Undo/Redo Explanation?

Is there a coherent explanation of what the ‘undo’ and ‘redo’ are actually doing - the user-guide seems completely silent on this?

After some digging, I think that this is what is happening:

  • any change of the image selection clears the undo stack
  • edits that change the ‘advanced history’ panel are recorded and can be undone; ‘undoing’ an edit does not remove it from the history panel, so all you are really doing is stepping back one step in the history
  • edits that do not change the ‘advanced history’ panel are not recorded and can not be undone

I suspect that the ‘un-undo-able’ changes are anything that modifies image metadata (including ratings/colours) or image rotation - but I can not prove this and it does not seem to be documented?

I just mistakenly edited more than 100 images (select all) and inadvertently changed the selection before trying to undo. The result was that I could not recover without going back and manually correcting each image individually.

Also, because undo does not work at all with metadata, if I inadvertently add an incorrect keyword to a large number of images, the only way to correct this is to subsequently edit each image individually?

Is this really correct? And if so, is there a way to work-around it?

Yes, undo is very limited - especially when it comes to batch edits, unfortunately. There don’t seem to be any workarounds. I don’t know if metadata is the reason, but there is a lively discussion of the problem here:

You can vote and comment there to request that DxO improve the undo capabilities.

I don’t recall seeing any clarifications by DxO (yet) about the problem or what their plans are to address it.

This is exactly what happened to me and caused me to start the thread referenced above. Frankly some of the discussion there has me completely disinterested in this forum… and I’ve completely given up on even the simplest fixed coming to future versions of Photolab. some people cannot accept that others need things that they don’t. but it is what it is.

Ok, so it really is that bizarre…

Part of the problem is that it is called ‘undo’ when in fact it bears little relation to any ‘undo’ in any other application I have ever used on a Mac - at the very least these unexpected limitations should be properly documented and different terminology used.

I am currently making another serious attempt at migrating to PL from CaptureOne. One thing that is repeatedly frustrating is that PL does so many extremely difficult things well (noise reduction, masking), yet so many basic and relatively simple things badly (undo, projects).


I agree. I really hope PL8 becomes a “back to basics” where they clean up a lot of these simple usability things that have been super simple feature requests here for 5 years.

i can’t speak to how it is implemented on Macs, but on Windows the Advanced History is based on
the behavior of the normal Windows Undo/Redo stack.


I can not speak to Windows, but surely you would expect undo to reverse the last action that you made? This clearly does not happen for trivial things like key-wording a single image.

On the Mac, for example, if I adjust (say) image brightness, then add a keyword, then use CMD-Z to undo, the keyword is unchanged and the last edit is removed. This is extremely unintuitive and no other Mac app that I know of works this way.

Capture One manages to implement undo/redo correctly. You can undo anything except permanent file deletion, and it works correctly even when the changes are applied to multiple images. I am pretty certain that Lightroom does the same.

It’s exactly as you say. Broken.

All discussed in the previous thread…