The various tools are shown in the top toolbar. Clicking a tool displays that tool’s settings. Clicking it again hides these settings. The configured settings are used automatically when the tool is applied. All of the tools can be restored to their default settings. To restore a tool to its default settings, click the arrow icon in that tool’s header. Click Close or press Esc to switch to the magnifying-glass tool.
If the tool works with a mask, then a mask list is shown towards the top of the Side Panel. Click an item to set a mask to work with. To add a new mask, click Add Mask. To Delete a mask at any time, click the button with the trash-can icon to the right of the mask list or in the right-click menu for a mask. That menu also contains items to Rename or Duplicate a mask. Use the checkbox next to a mask’s name to disable or re-enable it. Hover the mouse over a mask’s name to temporarily highlight the mask in blue in the picture. To display a mask permanently, use the Mask button at the top of the panel.
Presets are pre-configured changes to individual settings that make photo editing quick and easy. They are divided up into several categories:
- Tool Actions
- Old Presets
- and Custom Presets
The User category is for presets that you have created yourself. To create your own presets, adjust some editing settings and then save your adjustments as a preset by using the Create Preset [Ctrl+T] item in the Presets menu. Then to later find the preset you’ve named, go to the User category. To add a preset to your Favorites, click the star icon that appears to the right of that preset when you run the mouse cursor over it. Once you’ve added at least one preset to your Favorites, a Favorites category appears as the first preset category in the list. To export the presets you’ve created, that is, the ones in the User category, use Export Presets in the Presets menu. To load in presets exported by you or someone else, use Import Presets. For more information on presets, visit Zoner’s Learn Photography website – read the article named Presets: The Faster Way to Edit Photos.
Use the Lens Profile controls to apply Lens Correction Profiles (LCP). These serve to automatically correct geometric defects, chromatic aberration, and vignetting. Zoner does not supply any such profiles, they can be downloaded for free on the Web for certain lenses. Select a profile and then use the Warp, Chromatic aberration, and Vignetting options to set what defects will be corrected using the profile.
Expand this section to show controls for manual correction of optical defects:
- Barrel Distortion – this sets the amount of barrel distortion correction applied.
- Antivignetting – use this to either suppress unwanted darkening at the edges of a picture (i.e. vignetting) or to do the opposite – to add such darkening e.g. in order to emphasize content in the middle of the picture.
- When there is no chromatic aberration in the center of a picture and it becomes gradually stronger towards the edges, you can fix it using the Red-green and Blue-yellow sliders. By using these to “push” the color channels towards each other, you will fix the defect.
Use these settings to apply a DCP profile to a picture. These profiles correct colors and tonality. Although Zoner Photo Studio does not include any such profiles, they can be downloaded for free on the Web for certain cameras.
Rotate and Crop [C]
Use the Crop controls to set a fixed aspect ratio for the cropping rectangle. The default is Current Aspect. You can choose from several predefined ratios of sides in the list, or enter a ratio numerically. Next to the drop-down list, there is a button for adding your frequently-used ratios of sides to a list.
Use the Rotation control to rotate a picture to a precise angle numerically. Next to the slider, there is a button for setting the picture’s horizon [H] – click it and draw out a line in the picture, and the picture will be rotated so as to make that line horizontal (or vertical, if it is closer to the vertical). The Crop Marks menu contains a list of marks that can be shown in the preview area. To quickly toggle among marks, press [Tab].
Press [X] to flip the cropping frame’s ratio of sides, thus changing the orientation of the crop (between landscape and portrait).
Press [Shift+A] to stretch the cropping frame to the largest size supported by the picture’s orientation—if the cropping frame’s current orientation does not match the picture’s orientation, its orientation is changed to match.
Straighten Lines [K]
This serves primarily for correcting converging lines in a picture. To perform this correction, either use the sliders in the Side Panel or work directly inside the picture, by dragging out guidelines to match the lines in the picture that you want to straighten. A maximum of two vertical and two horizontal lines can be placed. The program automatically straightens the picture as you add lines. However, you can safely reposition the lines afterwards. To remove lines, right-click or press [Delete].
Because total straightening can sometimes look unnatural, you can soften the correction using the Intensity slider.
Gradient filter [G]
Use this group to add gradient filters to a picture. Any number of them can be added. When this group is opened up, one gradient filter is already automatically added to the picture. To reposition it, click and drag anywhere in the picture. The direction dragged sets the filter’s angle of rotation. The length dragged sets the length of the gradient. Both values can later be changed with the mouse. After a filter has been dragged out, it can be adjusted using the sliders on the right.
Radial Filter [R]
The Radial Filter works similarly to the Gradient Filter, except that the filter mask is defined by an ellipse that can then be adjusted.
Filter Brush [B]
The Filter Brush lets you apply local changes to settings, just like the filters before it do. You use this brush to “paint” where the changes go, using your choice of brush strokes. To erase part of the filter mask, use Remove from Mask mode , which you can switch to in the Brush Parameters settings group. You can force the brush parameters to be the same in both modes, or let them be different – to toggle this setting, use Shared Brush Settings . The Diameter, Opacity, Density, and Blur settings work similarly as they do for the retouching tools.
Mainly used for smoothing skin. It unifies skin’s colors while retaining its structure, so that the edit stays natural-looking. The Intensity setting sets how strong the smoothing is. Detail preservation sets to what extent details are preserved. To erase part of the mask, use Remove from Mask mode , which you can switch to in the Brush Parameters group. The brush parameters can be forced to be the same in both modes, or allowed to be different – to change this, use Shared Brush Settings . The Diameter, Opacity, Density, and Blur settings work similarly as they do for the retouching tools.
Retouching Brush [J]
This tool offers three different modes for retouching away photo defects: the Healing Brush , the Clone Stamp , and Structure Cloning . Clone Stamp transfers everything at the source region to the target region, while the Structure Cloning and Healing Brush modes only transfer the source’s structure – although the Healing Brush also unifies the background at the target. To set the source region, hold down the [Ctrl] key and click. To let the program choose a source region automatically, use the Seek source region automatically option. With normal settings, each left-click starts a new brush stroke ; to change this, switch into Add Brush Stroke or Remove Brush Stroke mode. To turn these modes on temporarily, use [Shift] or [Alt]. The brush parameters can be forced to be the same in both modes, or allowed to be different – to change this, use Shared Brush Settings .
Zoner Photo Studio X uses a new RAW development process. But for better compatibility it also enables development of pictures using the process from older versions. When an image is loaded, the program automatically detects which version the picture was processed in, and the appropriate processing is set automatically, ensuring that the picture will be processed the same as it was in the original version. The processing version used can be changed later at any time.
Tools for Work with Documents
The Highlighter and Anonymize tools are available if you turn on the Show tools for work with documents in Develop option under Preferences | Other.
The highlighter works similarly to a traditional highlighter. Use it to mark part of a picture with a colored line. A color and a color intensity can be set for every highlighter you use. To erase a part of the mask, click the Remove from Mask button that’s located among the Brush Settings. You can force the brush parameters to be the same in both modes, or let them be different – to toggle this setting, use Shared Brush Settings. To draw a horizontal line, click Ruler. The Diameter, Opacity, Density, and Blur settings work similarly as they do for the retouching tools.
Use this feature to detect faces using the Detect Faces button and to then anonymize them, making them visually unidentifiable. A radial filter and a rectangular filter are available. The Method setting determines whether or not Pixelization will be used for anonymizing, or Blurring instead, or whether the faces will instead be anonymized using a color of your choice. To set the strength for blurring and pixelization, use the Intensity slider.
Use Annotations to mark up a photo with text, arrows, paths, cross-hatched areas, rectangles, or ellipses. Every annotation you add can be edited and given its own individual settings.
- Text – this feature’s basic settings are the same as those offered for text in the Editor. Use the Outline controls to set the color, width, and style of an annotation’s outline.
- Arrow, Path – for these, you can set the line width and style or edit the appearance of its starting and ending points. Several starting and ending point types are available. Use Hatching to set the density, color, and overall look for a hatched fill.
- Polygon, Rectangle, Ellipse – use the settings for these three annotation types to set their fill color and outline style and potentially give them a hatched fill, just as with the other types.
Use the Grid Density setting to set the precision (low, medium, or high) for snapping to individual objects.
The Highlighter, Anonymize, and Annotations tools are only available if you turn on the Show tools for work with documents in Develop option in Preferences | Other.