Picture Window Pro 5.0 Beta  

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Beta Page Last Updated: 29 Mar 2009. See the Change Log for details.

Picture Window Pro is now shipping!

The Picture Window Pro 5.0 beta has now ended and the new version of Picture Window Pro is now shipping. We wish to thank everyone who has contributed to a very successful beta test. You can still refer to this page for information and as a link to the new shipping version. To download the new version see the Download section, below.

New Features in PWP 5.0

Welcome to PWP 5.0. This is probably the biggest release we have had since the original Picture Window introduction fifteen years ago. This release is filled with new features, including many that you, the Picture Window user community, have asked for and even helped develop. Enhancements include new and improved transformations, a completely redesigned and more powerful RAW workflow, new History automation feature that 'remembers' most transformation settings as you work, new mask tools, a histogram tool, better print proofing, a new reconfigurable toolbar and more.


The new Raw Workflow

3-zone adjustment

3-Zone Adjustment Before & After


New Transformations

2-zone and 3-zone adjustment: These transformation increases the vibrancy of your images by enhancing local contrast throughout the image. They are automated versions of the extremely popular multi-zone workflow pioneered by Den. (Check the message board for numerous examples and references.) (See the new Multi-Zone Adjustment white paper for details.)

Bilateral Sharpen: This new method of sharpening can improve sharpness more radically than unsharp mask before exhibiting undesirable artifacts. It is now an additional option in the Sharpen transformation.

Level: This transformation makes it easy to quickly level an image by simply drawing a horizontal or vertical line on your image.

Channel Mixer: This transformation gives you greater control over conversion of color images to B+W. It is now an additional option in the Monochrome transformation.

Color Remap: This transformation works like Color Correction to Remap selected colors. However it discriminates based on hue and brightness rather than just hue.

Light Falloff and Lens Distortion: These transformation have been totally revised for greater accuracy.

Color Balance: This transformation has been improved. It has an automatic mode for use in workflows, has a better curves feature and can accept up to seven points across the tonality range. (See the newly revised Color Balance white paper for details.)

High Dynamic Range: The Stack Images transformation for handling high dynamic range lighting with bracketed exposures has been enhanced. You can now adjust each of the images individually before stacking them. You can also save curves, making applying the transformation repeatedly much easier. (See the updated Stack Images white paper for details.)

Special Effects: Conformal Mapping lets you distort images for interesting abstract effects. Drop Shadow allows creating a variety of shadow effects.

Blink: Blink has been extended to allow comparison of more than two images.


Automation Features


Settings of most transformations are now automatically saved as you work. This new History feature gives you many new opportunities in how you edit your images. Here are some of the options:

  • Redo a previous transformation and then automatically re-apply all subsequent changes.

  • Edit similar images automatically by applying a workflow you developed for one image to as many others as you like.

  • Save the workflow as a sidecar file of the original image. You will have the option to apply the workflow when you next open the image.

  • Open the workflow in a workflow window and operate on it as you would any other workflow.

New Widgets: Many more transformations are now available as widgets. New 5.0 widgets includes most Raw Conversion, special effects transformations, Match Reference, Color Correction, Warp, Two-Zone and Three-Zone Adjustments and others.

History Display

As you complete each operation, its parameters are saved as a widget in History.


New Raw Workflow


The Raw processor has been entirely rewritten. The new dialog now gives you much more control over the conversion process. Here are some of the new features:

  • Color controls give you several alternate ways to balance the image. You can use white balance settings, use a probe to choose a balance point in the image or use temperature and tint controls. A color histogram is displayed for guidance.

  • Brightness contols include exposure, shadow, midtone, and highlght brightness, contrast, range and gamma.

  • Advanced features like highlight recovery, noise reduction, and bad pixel repair are included. Sharpen is also available.

  • Settings are saved in a sidecar file that is stored along with the raw image. Sidecar files are standard PW workflow files so they are easily applied to other raw images to automate raw conversion.

Three dialog tabs—Color, Gray, and Sharpen and Noise— are shown above. A fourth tab displays file properties.


New Features for Better Prints

Getting high quality prints that faithfully reproduce the image that you see on your screen continues to be a challenge. PWP 5.0 adds several features that make getting good prints easier and less frustrating.

  • Printer Proofing lets you simulate your printer on your display. In PWP 5.0, new toolbar buttons let you toggle between proofing and regular display modes, making this feature convenient enough to use routinely.

  • Monitor Curves is a new function that takes printer proofing to a new level. Printer proofing assumes standard lighting—lighting that is far brighter and more like sunlight than is normally encountered in typical indoor situations. Because of this, prints that you hang in your home may look disappointingly dull. The new Monitor Curves function uses your monitor to simulate your actual viewing conditions so you can it adjust for best appearance.

  • Quadtone Printing. Monitor curves can also be used to preview the tonality of blacks in black and white prints using ink jet printers, particularly with quadtone and other custom ink sets.

See the newly updated Color Management white paper for details.

New Tools

  • Histogram Tool A new Histogram tool lets you inspect the histogram of any image, any time. It gives you a choice of HSV, HSL and RGB color spaces. In addition to letting you examine any channel individually, it lets you also examine HS channels together.

  • A Floodfill Tool in the masking dialog lets you easily select areas with recognizable boundaries. The tool is similar to the magic wand in other programs.

  • A Texture Mask Tool applies a mask to textured area. Such texture masks are especially useful in selectively sharpening images.

Other Enhancements

  • A Transformation Toolbar can now be used for selecting transformations for those who prefer this to using menus. The toolbar is configurable, so you can add buttons for the transformations you use most frequently.

  • Saving Tiff LZW Compressed images is now supported. Formerly, only reading LZW compressed file was supported.

  • IPTC Comments in files are now preserved when the file is saved.


Picture Window Pro 5.0 Beta

The goals of the beta process are two-fold -- to shake down the new program and discover and fix bugs and to benefit from the experience of wider use and get suggestions for improvements and additional features.

  • Becoming a Beta Tester: If you are a current user and are interested in participating in the beta test, please send e-mail to beta@dl-c.com to receive your password. Then download and install Picture Window Pro 5.0.

  • Beta Documentation: The beta documentation consists of the included Help and white papers. The Picture Window Manual has not yet been revised.

PWP 5.0 Software Download

  • Picture Window Pro Download: (29 Mar 2009) This is the released version of Picture Window Pro 5.0. It will operate in trial mode for 30 days. To operate it after that, a serial number is needed.

    White Papers

    • Multi-Zone Adjustment: new white paper describes the new 3-zone and 2-zone transformations

    • Sharpening Images: white paper describes the new bilateral sharpening method as well as all the other sharpening techniques.

    • Color Management: white paper updated to include the new Monitor Curves tool

    • Color Balance: white paper updated for the enhanced color balance transformation

    • Stack Images: white paper updated for the enhanced stack images transformation

    Change Log

    To install the latest version, download the setup.zip file. You do not need to uninstall Picture Window first. If you have an earlier beta, it will over-install. The beta can co-exist with PWP 4.0. The password is the same as before. (Send e-mail to beta@dl-c.com if need the password.)

    PWP (23 Mar 2009)

    This release updates the raw module and corrects the following problems:

    • Problems in the Brightness Curve, HiContrast, Interlace widgets have been corrected.

    • Problems in 2-zone, 3-zone, Crop/Add Border transformations have been corrected.

    • Bug in setting transformation parameters for small images in workflow has been corrected.

    • Problem in deleting an image window immediately after completing a transformation has been corrected.

    • Problem with 'stale' images displayed in workflow has been corrected.

    • A problem when the Browser attempted to open a deleted folder has been fixed.

    PWP (01 Mar 2009)

    This release updates the raw module and corrects the following problems:

    • Mask problem in the Remap transformation.

    • A problem with flood fill mask tool.

    • Several problems in interpreting v4 wfl files in v5.

    • Erroneously opening images from the MRU used menu when the image was already open.

    • Error in which the raw dialog attempted to use an icc profile file as a wfl file.

    • Incorrect flash data displayed in the raw dialog Properties tab.

    • Bug in combining channels of 16 bit images.

    • Resize transformation sticky settings problem when image size was specified in absolute units.

    PWP (06 Feb 2009)

    This update adds image rotation to the raw dialog, corrects a problem reading Album files, and corrects a small dialog refresh problem in the mask texture dialog.

    PWP (28 Jan 2009)

    This update ccrrects a critical problem discovered in the Text transformation and a problem with the Two-zone widget. It also adds a third option to the 'Confirm on close' item in preferences. Please see Help for details.

    PWP (24 Jan 2009)

    This update includes some new feature and fixes for most of the outstanding problems that have been discovered by you, our beta testers.

    Feature and operating changes:

    • Raw dialog: The Raw preview workflow has been extensively revised to make the preview correspond more closely to the final image. Images from cameras with rectangular pixels (like the Nikon D1x) are now converted to the intended aspect ratio. A number of other small bugs have been fixed and raw has been updated to support recently introduced cameras.

    • Absolute dimensions supported in Resize: The Resize transformation now supports resizing to absolute linear dimensions expressed in inches, cm or mm. Older versions of the Resize widget in existing .wfl files are automatically converted to the new version upon loading.

    • Unsaved images warning: In previous versions of Picture Window, every unsaved image generated a warning message when the PW session was exited. In this version, intermediate images no longer generate this warning. Only the last image of a series of transformations generates the warning.

    • Color Balance Transformation: RGB curves are now the default display mode.

    • Preferences: The "Transformation on top" option caused problems in using probes in transformations like Color Balance and has been removed.

    • Color Profile versions: PWP is now more tolerant of obsolete (v2) description tags that may be encountered in v4 profile files.

    Bug fixes:

    • Workfow problems: The following workflow problems have been fixed:

      • 2-zone and 3-zone widgets created multiple copies of the first image rather than processing the images in the workflow.

      • Warp created black images.

      • The workflow progress bar terminated early.

      • There were a number of cases where 'dead windows' from past workflow operations obscured the current original or preview windows.

      • Some operations caused the workflow preview window to enlarge to 1:1 magnification.

    • Save As Dialog The Save As dialog now allows the user to override the folder in which the sidecar file is saved. Previously it forced the file to be sved in the same folder as the root image.

    • Level Transformation Problems reported in the Level transformation have been fixed.

    • Posterize Transformation Problems reported in the Posterize transformation have been fixed.

    • 3-Zone Transformation crash problem has been fixed.

    PWP (14 Dec 2008)

    This update replaces PWP and corrects a critical problem discovered in the Resize transformation. Otherwise it is the same as PWP

    PWP (13 Dec 2008)

    This update fixes most of the outstanding problems that have been discovered by you, our beta testers and incorporates several small changes.

    Feature and operating changes:

    • Control Width in Raw Dialog Now Customizable: If you have the screen space, you can make the Raw Dialog control window wider. A new option in File/Raw Settings lets you choose a narrow, medium or wide control window. Narrow is equivalent it the width in previous versions, medium and wide are wider. Since the histogram windows are square, widening the control window also makes its minimum size taller.

    • Customizable Defaults in some Transformations: Four transformations (Crop, Resize, Sharpen, and Text) have a user settable default. The default is set from the OPT menu and takes place of the built-in default. Like the built in default, its use depends on the seting of Remember Settings in File Preferences. If Remember settings is NO, it is used every time. If it is YES it is used the first time a transformation is invoked in a session or if the shift key is held down when a transformation is invoked.

    • Raw has been updated to include recently introduced cameras.

    Bug fixes:

    • Raw Dialog Bugs: A bug in Set Camera Default has been fixed. (Hope it is the last one for this function.) Clicking tabs do not force a recalculation if one is not necessary. A recurrence of a problem with the dynamic range control has been fixed.

    • Some erroneous "Workflow Incomplete" messages have been corrected. These messages were issued in the File Save dialog for workflows that were, in fact, complete.

    • EXIF Comments Dialog problem with swapping copyright and description fields has been fixed.

    • Transformation Bugs: Bugs in Color negative (elimination of probe size choices), Light falloff, Warp (problem in Rigid), Brightness (crashes for certain images), Two-zone and Three-zone (incorrect calculation), and Image stacker have been fixed.

    PWP (12 Nov 2008)

    Operating changes:

    • PWP 4.0 Workflow compatibility has been restored: PWP 4.0 workflows can now be used in PWP 5.0. Note however that PWP 5.0 workflows are not backward compatible to PWP 4.0. That means that once a workflow is saved in PWP 5.0 it can no longer be used in the older version.

    • The Save Camera Default function in the Raw dialog now displays a confirming message which includes the full path of the file saved. An error is displayed if saving the file failed. These messages are intended to help diagnose problems which some users have reported with this function.

    • Basic EXIF Comment Editing is now enabled in the Raw dialog. The description, artist and copyright fields may be edited.

    • Color Balance eyedropper feature: The way the eyedropper sets add and remove colors has been revised to be more intuitive and to make matching the color balance of two images easier.

    Bug fixes:

    • Crop/Add Border Reset All now correctly resets the resize checkbox.

    • Image Stacker preview is now correctly triggered when a curve window is closed.

    • Layout problem related to units set to pixels is fixed. Also a problem with the Layout page size display is fixed.

    • Comment Widget interrupted processing of the workflow. This problem has been fixed.

    • Text Widget problem related to scrambling text has been fixed.

    • In the Raw Dialog sliders on the gray tab could be moved even when the tab was not selected. This has been fixed.

    • Camera Whitebalance problem in the Raw dialog has been fixed.

    PWP (11 Oct 2008)

    New features:

    • Raw Dialog Enhancements: The quality and size of the magnified image on the Sharpen and Noise tab has been improved. The image is now 1:1 and fully processed and matches the final image. (Previously the magnified image was based on the preview image which skips some processing steps.) Also, the 1:1 image can now be displayed in the much larger main window area.

      The magnification function has been moved from the + and - buttons to the Options menu. This lets you choose any available magnification directly, without going through intermediate magnifications. An 'Apply' function has also been added. Output images are now assigned the default DPI set in preferences. A number of small bugs have been fixed.

    • NRW Support: Support for the new Nikon NRW raw format has been added. The raw module has also been updated to include recently-introduced cameras.

    • Color balance transformation: The probe function has been restored to work as in PWP 4.0.

    • Chromatic Aberration transformation is now supported by the toolbar.

    The following bugs have been fixed:

    • Zoom 1:1 and resize not grayed out when there is no active image window.

    • Monitor curves were applied to color pickers and exhibited problems switching probe sizes.

    • Two-zone tab refresh problem.

    • Conformal map sticky settings problem.

    • Problems in bilateral sharpen with slider position and recomputing mean image.

    • Layout property problem in grid mode.

    • OK button problems with Two and Three-zone transformations.

    • Brightness curve problem when a new image is selected.

    • Problem in creating a camera default raw workflow file.

    • Change Profile toolbar button couls cause crash if clicked when no image window was active.

    • Problems with the 'Apply' function in New and Resize.

    • A problem with mask images created with the 'Apply' function being displayed incorrectly in History.

    • A problem with the raw probe color swatch showing incorrect colors under some circumstances.

    • Artifacts and other small problems in the Line and Arrow tool.

    PWP (5 Sept 2008)

    New features:

    • Clipping Warning in Channel Mixer: A Highlight Warning checkbox has been added to the Channel Mixer in the Monochrome transformation. When this box is checked, clipped highlights are rendered as black instead of white.

    • Inverse Color Curves: Color Curves allows you to apply inverse monitor curves to an image, thus lightening it for printing. This allows the user to prelighten images for printing at a remote site. The option is accessed via the Opt menu and sets the current color curves to match the computed inverse monitor curves. They can also be saved at this point or used in a workflow.

    • Raw Dialog: A magnification control has been added to the color histogram. It allows you to magnify the histogram by 2x, 5x and 10x. The control is linear. Off-scale portions of the histogram are clipped.

    • Help File: A updated help file is included in the installation. F1 functionality is in place for most features. However there are still problems with some links.

    Bug Fixes:

    • Histogram Tool: Improvements include tightening the width of the tool window to eliminate gaps in the histogram, and fixes for problems with the window caption.

    • Crop/Add Border: The redundant rotate calculation has been eliminated.

    • Resize Transformation Problems: Height in Fixed Height is now remembered. A problem when clicking OK before all the dimensions refreshed has been fixed.

    • Stack Images input image problem: PWP froze when an input image was changed in Stack Images with a mask selected. This has been fixed.

    • Brightness & Color Curves: The problem with processing 48 bit images in these transformations has been fixed.

    • Sharpen Issues: The default sharpen method is now Unsharp Mask. Crash problems reported in bilateral sharpen have been fixed. The blur radius slider initial position has been modified.

    • Toolbar issues: The main toolbar is now updated immediately after reconfiguration. Proofing buttons are displayed/hidden correctly.

    • Cancelling Raw Dialog: Clicking OK in Raw Dialog and then cancelling processing in the progress bar produced an incomplete sidecar file and prevented the image from being reopened. These problems have been fixed. Cancelling the progress bar now redisplays the Raw Dialog. The user has the option of continuing to edit the image or cancelling the dialog.

    • Reset to Raw Settings: All parameters not controlled by Raw Settings are now reset to default values. In the past, the parameters were not reset.

    • Monitor Curves: Monitor curves are no longer applied automatically on startup.

    • 3-Zone Transformation: Various problems have been fixed. The transformation now closes correctly on OK; It operates correctly as a widget; A problem with midtone radius values has been fixed.

    • File Save: The option to save a sidecar file was ignored and the file was always created. This problem has been fixed.

    • Copy/Move File Widget: This widget has been removed from the Geometry submenu.

    Operating Differences:

    • Raw Illumination WB Settings: White balance settings for tungsten, fluorescent, daylight, overcast, flash and shade illumination are now ordered by color temperature. Check any sidecar files which use these setting to make sure they are correct.

    • Raw Dialog No White Balance: When the No White Balance option is chosen, Temp and Tint sliders now show no value. The slider positions remain at their previous settings.

    • Opening PWP 4.0 Workflows Disabled: There is an unresolved issue with opening PWP4.0 workflow files in the current release. In order not to delay this update, opening PWP 4.0 workflows has been disabled in PWP This is a temporary restriction. We will correct the problem in the next update and restore compatiblity.

    PWP (25 Aug 2008)

    Bug Fixes:

    • Jpeg Profiles: The color profile was ignored when jpeg files were opened. The profile is now read correctly.

    • Auto WB in Raw Dialog: Fixed problem in setting white balance to Auto in the raw dialog.

    • No warning on closing unsaved raw images: The user now is given a warning an an opportunity to save the image before closing the window.

    PWP (24 Aug 2008)

    Original release.