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@John-M I see a problem though:
I use the built-in presets in Photolab. Does this mean that I have to edit each one ?
Will I have to repeat this whenever there is a new release of Photolab ?

Do you mean that you use, say, “DxO Standard” as your default preset? In which case, yes, you will need to create your own version (if you want to have this setting “stick” for all new images). However;

  1. That’s very easy to do, and
  2. It’s very much worthwhile to do so - - so that you can assign ALL your preferred settings to all new images … such as Exposure Comp defaulted to Centre Weighted Avg, ClearView = 40, etc, etc

Here’s how to do so;

  1. Take any image and apply the DxO Standard preset to it … to be sure you have all standard settings applied.
  2. Change any settings to be how you’d prefer them to be - such as the Crop tool = Unconstrained
  3. Use this option: image - and name it, say, “Pierre’s Standard
  4. Change the settings in Edit/Preferences to reflect your new preset; image

HtH - John


Thanks for all the details. It is a good workaround, but I would rather have a preference setting for cropping behavior. It is not a setting for image processsing, but it is a setting for the behavior of the crop and viewpoint tools.

It’s not a workaround, Pierre - that is exactly how users apply personal preferences for particular PL tools … which is precisely why ability is provided, in Preferences, to override the standard DxO presets.


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I agree, this is not a workaround.


I expect you already know - if you hold the shift key when you crop, it will then become unconstrained.

(I am on a Mac - just in case it makes a difference).


Thanks, I already knew.

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I personally always crop to defined ratios, I prefer my images to have standard ratios which have historically been chosen by photographers to be pleasing. It’s easy enough to choose unconstrained if required.


No, your custom presets carry over or, if you’re starting fresh on a new or re-initialized computer, can be copied from a previous installation.

Thanks Greg. However, I would still prefer distinct tool preferences and image processing presets.

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I agree completely with Pierre but would implement it a bit different as this would work for most of us I think:
Remember the last setting of the tool as default. For me, Pierre, and others it would stay on unconstrained after closing and restarting PL4.

This instead of always going to the current fixed default : keep current ratio.

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Hello, this seems to be the correct thread for this question, I hope you don’t mind:

Whenever I apply a preset I never want a specific aspect ratio applied, but crop individually for that picture. I would like to save the two ratio clicks to change to manual every time i crop.

Is there actually a way to save Correction “manual” and Aspect ratio “unconstrained” in presets? I tried this similarly to the way you explained, John-M, but saving any “manual” correction in a preset leads to exactly the same manual aspect ratio applied to all pictures that I use that preset on. (And when I apply the preset to a cropped picture that one’s crop area and ratio will change to the preset’s crop. )

@John-M this is for you

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All you need to do to follow @John-M’s advice from here…

… and make your own copy of your favourite default preset and make that your new default for new images.
When you are in edit mode, you will more than likely see these settings for the Crop tool…

Capture d’écran 2021-02-12 à 06.50.09

Just change them to…

Capture d’écran 2021-02-12 à 06.50.16

… and save your preset.

Thank you for the answer Joanna,
what you show in these screenshots is what I did and what leads to the problem I described above: It will apply the same aspect ratio and crop that was active when i created the preset to every photo that I apply the preset to afterwards.
If for example I have a photo that I cropped before and then apply the preset to that photo, the original crop is overwritten by the one from the preset.
To solve the problem (also described by pierre?) I would need a preset that excludes crop but changes the aspect ratio to unconstrained. Is that possible?

In this case, where you “never want a specific aspect ratio applied, but crop individually for that picture” there’s an even simpler/easier solution, Matthias … Simply hold down the Ctrl-key at the same time as you “grab” the crop-handles with your mouse - and the crop-mode will instantly switch to being “unconstrained” … and you can return, temporarily, to constrained mode by holding down the Shift-key.

HtH - John M

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Thank you so much, holding down CTRL never seemed to work, this detailed instruction helped.

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