Retaining advanced history between edits

There is nothing more frustrating than after editing an image, only to find. After a few days you are not happy with it and need to step back in the advanced history only to find no retained history. This means you need to start again. If you have not made a virtual copy. You then have to restore from a backup, where retaining the advanced history would make things so much easier.


On my Mac, Advanced History entries survive a restart of PhotoLab.
I have to delete istory willingly or delete the database to get rid of the history…

This seems to be the differences between the Mac and Windows.


on Windows with PL4 the History will not be saved over the session end.


This is something I have never understood. Editing in PL is not linear. The order in which you apply edits is not important. If you don’t like an aspect of an image, simply adjust that setting - whether that tool was used before or after another one makes no difference.

The history records every single change to every single tool. This can mean you started with a setting at 15, moved it to 25, found that was too much, changed it to 17, found that was not enough, moved it to 20, too much, then decided to work on another tool or two and come back to the first tool later. Now you have to undo every single change you made to all the other tools before you get back to the change you made with the first tool, then try and remember what all those changes were and reapply them.

Why not just go to the tool that looks wrong and change it directly?


Hi Joanna,

Yes that is quite possible, providing you have not closed the program down and then reopened it because in my Windows and PhotoLab all the advanced history edits have gone and it has been saved in the previous final edits, so you cannot step back. Platypus states that this does not happen in the Mac. It should also be the same in Windows.


No matter how many times people are told how pl works and that history isn’t needed they just don’t get it and dream of pl being just like lightroom.

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My point is that you do not need to “step back”, just change the tool that needs changing.

Why do you feel you need to step back in order?

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I just watched a video on Lr’s history panel, in which they point out that changing anything from a previous point deletes all changes from there on, and then went on to recommend using snapshots, which seem to me to do what exactly virtual copies do in PL and which have to be invoked manually.

At least with virtual copies, you can have several of them, label them (in PL5) and choose whichever one you want to work from.

Thank you Joanna,

You have just taught me something I did not know. I thought that once the history was missing. I would not be able to go back into the last used tool and correct anything. Just proves me wrong. Thank you for that.

I still feel that the history should be remembered. This will obviously give a 2nd method of doing the same thing, especially as the Mac seems to retain the history.


As platypus points out he and I expect many others on Mac have to get rid of the history and if it were added to Windows so will I as I don’t what (to me) endless unused rubbish building up. On both if endless history were introduced there should be an option to allow or not its keeping. I have never found history of any use but as Joanna says you can create vertical copies, these would be much better to use if returned to the original way of creating them rather than the rather odd way used now.

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All settings made are stored either in the .dop file or in the database. If you open an already processed image in the customize screen you can see in the palettes the retained value of all settings as well as what you have applied. I sometimes rework an image, but I never use the history, which for me is to reassure Lr fans!


yes with Mac, unfortunately not with Win

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Yet again the growing win Mac gaps

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Editing in PL is not linear, but my brain-process seems to be. Sometimes I decide my line of work on an image is not going anywhere useful, and I go back to the ‘last known good’ point in the history and resume from there, deliberately throwing away all the changes made since that point (and I can’t remember them all myself). I could have created a VC at that ‘last known good’ point, but it only becomes apparent that it was a ‘last known good’ point much later, so the history is there to make up for my lack of foresight :slight_smile:

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This is not the first time we’ve discussed this topic and I don’t think it would be useful to rehash the reasons many of us like using the visual history.

As you are probably aware most of the better post-processing software programs available today have a similar tool. Clearly the companies that publish those post processing programs have identified a sufficient need to include that functionality in their offerings.

The bottom line is that some of us like using this tool very much as a regular part of our workflow, and others, like yourself, don’t see any justification for its existence. There’s obviously no right or wrong here, just a difference in our development approach and tool requirements .

This discussion is similar in some respects to the ongoing argument about the placement of local adjustments sliders on-screen versus placing them In the side panel. Each approach has its supporters and detractors. Both sides make valid arguments for and against the use of on-screen sliders based on their personal requirements. It would be great if there was a way to accommodate both sides, but I don’t see that happening.

I have no hope or desire to convert you or anyone else to our way of thinking with regard to the advanced history. And, thankfully, unlike the placement of control point sliders, the Advanced History exists for those of us who want to use it and can be easily ignored by those who don’t.



There is simply no excuse for this feature not to work in the windows version. None.

The rest of this discussion is hand waving and frankly excuse making for an intended feature which isn’t implemented properly. (Mac is proper, windows is not)

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There are actually a large number of differences between the Mac and Windows version of PhotoLab. It is my understanding from conversations with DXO staff that at least some those differences will be addressed. When that will be I can’t say.


There needs to be a separate section for “which bugs do you want fixed”

Some of these issues have to be relatively simple to address. Yet many remain unaddressed for so long.

It’s interesting because there is sometimes decent engagement from DXO staff here but they don’t ever comment on these threads.

We just have to have faith they see them and address the concerns. I have to tell you my faith is waning.

And yet, there are obviously still people who are not able to find those discussions in order to assess both sides of the subject…

The problem occurs when people are only ever taught one way of doing things and don’t understand why. So they go on doing something that may be totally irrelevant and unnecessary for their situation.