Top 10 missing features

I just wanted to drop my personal top 10 of features I really miss in PhotoLab. Every single time when I use PhotoLab I am reminded off them again. Yes, I really, really, really miss them:

  • (Custom) Keyboard shortcuts: while some are available, for me to effectively use any application I need good and preferably customisable keyboard shortcuts. Capture One and Final Cut Pro are gold standards here, almost everything has a shortcut and is user configurable. PhotoLab at the moment is very biased towards mouse users, and also requires extreme precision to hit toggles and sliders.

  • Selective copy and paste: copy a selection of settings between images. Again Capture One sets the gold standard here with both a panel as well as easy copy/paste icon in every single individual setting panel. I just love this.

  • Writing metadata to files: I make a selection of images I want to edit in IMatch, but sometimes when I am in PhotoLab I figure out some of them are not worth it after all. I have no good way in PhotoLab to mark these images which I have to cross-verify manually one by one now. If I set a rating or keyword in PhotoLab, I want to write it to .xml so other applications can work with it.

  • Comparing images: sometimes I just want to compare two images side-by-side to figure out which one is the absolute best. PhotoLab offers no easy way to do this.

  • Token based file naming: use image metadata or other available variables to name files on import AND export. I currently need to use another app just to achieve this.

  • (AI) Intelligent Auto White Balance: white balance is one of the most critical elements for a photo and nowadays it is possible for AI/algorithms to make a pretty good guess. I would like to have this as a starting point. For me it is the key AI/Auto thing missing compared to other software, and one I would expect PhotoLab to do an amazing job at given the results of Prime/Smart Lighting/Clear View.

  • Stacking: I would like to be able to stack my virtual copies with the master image to declutter my filmstrip. I also would like a way to name my virtual copies e.g. [master name] [copy title].

  • HEIC/HIEF-support: seems to me like this is the image codec of the feature which would give results closer to TIFF files but with much smaller file size. Would love to have this as an export option since I think JPEG is very limited and outdated.

  • LUT support: they have become pretty much universal and I think when they would be integrated in the pipeline in a smart way (e.g. preventing blowing out highlights) it could be a game changer, which many people would use since there are so many available for sale/download.

  • Support for color labels: I think this is a common standard across applications (extending to the video space) and it would give more flexibility in marking images for individual workflows in addition to the already existing stars. Please also ensure these can be read from and written to .xml metadata.

Keep up the good work with the application. I love using the software and hope we can make it even better.

Thanks for your feedback :wink:


Nice sum up of short future wanted features.
The side by side view, i really like the faststone viewer type of 2,3,4 and zoom controle’s
As in same zoom % and movement around image’s and posibility to line up in zoom % and location.

IMatch also has a great implementation. Capture One again works fantastic here with zoom capabilities into many, many images at the same time.

Selective copy and paste : oh yes, indeed !

But my top ONE missing feature is : an elliptical mask among the local adjustment tools, rather than circular-only…


Yes, this is also something that we’d like to add in a near future :wink:


That’s great news :+1:


Yes, compare two images.


Interestingly, none of these 10 are on my personal “urgently missing” list… :slight_smile:
OK, a reasonable automatic white balance correction would be nice sometimes.

What I really, REALLY, miss for years and with every use:

  • A correctly working AutoMask (in local corrections) that interactively shows the selected area while being drawn - to avoid needing (slow!) “trial and error” to find out and try to correct what got picked and what not…
  • Optionally being able to limit manual cropping to the image borders, particularly after rotation and/or perspective correction.
  • finally: more speed, of course. :slight_smile:

These come up every now and then here in the forums, however until now they don’t seem to be addressed by the developers. :frowning:

Besides that, I am pretty happy with the UI, the functions and the workflow. I really like PL.


Yes. Comparing. Copy and Paste between images. Stacking. My top 3 in this bunch.

1 Like

For me too, i agree, there are more urgent items.
Automask with zone selected would be a great thing, even if, in the meantime, i put saturation and or luminosity to 0 to see selection.
For me, i struggle everyday with the sliders in local adjustments. Scale is not right.
Tsl and curve for local adjustment would be great (the simplified tsl in local adjustment is not useful to me). In fact local adjustment should propose same options as main adjustments, same way as Capture One, it is so powerful.
Luminance mask
Correct cast in highlights, shadows
“Pipette” in tsl tool
Comparison of 2 images is a basic need
Focus stacking for landscapes and hi res stacking
Speed : if u don’t have state of the art hardware, quite long even for hq nr.

1 Like

With regard to the Local Adjustments scale do you know that moving the mouse pointer to the right of the scale before moving it up and down allows you to make finer adjustments? The farther to the right you go,the finer the adjustment. Some people are not aware of that.


1 Like

Unfortunately, this would only appear to be true for Windows :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

Hi Mark, yes i know but is it my hardware , i don’t manage to find quick way to select precise value. Let’s say you want to put wb to 5500, or luminosity to 0.5. it takes me ages to achieve the value i want, so i end up with choosing approximative value. Not a big deal, but wish it could be improved. Same for scale : most of my correction for luminosity are below 0.5.

I did not know that Joanna. Thanks for the heads up. If that is the case, making small adjustments to the local adjustment equalizer on a Mac would be very difficult.


Good list (at least first 7 items).
“Optionally being able to limit manual cropping to the image borders, particularly after rotation and/or perspective correction.”
is complicated issue. I would rather have adjustable cropping with inpaint option for empty corners. That is how I usually prepare perspective correction photos – fake some foreground so that image area is not cropped too much.

This can be done with ICE. First, duplicate the file. (ICE will not work with one file). Second, open both files in ICE and stitch. Third, rotate the image a few degrees. Fourth, apply a crop. It will extend beyond the border of the image. Fifth, click Auto-complete to fill the voids.

It may not give good results, particularly if the fill areas are large or if there’s a lot of detail to be filled, but it might do what you want.

There are a few problems with that. First, aim is to do corrections within Photolab. Second, ICE is windows only.

I don’t think that this is really complicated. The required basics are already there - there’s an automatic function (active once right after rotation or perspective correction) that’s even considering the aspect ratio as well. However, as soon as one starts cropping (or refining) manually, there’s no support any more to not inadvertently exceed the image content.

IMHO that’s such a basic and self-evident core function that it’s really interesting we are talking about this for such a long time now…

Well, this is complicated. And faking or creating content that’s not really there is not one of the core functions of a RAW developing software, IMHO. If one needs that, it’s more a picture editing task (i.e. PhotoShop etc.). To avoid that as far as possible, I normaly use (ultra) wide angle lenses in critical situations so that I still have enough real content after perspective correction.

For the time being, I think it’s sufficient that PL can crop beyond the image borders, so you can fill the corners using other programs (and with whatever content that PL will never “correctly” guess).

I like ICE for panorama stitching, but not for filling in areas outside the edges of the original photos. The result could be worse than it is, but I find it needs a lot of touching up at best. More often, I don’t like the result at all and just do it myself - IN PHOTOLAB. :smile: Yes, a dedicated pixel editor will let you create as big a canvas as you want to paint on - and ICE is one such tool - but if you composed the image well enough to begin with or don’t mind creating your canvas in another program, then you can rotate and correct perspective in PhotoLab, then keep a good amount of black edge in the frame whether you crop or not. Export to TIFF, then edit the TIFF file in PhotoLab and use the repair/clone tool to paint what you want in a way that blends details together believably, avoiding repetitive patterns and unnatural edges. Sometimes, this will take a while - but this is the art of digital painting and can be done well enough with PhotoLab’s limited toolset. The result is more creative than computer-generated filler can be and holds up very well to scrutiny.