Develop Mode Orientation

June 1, 2018

Develop is the mode where you can non-destructively adjust your images. It’s designed to allow you to fine-tune, adjust details, and fix the geometry of your images with professional processing tools. When you make changes to your image using Develop mode, the original file is not altered. The changes themselves are saved in a separate file and are applied each time the image is opened. This means you can boldly make changes while feeling confident that your image can be restored to its original state at any time.

First things first: how do you get to Develop mode? Select the image you want to adjust in Manage mode and click the Develop tab. Or, with an image open in View mode, click the Develop tab.

Once in Develop mode, choose from any array of tools, which are grouped on the tabs as such:

The first tab is the Tune tab, which features controls grouped by General, White Balance, Lighting, Color EQ, Split Toning, Soft Focus, Cross Process, Post-Crop Vignette, Tone Curves, and Output Color Space.

The next is the Details tab, which is for more tweaking minutiae using the Sharpening, Noise Reduction, Chromatic aberration, or Defringe tools.

On the Geometry tab, you can make fixes using the Lens Distortion, Rotate & Straighten, Perspective, Crop, or Vignette Removal tools.

Lastly, fix red eye on the Repair tab using the Red Eye Correction tool.

When you have finished processing an image, your decision on how you save depends on what you want to do next. After you click Done, you can choose between the following:

  • Save: Save your changes.
  • Save as: Save a copy of your processed image with a new name or format.
  • Discard: Discard your changes.
  • Cancel: Remain on the same image in Develop mode with your changes intact, without saving.

When you open an image you’ve already processed in Develop mode, the settings are displayed just as you left them. But what if you want to restore your image back to its original state?

In Manage or View mode, do one of the following:

  • Right-click your image and choose Develop | Restore to Original.
  • Choose Edit | Develop | Restore to Original.

In Develop mode:

Choose Edit | Develop | Restore to Original.

Along with the adjustments, Develop mode also features a few other tools to make your process easier. At the top of the pane on the left, you can toggle the histogram on and off. The histogram preview shows the red, green, and blue color channels of the photo. Keeping the histogram open is particularly useful when adjusting exposure, as it reflects all adjustments as you make them. When the histogram is enabled the icon is blue, and gray when disabled. At the bottom of the histogram, icons appear to notify you if there is a loss in details in the highlights  , or loss in details in the dark areas  of the image. Numbers beside these two icons represent the percent of pixels that have lost details in either the shadows or the highlights.

There’s the Clipped Shadows and Highlights button next to the Histogram toggle button. You can enable this to highlight over- or under-exposed areas of the image. You can also use the keyboard shortcut E to toggle this on and off as well. 

Above the Filmstrip at the bottom, there are zoom controls and buttons to display the image in its actual size or fit to the screen. 

You can also use the Show Original button to toggle your changes on and off. 

And, of course, the Previous and Next buttons help you to navigate through the current folder. 


Once you have carefully selected your Develop settings for an image, you have the option to save those settings to use again on other images. This is called a preset. Then, your presets will be available in the actions drop-down menu.

Make your desired adjustments, then click the Settings button and choose Save Preset from the drop-down menu.

Give your preset a name and deselect any of the listed settings that you do not want included.

After you press OK, your preset will appear with the other presets in the drop-down list of the Settings menu.

I hope you have found this Develop mode orientation helpful. Happy exploring!




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