Retaining Lightroom Changes

How does one retain the changes made to an image in Lightroom when transferring that image to DxO PhotoLab for further processing? The image opens in PL as the original RAW image without the changes made in Lightroom. How can I keep the changes I made in Lightroom?

You can’t, unless you export from Lightroom as a TIFF or JPEG.

Both Lightroom and PhotoLab are non-destructive RAW editors, with their own way of saving changes as parameters in a sidecar file or a database in their proprietary format.


PL now has LUTs, so open your images again in Lr or Ps and create LUTs so you can apply them again in PL. no it won’t keep the denoising and other adjustments you’ve done, but you’ll keep white balance and colours adjustment which is better than applying a “preset”.

According to some tests I made a while ago, Lightroom re-applied the settings stored in its .xmp sidecars, once the DNG file returns from PhotoLab.

Alternatively, you can copy the settings manually.

Either way, it’s good practice to check settings afterwards to make sure that e.g. vignetting is not overcorrected by applying corrections in both Lr and PL.


I confirm: it’s impossible, and not for lack of will from DxO. Lightroom adds its own corrections, and Photolab has no way to replicate them.


I think you should process your image the other way round, especially if you just want to benefit from specific features of Photolab. DxO has a Lightroom plugin for this. Please have a look at this page :

The nice thing about it is that you can repeat the round trip process as often as needed :Lightroom => Photolab => Lightroom => Photolab , etc.

I do this every day, and platypus’ and Pat91’s experience is mine as well. You don’t see the LR adjustments when the image is sent out to PhotoLab, but in general, they are reapplied when you export the image back to LR from PhotoLab.

After installing the DxO plug-in, experiment by importing a Raw file into LR. Apply an extreme crop or wacky color temperature adjustment or both, very obvious edits. Now in LR, click Photo > Plug-in Extras > Transfer to DxO PhotoLab. The image opens there without displaying the obvious edits you made in LR. Change some different things in PhotoLab. Click Export and be sure to select “Export as DNG (all corrections applied).” When the image gets back to LR, you have to move out of the Collections folder back to the original Lightroom Library folder, and there you will see that your wacky LR corrections, applied before sending the file to PhotoLab, are back in the new image file DxO created, along with the changes you made in PhotoLab.

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Thank you all for your thoughts and comments. I thought there was a pop up window to ask if I would like to proceed with a copy, retaining the changes I made in Lightroom, or not. Where did I see that?

You’d need to define PhotoLab as an external application in Lightroom’s preferences/settings.

To directly send the RAW file or an existing TIF or JPG copy to Photolab without using the Lightroom plugin provided by DxO, one can also use a script :

  1. Create a text file named say, Send_To_Photolab.lua and insert the following text :

========================================== (do not include in file)
local LrApplication = import ‘LrApplication’
local LrTasks = import ‘LrTasks’
local catalog = LrApplication.activeCatalog()
local LrShell = import ‘LrShell’

local function openWithExternalProgram()
local programPath = "C:\\Program Files\\DxO\\DxO PhotoLab 6\\DxO.PhotoLab.exe"
local photo = catalog:getTargetPhoto()
if photo ~= nil then
   local photoPath = photo:getRawMetadata('path')
   LrShell.openFilesInApp({photoPath}, programPath)


LrTasks.startAsyncTask(openWithExternalProgram, “openWithExternalProgram”)

========================================== (do not include in file)

The pah to the Photolab executable may vary. Mind the double backslash.

  1. Save this file to Lightroom’s Scripts folder :


(this folder may not exist - if no script has been added there, the Scripts menu does not appear in Lightroom)

  1. Exit LR if it is running and relaunch.

  2. Select a file and run the command from the Scripts menu. The same script can be used to launch any other external program without going through the external editor procedure of Lightroom. This might be useful when sending an already existing exported TIFF/JPG image to an external tool like any tool from the Nik Collection, thus avoiding an unnecessary conversion.