PhotoLine 20 released

PhotoLine 20 released today!

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Release notes

The most important new features of this release are:

  • Dynamic (live) Filters: effects that were previously unavailable as adjustment layers can now be non-destructively applied to placeholder layers. External Photoshop compatible plug-ins can be used as well (when supported by the plugin).
  • New filters: Match Color, Color (LUT) Lookup, and Context Blur.
  • A new invert mask option in the layer panel greatly simplifies tasks when working with adjustments and clipping layers. This option works with both bitmap and vector masks.
  • Patterns now support vector graphics, as well as a mixture of both vector and bitmap elements. A new pattern view mode is available in the view menu to assist in seamless pattern design.
  • New onscreen control widgets drastically simplify working with patterns and textures, and existing gradient widget controls are improved.
  • Placeholder layer (smart objects) enhanced and extended. Layers can now be directly converted to placeholder layers (similar to Photoshop’s smart objects). Placeholder layers can now be used as layer masks, clipping masks, and masks for adjustment/effects layers.
  • Layer search function! Filter and by layer type, or search for specific layers. And layer content can be safeguarded from editing
  • Line/stroke patterns support corner alignment and start offset options now.

Other improvements

  • The quality of gradients is improved (cubic interpolation option!) and gradients may be repeated and reflected/mirrored.
  • New PDF Proof view mode for soft-proofing before exporting your work to PDF.
  • Native spell checking in Windows 10 without having to install ASpell or Hunspell.
  • “Dehaze” filter is compatible now with placeholder layers.
  • A color or spot color can be assigned to 1bit monochrome layers, and transparency is supported for PDF export with overprint option. High resolution 1bit bitmap layers (for example 1200ppi or more image-setter resolution) can be overlaid on top of colour work. Great for comic prepress work.
  • SVG import and export and PSD import have been greatly improved again. PSD import supports Photoshop smart objects!

And many smaller workflow enhancements and speed optimizations.

About PhotoLine
PhotoLine is a versatile all-purpose image and graphics editor. Enhance, edit and retouche photos, edit RAW files non-destructively, create multi-page layout designs and web mockups, prepare print-ready PDF files, export web images, and enjoy the built-in vector editing tools.

PhotoLine offers sophisticated tools to the creative professional: RGB, CMYK, LAB and grayscale color spaces, ICC color management, 16/32 bit per color channel, spot color support, PDF editing and export, and a non-destructive workflow with adjustment layers.

PhotoLine runs on Windows XP and later, Mac 10.6 and later, and in WINE on Linux.

Between this and the Affinity Photo beta, us Windows users have never before had such good choices to choose from outside of Photoshop.

I still use Paint Shop Pro 7, but news like this gives a stronger incentive to move to a modern paint/photo editing program (both this and Affinity look to be quite affordable with none of the cloud-based and subscription stuff that Adobe does).

The only challenge though, which one to choose (it partly depends on how their noise reduction tools stack up against each other as I would likely use them on Cycles images).

I hope the PhotoLine devs will release a native Linux version at some point. That would be great.

Always is a good news when a new Photoline version is out. This version adds more compatibility with PSD formats, I have my own test file that I try every new version, this version fixes the Color Lookup adjustment layer, that makes 14 adjustment layers working perfectly and 5 that are not as it should (on the previous version it was 13 to 6). Also there’s a problem with one specific combination of layer masks and alphas. I contacted the support for these items, hopefully they will keep fixing this issues and maybe someday we can have a perfect PSD conversion.

Also keep in mind Affinity Photo is not capable of doing a 1:1 conversion from Photoshop in terms of adjustment layers. Can’t wait for the day I see a software capable of a perfect conversion.

Version 20.01 released yesterday. Mainly bug fixes, but also a number of usability/workflow enhancements.


  • PSD import: layer masks were sometimes at the incorrect position
  • Web > Create Animation: movement allows now values up to 500%
  • PDF import: rg, RG, k, K, g, G are now setting the correct color space
  • PDF import: 1 bit images with colors are now imported correctly
  • Screen output of documents: mirrored 1 bit images with colors were displayed incorrectly
  • PDF export: 1 bit images with an assigned gradient were exported incorrectly
  • Isolated placeholder layers with color profile: if cached they were displayed without color profile
  • Isolated placeholder layers with color profile: if not cached the color profile wasn’t restored. Following layers were displayed using the color profile of the placeholder.
  • Liquify tool: a liquify layer with a dpi value smaller than the document caused redraw errors
  • Vector layers, stroke inside/outside: holes in shapes haven’t been handled correctly
  • Quick selection tool: displayed the result before applying edge correction
  • Actions, action step showing a dialog: if an action step did show a dialog, the full preview was incorrect
  • Color list: sometimes tried to import image files, which is why drag&drop of files sometimes didn’t work
  • Exposure adjustment layer: wasn’t updated after loading a document
  • PSD export: problem when saving a document with a transparent background layer and additional transparent effects
  • Show All Layer, Show Only Active Layer: can be recorded as action
  • Windows: undocked dockable dialogs can be switch from horizontal to vertical layout and viceversa by using the context menu of the dialog - just like on macOS
  • Plug ins as action/dynamic filter: windows actions/filters didn’t work on macOS and viceversa
  • Placeholders with dynamic filters: are now always drawn isolated
  • Status bar in document window, Windows: in picture mode the status bar can be turned off via manual editing of the preferences (PhotoLine.xml or registry)
  • Dynamic filters, plug ins: Documents with 2 dynamic filters which used plug-ins could cause trouble
  • Automatic guide lines, Windows: if the mouse was exactly over an automatic guide, a mouse click wasn’t recognized
  • Tool Settings: resizeable
  • Plug ins, icons: icons with the name of the plug in didn’t work correctly
  • Placeholders, saving: Editing and saving an embedded placeholder never reduced its memory size

Both support Google NIK Photoshop plugins, which includes Dfine2 which is a nice denoiser for free, and NIK offers a good sharpener as well. The difference between Affinity Photo and Photoline: the latter now allows (compatible) external Photoshop plugins to be applied non-destructively, and in Affinity Photoshop plugins are always a destructive step.

I just tried this update and the layers with alpha channels are now working perfectly. Hopefully they would be able to fix the adjustment layers (Brightness and contrast, Exposure, Vibrance, Black & White and Photo Filter are wrong) and then I don’t have to use Photoshop anymore.

I recently migrated to PhotoLine from Photoshop and must say that I am very happy with it in general. You get a lot for the price and the 32Bit multilayered exr support is great.
Before buying it I also considered Affinity Photo but I read that Affinity wasn´t all that great with Wine on Linux whearas PhotoLine is supposed to work very well with Wine. Since I hope I can migrate to Ubuntu some time in the future (if I ever get the damn nVidia drivers running) PhotoLine seemed to be the better choice.

VANESSA ARNOLD is a Southern California native born in the Los Angeles area. At the age of 12, her parents moved the family to their home country of Belize. Although her parents had struggled to live the American dream, their ultimate goal was to own a business and home in Belize. Her father opened his auto mechanic shop while her mother managed its operations, and they eventually designed and built their dream house.

Growing up, Vanessa was always stressed the importance of an education and college degree. By the age of 18, she had graduated from junior college with an Associate Degree in Biology. Her plan was to move back to California and continue her studies at university. However, like many young students, she found herself with a big dream and the harsh reality of how much an American university education really costs. Her parents had always encouraged her studies but had no financial planning in place to support her. With her family still living in Belize, she made a pivotal decision to join the U.S. Air Force.

Vanessa served active duty for 4 years in Arizona as a medical administrative assistant. She honorably discharged from the military at the end of her term and immediately entered the civilian workforce. Her career as an executive administrative assistant has spanned the last 20 years in the medical, legal, computer engineering, and real estate industries. Most recently, she spent the last 10 years working directly for the CEO of Southern California’s largest commercial real estate company.

Running PhotoLine in WINE on Linux is actively supported by the developers of PhotoLine. They integrated LittleCMS as an alternative CMS in order to achieve colour management in PhotoLine running in WINE :slight_smile:

I’ve tried to convince the PhotoLine devs a number of times now to consider a Linux version, but so far no response. Some PhotoLine users keep saying a Linux version would be a waste of time, but I feel that the opposite is true at this point in time. But we will see.

So does PhotoLine run on Linux with Wine just as good as on Windows/Mac or are there any problems, performancewise or other?

Just as fast, as far as I am aware. I use it on a low-powered HP laptop, and it works just fine. Others at the PL forum use PhotoLine in WINE on a daily basis for their work, and when an issue pops up the developers fix it. No complaints from WINE/PhotoLine users :slight_smile:

New version is ready:

Version 20.02

Unicode Hex Input, macOS: works nowIcons with names, Windows: on Windows PicturesUser.pld didn’t work correctly with icon names (for plug ins)
Liquify: a low-res Liquify layer is antialiased if scaled-up
Liquify: applying “Scale Layer” to a Liquify layer could cause redraw problems
Liquify: Faster, but no longer in the Adjustment Layer dialog
Quick Selection tool: can be stopped more smoothly now
Blend mode action: consecutive blend mode actions are merged
Quick Selection tool: crash with invisible layers fixed
Crop tool, picture mode: inverted layer mask/clippings layers/adjustment layers lost the inversion
Plugins: are supporting path property
Tool tips, Windows: now have a larger distance from the mouse position
Calendar, special days, macOS: merging special days works now
Redraw: with “slow” documents dragging a small layer at the bottom right was slower than at the top left
PDF Export, Export with continuous transparency, layers with layer masks and layer styles: layer styles outside the document bounds were clipped
Layer with layer masks and layer styles, Reduce to One Layer: layer styles outside the document bounds were clipped
Isolated groups: the cache of isolated groups no longer contains layer styles
PDF import: 1 bit images might have become black
Simple Browse, macOS: it was possible to leave the root folder
Simple Browse: regardless of the sorting direction folders are now always at the top and “…” is always the first entry
Browse, file preview: the preview of documents with placeholders failed sometimes
Crop Document/Crop tool: is now working fully recursive and changes the size of vector adjustment layers, too
Automatic guides, document frame: aligning to the document corners didn’t wirk correctly with very large documents (or documents with a very large frame)
Neat Image < version 8, macOS: possible crash if used twice
Layer masks, filters: applying a filter to a layer mask might have crashed
Convert with ICC Profile: Sometimes “Linear gamma” was incorrectly enabled
System CMYK profile, Windows: Warning if there is no system CMYK profile
PSD import: groups with color filter are automatically set to “Draw Isolated”, blend mode “Subtract” is supported
Scale Layer, macOS: Changing the DPI value in “Normal” mode automatically activates the DPI

By the way, does anybody knows how to use the paint brush tool without showing the overlay brush shape? In Photoshop you can turn on or off the visibility of the brush preview.

I don’t believe that is possible - perhaps post a request on the beta forum?

Oh, that’s a shame. Will do that. Thanks Herbert123.

PhotoLine 20.5 released today - free update as usual for point upgrades. Download at

Nothing major, but quite a lot of bug fixes, and nice workflow enhancements. Full screen mode in Windows!

@SamCameron: brush cursor overlay can be temporarily turned off with the Capslock key now :slight_smile:

Miscellaneous improvements:

  • Full screen mode, Windows
  • Painting tools: Convert color using layer profile if necessary
  • Color fields/lists: Adjust to document profile
  • Vector stars “symmetrical” structure
  • Text formatting: Unicode 00ad is treated as a hyphenation proposal
  • Text formatting: Unicode 200b (zero width space) identifies separation point
  • Hyphenation proposals, macOS: Ctrl+Minus should now also work with English keyboard layout
  • Paragraph alignment: Can now be recorded as action
  • Windows, drag files to main window: Keeping the Shift key pressed opens all files in one document
  • Page navigation bar: Switching off via “AppendNavigationToImages” is now also supported on macOS
  • Color Picker: If the color picker has a simple shortcut (i. e. only a simple character without additional keys), it can be accessed temporarily by pressing and holding this key.
  • Adjustments dialog: Adjustments can be copied/pasted
  • Rotate view with alt-mouse wheel can be switched off in the settings
  • Attributes: Ctrl+/Command+mouse drag changes values of non-active lines too
  • “New image” is opened when a 0 byte PLD file is dragged to PhotoLine
  • Layer tool with setting which layer types should be aligned to the actual content
  • Curve Creation tool: If the end point of a subpath is selected, the following point is inserted behind it
  • Brush outline: Can be temporarily switched off via the Caps Lock key
  • Histogram with double arrow for min/max
  • Exposure with icons in front of the sliders
  • Windows: New scrollbars for dialogs
  • Windows: New double arrow controls
  • Dialogs, Windows: in all dialogs the scrollbars are replaced by sliders
  • Multiline text fields, Windows: Are now using relative text metrics (better typeface)
  • Text layer: Selection is now visible regardless of the background
  • Precise mouse cursor: Spray and Liquify tool now also have one
  • Print dialog, Windows: If the default setting was “System”, the print dialog no longer changes it
  • Print, Windows: The rendering intent in the print dialog temporarily replaces the rendering intent of the document.
  • Print, labels, macOS: only the first label was displayed, the rest was clipped away
  • Print dialog, macOS: Now with “Paper format”.
  • Light/Shadow: faster
  • Mix modes: slightly accelerated
  • Adjustment layers: With a completely white mask, the mask is no longer set
  • Adjustment layers with vector mask: A white rectangle mask is no longer set
  • Zoomed documents: in certain situations faster screen output
  • Screen output: with “slow” documents dragging of small layers could be slower on the lower right side than on the upper left.
  • Document window, focus, painting tools: If the document window loses focus when the drawing tool is active, the document will not be redrawn.
  • Screen output, macOS: screen cache is now displayed faster
  • Menu icons, macOS: Rebuilt only if changed
  • Embedded placeholders: PLDs no longer save preview
File formats:
  • PLD settings: Preview size and fast saving
  • PDF import, spot colors: Lab values were not read correctly for spot colors with Lab replacement
  • PDF import: Incorrect character encodings of FrameMaker are partially read
  • PDF import: Solved problems with bizarre PS-PDFs
  • PDF export, path text with background layer effects: The path text was not output as path text
  • PDF export, lines with variable thickness: With a simple, linear thickness curve, the variable line thickness was not exported
  • SVG export, text layer with color filter: Crash fixed
  • SVG export: Background layer effects are output separately
  • PSD export with groups
  • PSD export: Writes a resource for clip layers
  • GIF import: possible buffer overflow for defective files fixed
Bug fixes:
  • Colors in toolbar: “Spot color” could be activated
  • Nik-Filter as a dynamic filter, Windows: Since the dialogs of the Nik-Filter are not modal under Windows, one could provoke problems
  • Background layer, moveable: Handles are displayed, after special scaling “moveable” status is no longer turned off
  • Layer list, add/remove transparency to mask: Works only with transparent images
  • Crop tool: Changes with keyboard are displayed
  • Vector layers: Curve-line-curve sequences were not deleted correctly
  • Average filter, very large images: Calculation improved
  • Edge antialiasing, sheared images: The left/right edge of sheared images is now antialiased better
  • HTML image overview: Code updated
  • Dynamic Filters: If a placeholder had several Dynamic Filter layers, the intensity and mixing mode of a Dynamic Filter layer had no influence on the following Dynamic Filter layers
  • Dynamic Filters, painting: The following dynamic filters on the same hierarchy are hidden during painting
  • Distort image with image, Twirl, Ripple: The alpha channel has not been edited
  • Circle tool: After a restart, a “circle segment” was always displayed with 360°.
  • Text layers, pixel alignment: For pixel aligned text layers, text layers are now preferably output via the operating system
  • Layer attributes, overprint: For vector layers the outline setting wasn’t visible.
  • Layer attributes, reset and size, layers with layer masks: The origin that may has been clipped, was kept at its original position
  • Layer effects, 3D shadows: Position was displayed incorrectly if it was larger than 100 pixels
  • Match colors: Had wrong name
  • Brush editor, non-modal: If the brush size was changed in the document window, it did not show the correct size
  • Vector tool: Deleting a point could also delete the successor
  • Cut vector points: if more than 2 sub-paths were used, the cut-out may not have worked correctly
  • Edit vector pattern: Pattern size is now better maintained
  • Create vector outline: Accuracy depending on the layer size in the PCS
  • Radial blur: Problems with dialog preview and alpha images fixed
  • Radial blur: Support for 32-bit images
  • Pixel alignment, vector: fixed distortion with only one aligned point
  • Mouse focus, Windows: If another application was topped during a modal event loop, PhotoLine may not respond correctly to mouse clicks afterwards.
  • Brush outline, macOS: Since 10.12.6 (?) the brush outline was not deleted correctly when leaving the document window
  • Navigation bar, macOS: Was shifted slightly for duplicated documents
  • Quick selection: With “Delete speckles” turned on speckles with manual marking are no longer deleted
  • Online help, Windows: For menu entries, the superordinate title is now included if necessary
  • Text: various modifications to avoid speed problems with many layers.
  • Create vector outline: Could produce incorrect results with multiple sub-paths
  • Slideshow: the last 4 transition modes are reversed in themselves
  • Color to transparency: For 16-bit and 32-bit images, the mask was not evaluated correctly.
  • Linear ICC profiles, JPEG import, sRGB: JPEGs whose sRGB profiles were set via EXIF data could not be switched to linear sRGB

Hi @Herbert123, I was about to post about this new version. So glad they added the function I requested on the previous version, Photoline team is great! I requested a new feature: scroll function on fonts list, hope it gets into the next versions as well :slight_smile: