The Develop Module

Use Develop for non-destructive edits to pictures, both in RAW format and in other bitmap formats. Develop has the same basic layout as the other main sections of the program. That is, the left side contains the Navigator, the preview in the middle shows any changes set up for the current picture, and the Side Panel on the right shows a histogram, basic picture information, a toolbar for work with basic functions, and controls for work with Presets and for fine-tuning the settings for individual edits. At the bottom beneath the preview is the “Filmstrip.” To hide any of these three panes or show it again, click the thin gray bar at its outer edge.

Destructive and Non-destructive Image Editing

By default, the Develop module works in what we call non-destructive mode. That means that the original picture always stays untouched, and all edits to it are recorded to supplementary files saved alongside the file being edited. None of the picture’s original data, and none of the changes, are lost if you move to another picture, leave the Develop module, or even exit Zoner Photo Studio. When the picture is opened in the Develop module, the changes from before are read back in and applied again to the original, unedited picture. You are thus right where you left off in your editing, including the ability to undo a change or even all of your changes.

However, Zoner Photo Studio also lets you use the Develop module in destructive mode. To switch ZPS into this mode, click the small triangle button next to the Save button at the top of the right panel.  This shows a menu for choosing a saving mode.

In the Save destructively mode, actual picture editing is the same as in non-destructive mode. The only difference comes when you’re finished editing and move on. At this moment you are asked whether you want to save all of your edits to the original file.

Warning: Answering yes to this query irreversibly changes the original file!

Confirming that you have finished your edits to the file also causes all of your individual editing steps to be forgotten. It is not possible to go back to them, or to remove any changes that were stored into the picture.

The Picture Display

Use this preview to visually double-check edits while you work. To zoom in or out, use the mouse wheel. Single-left-click to switch between two key zoom levels: 1:1 and Zoom to Fit. Alternatively, use the slider above the picture display, or use the items in the View menu. To turn on blowout highlighting, click the button for this in the histogram window at the top right. For RAW images, normally a low-quality preview is quickly shown as you shift the editing sliders, and then the full-quality preview is shown a little later.

The Side Panel

Use the controls in the right side of the window to check and change the development settings for the current picture. The controls here are divided into groups. When any setting in a group is changed, a checkmark and an arrow button appears in the group’s header. Use the checkmark to deactivate that whole group. Click the arrow button to return the settings in the group to their defaults.

The contents of the Side Panel can vary depending a given picture is in RAW format or in another bitmap format. For non-RAW formats, some groups are absent and some controls are inactive. If a RAW image has been edited in an older version of Zoner Photo Studio, then the controls here change in order to reflect that older version and to ensure that the picture is developed correctly.

Presets

Edits made to a picture can be saved as “Presets.” Click the Save button here to show a window for naming your new preset, and then a second window for setting which settings groups will be stored. Turn on Changed Items Only to save only those settings that have been changed from their defaults. In this case, when the preset is later applied, only the saved settings will be affected; the others will remain unchanged.

You can work with the settings for the current picture using the commands in the Settings menu under the main menu:

  • Copy to Clipboard – this copies the current picture’s settings to the Clipboard
  • Paste from Clipboard – this pastes settings from the Clipboard into the current picture
  • Save Preset – this saves the current settings to a preset with a name of your choice
  • Paste Current Edits to All Files – applies the current settings to all files in the folder
  • Make Current Edis the Default – use this to create your own custom default settings. These are automatically applied to pictures when they are first loaded into Develop.
  • Restore Default Settings – use this to restore the default settings.

Stored Presets are listed in the Side Panel, in the group named Settings. Move the mouse over a preset to see a small preview how it will affect the picture. Click a preset to apply it.

Copying Edits to Multiple Pictures

To apply settings to multiple pictures at once, mark those pictures in the Filmstrip, right-click one of them, and then in the right-click menu, use the item named Paste Develop Module Edits. You can also use the Browser’s right-click menu for work with settings.

Saving Changes

As long as you are in non-destructive mode (the normal mode), you don’t need to save changes, or confirm them while you work. They are saved automatically when the next picture is loaded, when you switch out of Develop, or when you exit the program. To make advanced edits that are not available in Develop, switch to the Editor. However, changes in the Editor are not non-destructive, and it will no longer be possible to use Develop to modify the original edits. Therefore, we recommend that you save the picture under a new name in the Editor rather than saving it back to its original name.

In destructive mode, after confirmation, changes are saved directly to the original picture.

Adjusting Batches of Pictures

Non-destructive adjustments can also be made to multiple selected pictures at once. The following functions and settings are available: Automatic enhancement, Crop, White Balance, Exposure, Color. However, since each picture may have different settings, the settings are applied relative to a picture’s existing settings. Thus during batch adjustments, the values are added together with the existing settings for individual files.

More information

Tools

Settings Pane

Non-destructive Edits

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