Logo PhotoLine 18.5

PhotoLine is an all-purpose image and graphics editor. You can enhance photos, export pictures for web pages, or create PDF files for printing.

And PhotoLine is offering everything, that is required for professional work: CMYK and lab color space, color management with ICC profiles, adjustment layers, and 16/32 bit depth per color channel. Aside from that you can import, edit and export vector graphics and PDF files.

Polar Coordinates New Functions
New Filter "Polar Coordinates"

The filter Polar Coordinates (in the menu under "Effects > Shape Tools") can convert a picture from cartesian coordinates to polar coordinates and vice versa. It is mainly used to create so-called tiny planets.

Original Image Polar Coordinates
New Function "Cut"

Cut is a vector operation. It is used to cut a vector layer by another one. The result will be two new vector layers: The first one will consist of all parts of the selected layer lying outside the cut layer, and the second one will contain everything inside the cut layer.

New Alignment Functions "Distribute Layers Equally Hor.“ and "Distribute Layers Equally Vert."

The already existing distribution function in PhotoLine ensured that the centers of the layers were equidistant from each other (either horizontally or vertically). However, the "Equally" functions ensure equal spacing between the planes themselves.

Distribute Layers
Smoothing Enhancements
Paint Tools with Smoothing

The paint tools are now offering smoothing of the input. This allows compensating inaccuracies - mostly happening when painting with the mouse.

Positioning of Groups With Clipping

For groups with a clipping layer PhotoLine previously used all parts of the group - even the invisible ones - for positioning. Now only the visible parts will be used. In the following example the invisible parts of the group are displayed with a lower intensity. At the left there is the old behavior, at the richt the new one:

Groups With Clipping
Optimizing of Curves Optimizing of Curves

Optimize Vector Layer now works more precisely when converting lines to curves. Furthermore the tolerance value is now the maximum deviation of the new path from the old one in pixels, so you can now achieve the desired result more easily.

PDF Import and Export
  • Exporting with transparency now supports transparent gradients.
  • The import has been enhanced.

Icon Bars

A major feature of PhotoLine is the customizable user interface. Self-defined icon bar can now be renamed, so that the name better suits the content.

Isolated Group now with Cache

More and more PhotoLine users prefer lossless image editing. Unfortunately, this may reduce the working speed, because with every screen redraw all adjustments have to be recalculated. Therefore PhotoLine now creates a cache for isolated group and for images with grouped adjustment layers. This means, those layers will only be calculated once, and any following redraw will use this precalculated result. As a result, the redraw of complex documents is significantly accelerated.

External Programs

PhotoLine can use external programs for editing the content of a document. This function has been extended. You can now setup for every program, whether it should edit the whole document or only the active layer. Furthermore the exchange file format with the external application can be set. There are TIFF, PNG and PDF.

External Programs
Touch Gestures on Windows 8

Using Windows 8 on tablet PCs the touch gestures have been enhanced. As a result, basic operations such as painting and selecting layers are now easier.

Editing Vector Layers Editing Vector Layers
  • The settings of the tools "Vector Drawing" and "Create Line" are now offering an option to continue drawing in the active layer (previously only available by holding the Shift key).
  • The settings of the tool "Curve Creation" have now an icon bar, which allows you create a new layer, create a new subpath or continue drawing in the active vector layer (previously only available by holding modifier keys).
  • Using the tool "Connect Vector Paths" you can new connect two subpaths by dragging two path end points onto each other. This works with the tool "Curve Creation", too.
  • Invisible layers are no longer editable.


Many users have wide edges around their documents (by using "Preferences > Display > Document"). But this made the map less useful, because the map showed this edges, too, making the actual document a lot smaller. Therefore the map now has an option to restrict itself to the document area.

Map with Border Map without Border
  • Energy Consumption
    If PhotoLine is inactive in the background, it will consume less energy. This is especially advantageous on OS X (App Nap).
  • "Copy Brush" Tool
    The "Copy Brush" tool is now a lot faster in some situations (mostly in combination with virtually scaled layers).
  • Adjustment Layers and Modal Dialogs
    If you are creating or modifying adjustment by using a modal dialog (for example with the commands "Layer > New Adjustment Layer" or "Layer > Modify Adjustment Layer"), the dialog will be opened faster, if its internal preview is collapsed.
  • Text Layers
    Long text (across several pages) is now faster.
  • Optimizations for Many Layers
    Documents with many layers are now faster. This is most important in combination with the SVG and PDF import.

  • Layer List
    Ctrl+clicking (Windows) or Command+click (OS X) on a layer thumbnail creates a mask based on the transparency of the active layer. Now you can add the transparency to the current mask by holding Shift or subtract it by holding Alt.
  • Channel List
    Ctrl+click (Windows) or Command+click (OS X) on a channel thumbnail creates a mask based on this channel. Now you can add the channel to the current mask by holding Shift or subtract it by holding Alt.
  • Adjustment Layers
    Several adjustment layers - mostly filters - are now displayed better, if the zoom is smaller than 100%.
  • Save As...
    Saving a document with Save As using a file format other than PLD, will now attach the used format options to the document. Using Save afterwards will reuse these options.
    This is especially useful in combination with the option to always create a PLD-format file, because in this case the format options are saved in the PLD file and will become available again after a reload of the document.
  • Batch Converting
    The command Batch Converting can now include subfolders.
  • Document Attributes
    If your document is in picture mode and the Document Attributes are showing the size in a physical unit (for example "inch"), modifying the document size will implicitly change the resolution of the document.
  • Text Ruler
    The text ruler displayed above text layers can now be turned off (View > Alignment Helpers > Show Text Ruler).
  • The Layer Tool
    You can now move layers by click+drag immediately without selecting them first.
  • Selected Layers
    Layers can now be selected across groups. This means the active layers no longer have to be in the same group.
  • Load Page(s)
    Now multiple files can be selected in the file selector.
  • Open Recent
    Open Recent has now a Clear Menu command.
  • Transparency Pattern
    You can now select both colors of the transparency pattern.
  • Guides
    By pressing the Alt key guides are now optionally aligned to the active layer, too. This way new guides can be easily created to match existing layers.

Logo PhotoLine 18

Version 18 offers once more many new functions and a lot of minor enhancements.

Distort Tool The Distort Tool

The Distort tool can distort layers by using a grid. The distortion is lossless, so you can edit it later. You can freely add or remove grid points.

The field of application is diverse: You can project images on objects, straighten scanned images, or simply use it for free design.

Distort Tool Bottle Distort Tool Flower
Straighten The Straighten Tool

If you want to straighten many images, you can use the Straighten tool. Just drag a line, that should become straight, and PhotoLine will do the rest.

Synchrones Verschieben/Zoomen Move/Zoom Synchronously

If the Moving Hand is the active tool, the synchronous move and zoom can be activated via the tool settings. This way two similar images can be placed side by side and be examined on detail differences.

If the Moving Hand is not the active tool, the synchronous mode can be activated quickly by pressing and holding the Shift key: moving by pressing the space bar or using the mouse wheel will work synchronously just like zooming with Ctrl+mouse wheel (Windows) and Command+mouse wheel (Mac OS X).

Brush Settings Brush Settings

The brush settings now offer a lot of dynamic options.

For example: you can randomly modify the position or the size of the brush. The color and the brush angle can be changed, too.

You can use that for creating naturally looking structures or stylized patterns.

Dynamic Brush
In the menu:
Tool > Color
Hue Editor
Hue Editor

The Hue Editor is a more flexible version of Hue/Saturation. The settings are made here with curves, so that the edits and improvements can be realized much more precisely and without restrictions.

In the menu:
Layout > Vector
Vector Operations

Vector layers are now offering the operations: Union, Intersection, Difference and Exclusion (XOR).

Vector Operations

In the menu:
Filter > External Programs
External Programs

PhotoLine can now invoke external programs for manipulating images. It is possible to select a third-party filter or a PDF Viewer.

If a document is changed and saved in this way, PhotoLine automatically imports the result.

In the menu:
Layout > Image
Straighten and Crop Image

If you have scanned a photo with the scanner, this function automatically straightens the image and cuts off the unwanted edges.

In the menu:
Layer > Management
Copy/Paste Layer Styles and Layer Attributes

Layer styles and layer attributes can now quickly be transferred from one layer to another by copying and pasting. Layer attributes include the layer style, the fill colors and the outline styles of a layer.

In the menu:
View > Hide Border Content
Hide Border Content

If you are creating a document for printing, the content should exceed the pages, so that cropping can be performed correctly.

But this exceeding content can be distracting. Therefore PhotoLine has now an option to hide those parts of the document.

Hide Border Content
In the preferences at:
Display > User Interface
User Interface Color

You can now change the user interface color of PhotoLine.

User Interface Color

You have the option the use the predefined color of your operating system or to define your own brightness level.

Dockable Panels Dockable Panels with Tabs

Now you can adjust PhotoLine even better to your needs: you can now regroup all dockable panels.

In the menu:
View > Panel Layout
Panel Layout

You can now reset the panel layout to its original state.

Furthermore you can lock the panel layout. This way you will no longer be able to accidentally move a docked panel.

(in the menu under “View > Panel Layout” and via the context menu of the panel titlebars)

In the menu:
More Than One Window per Document

You can now open multiple windows for a document on Mac OS X, too.

If you did so, each window can now display a different page.

Additionally there are now functions to place document windows side by side or one above the other on Mac OS X.

Ruler Origin Adjustable Ruler Origin

This function allows you to modify the ruler origin of a document. Sometimes this makes it easier to place layers.

In order to modify the origin just drag the marker at the top left of the rulers to the desired position. Alternatively the position can be adjusted numerically by double clicking.

Tools in Toolbars
In the preferences at:
Usage > Toolbars
Tools in Toolbars

Tool icons can now be inserted in any toolbar allowing you to assemble your own toolbox.

In the preferences at:
Display > Guides
Grid and Guides

Now the grid and the (automatic) guides can be temporarily enabled or disabled in almost all functions by holding the Alt key. The exact function is adjustable. So you can for example specify that Alt only affects the grid.

WebP Import and Export

WebP is new file format, which is intended to replace JPEG. It allows to create very small image files.

The Web Export function supports WebP, too.

PDF Import and Export

The PDF import and export has been enhanced. It now supports XMP metadata and imports DeviceN images better.

In the preferences at:
File > Save Options
Additionally Save PLD File

This new option allows you to always save your files without losing information.

If you want to save a document as JPEG, the resulting file will only contain a single image layer, because JPEG can just save single image layers. By activating this new option, PhotoLine will save a PLD file along with the JPEG. The next time you are opening the JPEG file, PhotoLine will automatically load the PLD file instead, and you will get a complete document and not a single image.


The internal management of metadata has been changed to XMP, which is the current standard for metadata.

32 Bit per Color Channel
32 Bit per Color Channel

Vector layers can now use extended colors with a depth of 32 bit per color channel, too.

Additionally gradients are now supporting the full range of 32 bit, too. This is true for both the gradient tool and using gradients as color.

Adjustment Layers

Adjustment layer are used for applying filters and other operations lossless to images. In order to restrict the effect of an adjustment, the data of the adjustment layer are used as mask. Quite often you have to soften this mask to achieve a smooth transition. This softening can now be made lossless, too, by using the corresponding setting in the Layer Attributes panel.

Document Information

The Document Information dialog for managing the metadata of a document is now supporting automatic text completion. PhotoLine is storing the last values allowing quick retrieval.

Document Information

What was new in:
Version 17
Version 16
Version 15
Version 14
Version 13
Version 12
Version 11
Version 10
Version 9
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