User Interface

I am trying, really trying, to get on with PL6 in my move from CO but there are so many things that are so different, it is proving frustrating.

The lack of shortcuts is a headache - I now realise I did so much in CO using shortcuts, and added AutoHotKey functionality to it to provide both more and combinations of several defaults. PL6 does not appear to follow Windows standards in that “Alt+F” (for example), in all other applications I have used, brings up the File menu - but not in PL6, so this reduces the ability of AHK to provide additional shortcuts accessible from the menu structure. I can get AHK to click at a certain pixel co-ordinate on the screen but that co-ordinate will only be valid if the window is open in the exact position - and then … the laptop screen has a different resolution to the desktop monitor. I like to edit with only the tools panel visible (so the left and bottom panels and menu hidden) but PL6 does not have a shortcut to hide the left-hand panel, relying on a click on a chevron, which is quite small and has a small active area.

Meanwhile, I hover over an image and can get a readout of RGB values from below the histogram. In other apps, this is supplemented with a vertical line with moves across the histogram and this is much more meaningful. If I wish to use the tone curve to boost or suppress an area, hovering over that area will show me roughly where, on the tone curve, I need to apply the adjustment - the numbers are nowhere as useful as they require me to evaluate (say) 42, 125, 243 (I wonder what that made-up colour is!). Ah, a rather nice blue.

So for me, the attempted move from CO to PL6 is showing glaring omissions - but in fairness, had I have been using PLn for several years, I expect a move to CO would have had different, but just as inconvenient omissions.


Knowing both apps, I don’t see many omissions on CO side for a move from PL to CO. Most PL users don’t trust PL’s database too much and prefer to organize their own, precious, unique, folder structures. Maybe the control-points would be missed, but in my experience and with my limited knowledge of how to do better, the control points can clutter the view of the image.I didn’t miss them a single time when I ended my experiment with PL.

But another question, @roadcone : I don’t see your points as part of the “user interface” but maybe my definition of UI is usually the graphical surface of an app. Your points to me sound more like “usability and handling”?


Each to their own, but my view of PL>CO is that CO is inferior in Lens/Camera Modules, Sharpness capability, Noise Reduction, ability to warp an image (for example, remove black edges when key stoning is applied). Furthermore, my CO v21 catalog database failed over 30 times, over a 15-month period, on two different laptops (an AMD and an Intel). My v23 has failed 17 times since upgrading in December 2022. CO has failed to engage on the problem. Yes, I can export images with adjustments which can then be imported into a session, but their search facility is hugely compromised against that which PL6 can provide (and that is frequently criticised by users). Corruption of a catalog database can be fatal - terminal failure of the PL6 database will be no more that inconvenient.

So I would say to you - if your experience of CO is different then stay with it. We all need things that we find acceptable and comfortable. I don’t wish to criticise either product against the other (though a comparison is inevitable) and I am not trolling or seeking to convert.

If you want to refer the issue as Usability then yes, fine, of course.

A question though - if you have abandoned PL6, why are you still here?



If I could pitch in here. I have recently started to use CO as well as PL. Overall, I like the CO workflow (I am using sessions) and find the UI quite intuitive. I also really like the layers feature, which is how I do my edits in the package and the colour tools seem much better.

PL is easier to use all round with all the features I need and much better baseline performance with the DxO specific RAW processing tools (modules, corrections, noise)

I don’t use either for metadata, that’s Photomechanic Plus, or sharpening/ upscaling, that’s Topaz.

If I could only have one long term. I’m sorry to say here, but it’d be CO

I’m still here because PL is still on my Mac and occassionally I do compare some results. Another reason is, in my experience CO support is slow, not helpful (“need to pass it forward to our devs”) and some features of CO are still disappointing. So, if DxO would no longer turn their backs to a wellmade DAM (no matter if self-developed or another well-integrated module would be used) I imagine to use it again. And there are sometimes other subjects discussed in this forum which are not directly connected to PL, as well as people coming from or going to CO face some of the problems I also had.

My personal “master model” of a usable, stable and comparatively easy to use “converter + DAM” is Apple Aperture, still. And part of me still has some hopes to see another app becoming as good as AA was, although I know it’s just wishful thinking.

I also had a lot of crashes with V21, more than before and more than after that version. V23 so far, knock on wood, didn’t crash, but two things still drive me crazy.

Have to agree on that.

Sorry but I don’t know how to do the quote thing.

JoJu - that explains your presence - thank you. And I could not better agree with your comments about CO at the start of the post. Their customer support is slow and generally low grade, not engaging in the problem but clicking out standard replies. Then each response is invariably handled by a different person who appears not to take the time to read the problem history.

My DAM needs are basic and am happy with the standard PL6 or CO (catalog) but CO (session) is not sufficient but I do not think I should then have to pay USD139/229 for a separate product (Photomechanic). I used the cheapest ACDsee product for a while as a DAM for v21 Sessions and it worked. Problem was I was lured back to catalog and I should have resisted the urge. The amount of work now to revert to v23 session is enormous as CO’s tokens cannot replicate a folder structure and insist on exporting images as well as settings.

CO want loyal customers - but this works both ways. I do not: use a mac or an ipad; have a business/customer; need to tether or share live with a client; take wedding or portrait photographs; need to harmonise between internal church, external church yard / beach / derelict property / evening celebrations. And my HDR and panorama stitching is only very occasional. Look at the last two years of CO upgrade features and think … is what is left really worth up to GBP400. This is one of the things creating animated discussion on the Danish forum.

I will be honest - if CO could sort out my database problem then I probably would not be here, at least, not having these sorts of discussions. I love CO’s interface and shortcuts and to be able to access the nine main tools by holding down keys and adjusting by scrolling the mouse wheel is superb. Also superb is the ability to brush on all manner of adjustments at 2/4% - much better to spray-paint clarity, weakly in just the areas you want - or darken/lighten in a similar manner.

People seem to like or hate PL6’s control points, but the control line, placed off the image, then fine-tuned using Chroma or Luminance sliders is very nearly as good as CO’s selective masks - and of course, each local adjustment is separate, with its own %age slider so that is very nearly Layers.


For quoting you just select the word / sentence / paragraph you like to quote, click top left on “quote” and a new post is created with the quote in it. Very nice, but not self-explaining.

I once had a “misfiring” catalog. What helped on CO was start a new catalog and import the misfiring one. That sort of cleant some issues, but not all. While that happened inmidst of a “import film negatives as RAW files (reproductions made with a Laowa on an Fuji X-T2 and a negative holder)”-project in V21 which used to crash, when I started to edit while the app still was creating thumbnails. I had not much spare nerves left, so I took a step back. Now, with V23 on a Mac Studio the crashes disappeared. For now, that is.

I can only agree to all things you mentioned in your post (except sessions, since I tried to figure out the catalog thing I prefer to use that way): CO customer support is poor and at least one supporter was from Ukraine, he tried his best, but… And the updates often were not worth the money. Panoramas work but create huge files, bigger than Affinity’s. I like the tokens very much and am still thinking to make another attempt with either Loupedeck or Tangent devices. My first one with Loupedeck live was disappointing due to bad localisation of the loupedeck menu. But not more disappointing than the still existing impossibility to search for folder / project / album within a catalog. I use these extensivley and once counted them: more than 1.100 elements. To “forget” a proper search function is embarassing for that company.

Ahha! Thankyou.

In CO v21 I had cause to run a Database Verify in the autumn of 2021 (don’t recall why). It failed but successfully Repaired. Over the next 15 months, on two different computers (one AMD motherboard and one Intel) it failed over 30 times. I exported the catalog and imported it four times. And once, I exported all images with adjustments and imported that into a Session (the Session was fine). After a letter of complaint to the CEO (a real sheet of paper, posted to Norway!) I got offered a free upgrade to v23 in December 2022. I imported the v21 catalog and got failures almost immediately. So, I imported the v21 session into a v23 new catalog and for about a week or so it was fine. But whatever the problem with v21 was, it has reappeared in v23 with, now, 16 failures.

The failure in invariably (thought not always) “duplicate folder collections”. I do not have any on my disk - that is, there are duplicate file names in different folders (some cameras reset at 10K images) and there are duplicate folder names in different root folders (I shoot color and infrared, store them in different root folders but give them the same image folder name, eg: YYYY-MM-DD Holiday in place). But there are no folders with the same name containing images with the same name.

CO has not answered any of the obvious questions: why, what does the error mean, how is it caused, can it become terminal, how does it get cured etc.

Sometimes it fails and I have not used CO - I check, it fails, I repair, I check, it passes so I shut down. Next day I run it up and check it before using it for image processing and it fails. Or it fails, it tells me it has repaired OK but when I immediately run verify again, it fails.

The reason it has been going on this long is because I really want to stay with CO. But how much longer can I be patient.