The Side Panel

The settings here are organized into groups. To expand or collapse a group, click the arrow in its header. Right-click a group’s header to see a list of all groups. Uncheck any group in the list to hide that group. Some groups contain sections that start out collapsed. Click the arrow next to such a section’s name to expand it. When any setting in a group is changed, a checkmark and an arrow are shown in that group’s header. Click the checkmark to deactivate that whole group. Click the arrow to restore the settings in the group to their defaults.

Double-click the name of any setting to restore its default value. A blue dot indicator is shown next to any tools that you have already used on a given picture in the Develop module.


Click the Auto button [A] on the toolbar to automatically enhance exposure and colors. It makes these enhancements by changing settings; you can then also change these settings yourself at your leisure.

White Balance

  • White Balance – this control lets you choose from among several predefined values. The default setting here corresponds to the one stored in the picture by the camera.
  • Eyedropper – use this to set white balance using an eyedropper. Click with the eyedropper on a pixel in the preview that should be neutrally-colored. The program then balances the picture so that pixel has a neutral color.
  • Temperature – this lets you control white balance by shifting the picture on the blue-yellow axis.
  • Tint – this lets you control white balance by shifting the picture on the green-purple axis.
  • Note – during eyedropper-based white balancing, the hue and white balance values are only updated after the preview is generated.

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  • Exposure – use this to correct exposure by up to +/- 4eV. When this is moved into the negative values, blowout protection is activated.
  • Contrast – controls the overall contrast of the final picture.
  • Lights – controls the amount and intensity of light tones in the picture. When you move Lights into the negative values, blowout protection is automatically activated.
  • Shadows – controls the amount and intensity of dark tones in the picture.
  • Clarity – changes local contrast at contours in the picture.
  • Dehaze – dehazes a hazy picture or adds haze to a picture.

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Controls for “ZPS 16” processing (see the Processing group):

Underexposure method – this sets the method by which the program handles the missing information for the brightest areas when darkening the picture. This setting is utilized when you bring Exposure into the negative values and when you apply HDR to bright areas. It offers three methods:

  • Linear – mainly useful for portraits. It darkens the picture in a natural way. In overexposed areas, it grays the picture. This method takes no special steps to stop blowout (loss of detail from overexposure). To create detail in overexposed areas, use the Lights control.
  • Vivid Colors – this method is useful for landscape photographs. It preserves brightness in areas with blowout, and non-linearly darkens the brightest areas, while increasing their contrast and saturation.
  • Contrast – this method works similarly to Vivid Colors, but it does not increase colors’ saturation, and it increases the contrast for a smaller range of brightnesses.
Controls for the ZPS 17 process:
  • White point – sets the brightness level that should become pure white in the final picture.
  • Black Point – sets the brightness level that should become pure black in the final picture.

In the ZPS 17 process, the Exposure sliders are organized in such a way that moving them into positive values always brightens the picture, while negative values always darken it.

Blowout protection tries to reconstruct the picture in places where detail has been lost in one or more color channels. This brightness reconstruction is relatively good, but because color information in such places has been lost, the final color may not match the original picture.


The Grayscale checkbox sets whether the picture will be processed in color or in black and white. The contents of the panel change based on your setting here.

Controls for color images:

  • Hue – this lets you shift colors by adjusting hue.
  • Saturation – this lets you set color saturation.
  • Vibrance – this lets you set color saturation in a way that respects the existing saturation of colors in the picture – low-saturation colors are affected more.
  • Polarization – imitate the effect of a polarizing filter

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Controls for black-and-white images:

These controls offers two methods: Manual Channel Mixing and Automatic. In the first method, use the Red, Green, and Blue sliders to set how strongly each channel influences the final picture. The default settings corresponds to the values that are normally used for grayscale conversion. In Automatic, use the Toning slider to control the channel sliders indirectly. Watch the main preview window to judge the best value to use.

Tone Curve

Use the tone curve for fine control over the brightness levels in a picture. You can edit the curve by dragging the handles on it to new positions; these set the path that the brightness curve should take. To add new handles anywhere on the curve, click in the place where you want to add the handle. Right-click over a handle to delete it.

The horizontal axis shows input brightness values. The vertical axis shows output values. The curve must always be continuous, so you cannot move points completely freely. Shifting the curve’s endpoints changes the input values for the white point and black point, just as if you were using the Levels function. By shaping the curve into an S-shape, you can make complex adjustments to the picture’s contrast.

Use Channel to set what the Tone Curve adjusts. The available options are RGB, Luma, or the individual color channels (red, green, and blue).

RGB – the curve adjusts the photo’s overall brightness and contrast.

Luma – the curve primarily adjusts lightness, without significantly influencing colors.

Use the Settings here to set how the curve is calculated. Three options are available.

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Color Shift

Use the controls in the Color Shift group to quickly take all areas that are at or near a certain hue, saturation, and lightness and shift these values—in short: to shift their color. In Color Shift’s basic mode, you can change hue, saturation or lightness by clicking into the picture with an eyedropper and then clicking and dragging the color slider that is displayed. You can also use the sliders in the right panel—eight color sliders each for hue, saturation, and lightness. The Ikona. button in the Hue section restricts sliders to a maximum of 30—the highest recommended shift. It is turned on by default. When it is turned off, colors can be shifted within the full +- 180°.

  • Advanced – The color wheel in this tab represents the whole color spectrum. The highlighted color slice sets and shows what range of colors is shifted. The outer arc sets and shows where they are shifted towards. To change the minimum affected saturation, drag the wheel’s center node out or in. To change the maximum affected saturation, drag the node along the edge of the inner wheel in or out. To recenter the color slice, drag it around the circle. To expand it or contract it, drag the inside nodes at the edges of the slice. These two nodes set what range of hues is fully affected. To instead expand/contract the partially affected hues, drag the outside nodes at the edges of the slice.
    To set where colors are shifted towards, drag the node on the outer arc.

The Hue slider has the same effect. The hue can be shifted anywhere along the whole color wheel.
Use the Uniformity slider to unify the post-shift hue, saturation, and lightness values towards one color by “shaving away” the final values farthest from the average.

You can use the eyedropper Ikona. to quickly pick the affected tones. It has four modes—hue, saturation, lightness, and overall color. In the first three modes, you can click into the picture and drag to quickly shift hues. As you move the eyedropper around in the picture, a dot in the color wheel shows what color is beneath it.

Click the button to the left of the eyedropper Ikona. to turn on display masking, to easily see which parts of the picture are being affected. Several masking types are available.

Right-click the color wheel to show a menu with options for switching between a horizontal and a vertical layout and for stretching the color wheel to fit the width of the right panel.

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Split Toning

Use the controls in this group to tint a picture. Its All tab contains three color wheels. The Master wheel affects the whole picture in both the lights and the shadows (light and dark areas), while Shadows works with the picture’s shadows only, and Lights only affects its lights.

  • Use the Balance slider to change the ratio between the saturation in the lights and the shadows.

To change the picture’s tinting, click one of the color wheels and drag its center node out to its circumference. The closer to the edge of the wheel, the stronger the toning effect, and vice versa. Use the Master, Shadows, and Lights tabs to show only the wheel you want to work with, without the distraction of the other wheels.

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Shift Primary Colors

The controls in this group are mainly useful for correcting any quirks in the colors produced by a given camera. Use them to shift the hue and saturation for the Red, Green, and Blue color channels, so as to fine-tune a picture’s overall colors.

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Noise Reduction

  • Brightness – this sets the amount of noise reduction in the picture’s brightness element.
  • Colors – this sets the amount of noise reduction in the picture’s colors.
  • Noise Reduction – this sets the amount of noise reduction in the picture’s brightness element.
  • Col. noise reduction – this sets the amount of noise reduction in the picture’s color element.
  • Suppress color stains – use this to eliminate large color stains that remain after removal of colored noise.

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This works the same as the Unsharp Mask within the editing window for Sharpen.



  • Strength – use this to set the effect’s strength.
  • Radius – use this to set how quickly the picture brightens/darkens inward from the corners.

Unlike antivignetting, vignetting in ZPS is only applied after a picture is cropped.

Add Grain

This works like the Editor’s Add Grain filter.


The controls here are identical those for the HDR function in the Publish menu.

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