Keep advanced history permanently (PL 4)

Also, lets say that you have made several minor adjustments to the HLS tool adjusting blue for example and you had previously adjusted a green value. Now, the next day you revisit the photo and want to refresh your memory of the various blue values to see if one looks better or not or what to adjust next. Simply turning off the HLS tool will not work as you will then lose the green value. Yes, you could readjust the blue value but you are then starting all over again. Whereas, with the History, you can back step and see what you did.

But what happens if you then adjust say the red or the green again, then going back to a previous green will undo all changes right back to there, so you will have lost those red and second green values.

Yes, that can be a problem but in all the years that I used Lightroom’s History, it was never a major concern. If it is, then I would create a VC.
This is something that people are asking for in Lightroom - to be able to make selective edits in the History.

Sorry for the delay in replying to you @John and to you @Joanna. You’re complaining that you could have bloated DOP files. If Windows version was to keep the advanced history. My DOP file does not get bloated, as you say. A small example of how I work. Initial opening file. The advance history. The first entry. The applied default preset and for arguments sake I click on the exposure and start adjusting. I can then have any number of entries in the advanced history as I adjust exposure. Now when I’m satisfied that I have the exposure correct. I then look across to see the last value that has been given to the exposure. For argument sake 2.50. I then come back to the applied default preset and click on it, which in this sample case brings me back to the start. I then click again on the exposure and enter the last entry, which in this sample case is 2.50. This means you only have 3 entries instead of numerous entries. I hope that makes sense. I can then go onto the next setting that I want to adjust and repeat the same thing. This keeps the advance history to a minimum.
Yes, it may take a little longer to complete the adjustments, but for me I’m never in a hurry to edit my pictures.

This really shouldn’t be necessary. Seriously.
History could be encoded with as little as a few bytes per step. 250 steps could be stored in one kilobyte… This is easy stuff.
Your DOP files are already 8-10kb… If they become 10-12kb because they have 500 steps of history, you would probably never notice unless you like to analyze your DOP files in a text editor… And if you CARE that your files are a few kb larger, then you’re really worried about the wrong things… (And no, I’m not saying your files should, could, or would have 500 steps.)

Please at least provide something useful about the presets actually used:-

As a Win 10 user I get nothing useful about the heritage of the edits that I have applied to an image and back in PL5 Repair creates "surprise" straight line selection elements while attempting to create a circular mask! - #5 by BHAYT I complained to @sgospodarenko that the only thing that is returned is the ‘Applied default preset’ which is about as much use as a “chocolate teapot or coffee pot”!

It is always the same and helps with nothing.

The least that would be useful is the ‘Last preset applied’ and/or the ‘Last preset created’.

Make editing of preset and image names possible:-

The editing of preset names is a nightmare because the UI designers for PhotoLab (and its predecessor) chose to provide inline editing for both image names and presets both in tiny boxes with barely a change in colour to denote that the edit is underway and if you attempt to locate the end of the string to make a change you (mostly deselect the edit when it is hard up against the end of the space available!

What is wrong with a nice “pop-up” or “pop out” editing box where I can see the whole name at the same time and update as much or as little of the name as I want without feeling totally cramped!

Please leave the presets pointing at the original point in the preset list:-

As for returning me back to the start of the presets whenever I create a new one - why!? Perhaps I might actually want to stay where I am in the preset list.

When I created a large number of presets for JPGs back on OpticsPro 11 it was as annoying as …and the amount of space on offer here (in the preset table) is …


Yes, I do know that I can also see them “in action” but why return to the start for this display every time, why not remember where I was in the presets and start from there next time?!

Whoever coded the preset handling appears to be “obsessed” with returning to the start instead of remembering the last point, the whole point of using a computer is for convenience not added inconvenience!

Finally back to the Topic of this Topic - What is actually on offer with the Mac version and is it optional:-

Exactly what is preserved in the Mac version which is totally absent on Win 10, presumably the entire ‘Advanced History’?

Presumably it comes with the same “rubbish” ‘Applied first preset’ but at least I would get any presets I have created!?

Except that particular event is not actually recorded in the ‘Advanced History’!?

The ‘Advanced History’ is potentially useful, if a little wordy, but

  1. Is it preserved in the database or DOP or (as expected) both?

  2. Is the preservation of this mandatory or optional on the Mac?

@sgospodarenko when will this actually be available on Win10 and when will the ‘Applied default preset’ be replaced by something that is actually useful; for it ever to change the user would need to select a new default preset before ever opening a particular directory for the first time when the value will then be assigned to every photo in the directory? and when will preset be added to the dictionary for the forum!


Given the restricted nature of the display of the preset name would it not be useful to include a description in the preset to help with identifying why a specific preset was created and a summary of what the preset “does”, e.g. displaying the description when hovering over the preset name or …

The ability to give a preset a long and meaningful name can certainly be accomplished by the use of the preset directory coupled with the structure of the name but only the first 30 something characters of that name will be visible in the display.

@MikeR. I agree it should not really be necessary. All that needs to be kept for the next session of a pic is-the-last-item from each slider selection. For @BHAYT it obviously didn’t make sense. I wrote “A small example of how I work. Initial opening a file. The advance history. The first entry. The applied default preset and for arguments sake I click on the exposure and start adjusting. I can then have any number of entries in the advanced history as I adjust exposure. Now when I’m satisfied that I have the exposure correct. I then look across to see the last value that has been given to the exposure. For argument sake 2.50. I then come back to the applied default preset and click on it, which in this sample case brings me back to the start. I then click again on the exposure and enter the last entry, which in this sample case is 2.50. This means you only have 3 entries instead of numerous entries.”
I would then go on to the next operation, for arguments sake “adjusting contrast” when I have finished adjusting the contrast I would then take a note of the number in the box to the right of the contrast slider. I then go back and click on the exposure slider which takes me to the previous slider adjustment and then once again, click on the contrast slider and type in the last number used. This, then deletes any unnecessary contrast slider adjustments and you will only have 5 entries in the advanced history. I do not go back to the start every time, as that would delete any adjustments that I want to keep. Hopefully now you understand.

But that is exactly the image as presented back to you when you open it in PL5 i.e. the the final state of your changes after an editing session. What is “missing” on Win 10 is the whole of the ‘Advanced History’ stack (last change first) and the option to cut back the stack to an earlier time, i.e. abandon later changes.

You get what you seem to want simply by stopping editing an image, i.e. the ‘Advanced History’ holds the minutiae of how you arrived at those settings but the final settings for the various editing options is that final state and that is preserved in the database and in the DOP.

BUT if you select a point in the ‘Advanced History’ where a setting had a value you now decide is what you should be using then double clicking will restore that value but destroy every edit beyond (above) that point so using your technique to take a value and apply it to the option will leave all other edits as they were but conceptually revert the specific setting back to one you used earlier.

I believe that your consolidation process is unnecessary, i.e. you are already getting that with what is currently on offer with PL5 on Win10.

My initial “rant” was about presets which are currently all that is available to Win 10 users. Your alternative to refining your settings to only contain the last that you used is the same as creating a preset which will be made up of “only” the final settings you arrived at!

However, I consider the current handling of presets leaves something to be desired, as I stated above.

Alternatively, you can leave the edits in the image and use that image as a kind of “preset” via the copy and paste of correction setting from one image to one or more others, including Virtual Copies of the original image or Virtual Copies of other images as both the source of edits (copy) and the recipient of edits (paste).

So on Win10 we have no history preserved beyond a session and a rather “restricted” preset handling with a “useless” (in my opinion) ‘Applied default preset’ which is essentially the same for every image I have ever edited!

I want something useful, while we wait for a full history, namely;

  1. The last preset I applied to an image (there may well be additional edits beyond that point which will be lost as detail on Win 10 with no preservation of the ‘Advanced History’ but preserved as the final PL5 settings for the image)

  2. The name of the last (or all presets) that I saved while editing an image to retain some form of link between images and the presets that were created as a result of edits applied to that image.

  3. Easier handling of any renaming operation, presets and images etc.

When (if) the ‘Advanced History’ preservation feature eventually arrives on Win 10 then I am prepared to put up with excruciating detail rather than nothing at all but with the option 1 and 2 above included and the ability to dispense with the excruciating detail for any and all images when I simply don’t want it or don’t want it any more!


Plus the paste can be selective

EDIT 02:-

@Prem if a “compact” history is important to you then you could

  1. Create a Virtual Copy of an image and do all the fiddly adjustments on VC[1]. Please note that for basic work each DOP for each image ([M]aster and Virtual Copy[ ] is about 10KBytes in size, getting much larger with high numbers of ‘local adjustments’.

  2. When happy with the final results these can be transferred to the [M]aster (original) image (copy and paste corrections).

Going from this

to this

Please note that when creating a new Virtual Copy, from the [M]aster or another VC[ ], the creation process will take the settings and metadata from the image (copy) that is selected when the ‘Create Virtual Copy’ command is executed!

For replacing or swapping a [M]aster with a VC[ ] then please see here Avoiding "Unwanted Virtual Copies" when copying Images and DOPs between systems - #3 by BHAYT in the EDIT.

I think he is talking about the behavior where if you click the up arrow next to exposure compensation 6 times in rapid succession to increase the exposure by 0.30, you get 6 entries in the history. These should practically be combined to 1…

If you then adjust Contrast, you get a second entry…

And if you come back and adjust exposure compensation again, you get a third entry. The previous entry remains… But you don’t have 6 entries… one for each click.

It’s interesting, I can’t recreate the behavior just now where you drag a slider and get a whole series of history entries for the one motion. So this must not be the planned behavior, but is instead an intermittent bug as I have no doubt seen the behavior before. But that’s another topic.

@MikeR I understand what @Prem was saying and what you are saying but what does it actually impact?

Agreed and I was going to suggest that PL5 could consolidate such repetitions into a single ‘History’ entry rather than 6 ‘Advanced History’ entries The slider action does not create a myriad of options because the operation is in progress until the action is complete (the mouse is released) but each click is a single, completed action.

At the end of 1,000 adjustments of an individual item the option will only have one setting (from the last) while the ‘Advanced History’ will actually have 1,000 entries! On a Mac there would be a huge number of entries in the ‘Advanced History’ to “keep” but on Win 10 these will only be kept (somewhere!?) for the session!

So my problem is why take any additional action? After the changes have been made the image will have a set of settings regardless of a myriad of individual settings to get there or clearing the settings and making one setting (arguably the last entered) it doesn’t change the outcome (except for the history storage - only on the Mac right now).

What am I missing?

Test of the scenario you described

a long and tortuous set of changes but a single outcome and it is the outcome which is stored in the Win 10 database and the DOP and in the Mac database and DOP but in the latter case also accompanied by the ‘Advanced History’ “stack”!

In your test scenario I would propose your “advanced history” should contain 7 items… and these items should be captured in the database and the DOP sidecar file so they may persist between launches of the program. (And survive a rebuild of the database.)

This is in essence what this whole topic is about.


@MikeR and @Prem my comments relate to the Win 10 product now rather than what might or might not come in the future!

Currently I don’t see the point in making changes to the ‘Advanced History’ just to “tidy it up” unless that then makes it easier to navigate and use the ‘Advanced History’ but only for the rest of the session because after a restart the ‘Advanced History’ will look like this

In addition you appear not only to be asking for the ‘Advanced History’ to be preserved for future editing sessions but what I called the ‘History’ to be preserved where the ‘History’ actually contains multiple consecutive entries consolidated into a single entry.

Are you suggesting that the consolidation should happen in real time, e.g. that could be implemented now, even before any form of preservation is available?

How many entries are you anticipating for this scenario 3 or 2, I would hope the answer is 3 because otherwise the history “stack” is no longer a “stack”.

@Joanna as a Mac user can you answer my query about what happens on the MAC, i.e.

  1. Is the preservation of the ‘Advanced History’ optional?

  2. Is the ‘Advanced History’ captured, stored and restored in exactly the same way that it was created, so for my example above every line is stored and restored?

To be honest I have hardly ever used the ‘Advanced History’ at all with PL5 (unlike with other software), I find it simpler to go the option and change it there! If I want greater flexibility I create virtual Copies and presets and copy and paste from one image from a “shoot” and paste to other images from the same location refining until I have a few presets that cover the bulk of the “shoot” plus some additional ones for “extremes” e.g. straight into the sun, when the sun “vanished”, hazy long distance shots of the coast etc…

However, if other users would benefit from the features then they should have that opportunity and being able to create a Virtual Copy and then cut back the stack is useful to have and can only be addressed in a future session if the ‘Advanced History’ or (consolidated)’ History’ is preserved.


@MikeR I thought that the situation that might cause a lot of entries while pulling a slider might be in ‘Local Adjustments’ to I did a test and rather than a lot of entries for the slider I got one for each item I changed in a Linear Gradient but with mostly useless ‘Advanced History’ entries that don’t give a clue to what entry relates to what slider!?

As you said, the tidying up of the advance history does make it easier to navigate. Between sessions the advance history is no longer a history, let alone an advanced history as it is lost between sessions. As, @Joanna has said I can use the local adjustments to see what I have done, but to me. That is a long winded way of doing it, especially if there is a large number of adjustments.

Yes, I would like the advanced history to be retained between sessions as it is much easier to use and more intuitive. As far as entries consolidated into one. As I have already said I do that manually myself and not worried whether DxO implements such a item.

You asked me how many entries I anticipate. So far as I’m concerned, the minimum the better. If I have to do to many entries, then I have not got things correct in camera and that image is not used. I am now pushing 84 and like @Joanna. I started my photography at 11 years old and very quickly learnt to get it right in camera, or rather should I say. Try to get it right in camera.

For your edit comments. You are assuming that everybody adjusts a slider on the first attempt. What happens if you are dissatisfied with the first attempt and need to readjust. This adds additional entries under that slider in that section of the advanced history. And, if adjusted by the up and down arrow that could be multiple entries. Hence the reason I manually adjust the advance history in the method I have already said.

For your edit comments. You are assuming that everybody adjusts a slider on the first attempt. What happens if you are dissatisfied with the first attempt and need to readjust. This adds additional entries under that slider in that section of the advanced history. And, if adjusted by the up and down arrow that could be multiple entries. Hence the reason I manually adjust the advance history in the method I have already said.

The way that Lightroom implements the History panel eliminates some of the issues with DXO’s panel (Windows).

In Lightroom, either using a slider or the “arrow keys” * results in one entry. If you make a further change to that setting, Lightroom creates an additional entry showing the difference in value. E.G. set the contrast to + 5 - one entry. Set it again to + 10, the second entry shows a change of +5 and the total of +10.

With this, it is very easy to see exactly what you have done days, weeks or years later - depending on how long you keep the catalogue. (I delete mine when I am finished editing which could be days or weeks).**

I very seldom consolidate the history and really only do it if I decide to make a preset from the current settings.

To be clear, the use of the History panel in Lightroom is optional. It can be turned off.

  • *My copy of Lightroom does not have adjustment arrow keys as such. There are other methods of adjustment however.

  • ** At the moment, my catalogue size is 122Mb because I have older photos that I know that I am going to return to - otherwise, it is quite small.

Some people point out that if you go back in time in the history, you lose any editing from that point onward. Yes, this is true but, in practice, it not a major issue as a) you know that this will happen and b) there are several methods of mitigating it.

@Allan thank you for your insight into what happens with Lightroom. As a Windows 10 user I have no knowledge of what DxO has currently implemented with PL5 on the Mac but the Lightroom scheme looks interesting and the ability to disable the feature is a must.

@Prem I was 1 year old when you started photography, i.e. I am 74 years old! My original comments were not intended to be disparaging but rather concern over why you went about the task of consolidating the entries!?

I originally stated that I don’t use the ‘Advanced History’ but concentrate on making changes to the various options directly using existing presets as the starting point and making new presets and/or VCs and/or using images (including VCs) as “temporary holding pens” for (potentially) new presets.

However, I wanted to compare the use of ‘Microcontrast’ to ‘Fine Contrast’ on a particular image; ‘Fine Contrast’ is only available with the ‘FilmPack’ add on and there’s yet another complaint of mine because I believe that basic ‘Fine Contrast’ should be part of the base product and not require an expensive add-on to acquire!.

The obvious way was to set a ‘Microcontrast’ value directly to avoid “unnecessary” ‘Advanced History’ entries, and then do the same with the ‘Fine Contrast’. Without lots of ‘Advanced History’ entries the two options were next to each other in the “stack” and toggling between them was easy, but lost overnight with the current absence preservation of the ‘Advanced History’.

While I know that users can return to an image and use the history to resume editing I am afraid that the level of detail in even a concise history does not really help me to pick up the threads. One thing that I consider essential for both a history and for presets is “context” data and for the history in particular “way point markers”, i.e. brief descriptive text (notes) in the “stack” to help establish and then re-establish context added to the history!

While I try to make the names of the presets meaningful and/or useful (to me at least) the window space available is limiting! Creating Virtual Copies offers [1], [2] etc by way of “descriptive” identification! I have described in another post the “outrageous” idea of “highjacking” IPTC data fields to use to provide such a description! Please note that the VC does not inherit the ‘Advanced History’ of the [M]aster image but starts a new one of its own.

A proposal for ‘Advanced History’ edit roll-up:-

@Prem I understand your annoyance with the clutter that can fill the ‘Advanced History’ but some users might want to have that level of detail and may even use that level of granularity in their workflow. De-implementing a feature may leave some users feeling “robbed” to provide a feature that others consider is necessary @sgospodarenko so what about the following;

  1. Provide an option to control the level of detail
    1 - Recorded
    2 - Displayed, effectively restricting the number of consecutive entries for the same command to 1, i.e. the last made (for a group not for the whole “stack”)


  1. Automatically provide the current level of detail but with an automatic “roll-up” (of consecutive entries for the same function). The following are two (very crude) mock ups of how it might look, one leaves the feature “on/off” entry alone and the other also “rolls” that up as well. The UI would present a single entry for a group of ‘Exposure Compensation’ changes, for example, but clicking on the “arrowhead” symbol would open up the full list or the reverse where all entries are shown but the user must “close” the list using the “arrowhead” symbol.


@Prem this would give you a much cleaner history without any manual intervention, I think?.

@Prem & @Alan & @mwsilvers etc. but gets you no closer to a retained ‘Advanced History’ option, that is up to DxO @sgospodarenko is it not.

@BHAYT. My original comments were not intended to be disparaging but rather concern over why you went… No offence taken at all. It was just taken as your method of hopefully getting DxO to appreciate what its customers require or think that should be possible.

I very rarely use presets and do use virtual copies. I tend to treat each picture individually as I would do if I was still in my darkroom. Hopefully @Joanna has not fallen off her chair laughing. I certainly do not make additional presets other than my original default.

What attracted me to opticspro/photolab was that it is the nearest thing I could get to being in my darkroom printing on paper.

As far as “cleaner history without manual intervention.”. That doesn’t worry me. I personally am quite happy doing that.

As far as your last paragraph is concerned. "Gets you no closer to retaining advance history. This is one of the annoying differences between the Mac and Windows version and to me it is about time that DxO brought the 2 versions, a lot closer. I’ll let you add your own anger to that last sentence.

@Prem my current preset count appears to be 607 presets in 78 folders (backed up of course).

I have moaned about so many things since the release of PL5, not because I don’t still rate the product very highly but because I feel that there are a number of things (unfortunately quite a high number now) that variously need fixing, completing or adding to (where I feel the addition would raise the usability/functionality enough to warrant the work).

But I am not in charge of the purse strings and the associated resources and DxO are (understandably) forging ahead with their “headliners” for the next release (and putting their prices up!)

Sounds like a perfectly normal approach to me, even though some in these forums seem to think we should change our ways to cope with all this “new-fangled” digital stuff.

Far from it. Us oldies need to be there for each other when we do fall off our chairs, through laughing or otherwise.

You see, for me, the basic premise of photography remains the same, regardless of the tools we use.

First, you record a scene on a photo-sensitive medium…

If it’s a negative, it needs to be developed, but the result is far from a finished image.

If it’s a RAW file, it needs to be developed, but the result is still often far from a finished image.

Once you have a developed negative, you then need to print it and this is where the hard work starts…

  1. print a test strip to determine the best starting exposure
  2. work out a printing plan to determine which parts of the image will need dodging or burning and which multigrade filter to use
  3. make an initial print, which you may end up throwing and revising your printing plan.
  4. once you get a satisfactory print, archive the printing plan for that negative so that you won’t have to repeat 1, 2 and 3 every time you want another print.

Once you have developed your RAW file (opened it in PL)…

  1. make as many adjustments as you need to achieve the result you anticipated
  2. print the resulting file, knowing that the DOP file contains your “printing plan”, which can be used next time.
  3. the next time you want to print the same file, you can either go with the original version or you can make a virtual copy and do anything from starting from scratch to just tweaking something here or there.

My standard practice is to immediately create a virtual copy and leave the “master” untouched, so I have a reference that I can either compare further versions to or use to create a new “blank canvas” virtual copy.

The first VC I will work in colour, unless I know that I will never want to print in colour, in which case, I will apply my favourite B&W FilmPack preset and edit it in much the same way as I would a traditional darkroom print - adjusting luminosity levels and contrast either globally or by using local adjustments in just the same way as I would use dodging and burning tools in the darkroom.

If I so choose, I may also work a colour VC, where I use the same techniques as B&W, but using a wider variety of tools to deal with colour as well as tonality.

Either way, darkroom or PL, I have never needed a sequential list of operations, because it is the final print that counts and not the order in which I made the adjustments.

As long as I have the printing plan or DOP file, I can always make a copy and then fiddle with it because, usually, the order is mainly irrelevant.

Wow! I have enough trouble keeping track of just the FilmPack ones.

I am just hopeful that they can bring a worthwhile “headliner” to the image editing side of things this year. The whole metadata debacle system is approaching its first anniversary and is still in need of a repair kit if folks want to use anything other than PL for their metadata.

I was about to write that I need to overhaul the presets and re-arrange the folders! They do contain a lot of experimental ones like

where I was trying to learn the subtle changes that could be made to my JPGs back in the days of OpticsPro 11.

Yes indeed!