The Help sheet is located at the right bottom of the BWStyler window. This feature was built in to make it easier for beginners to get started and makes it possible to use BWStyler without having to refer to the manual. When you move your mouse over a certain control, the text box will display some explanations and hints about the control.
Although you can deactivate Help by unchecking the check box at the right bottom of the help sheet, keeping it activated is useful for refreshing your memory or learning about features you might have missed.
The Navigator tab works just like the Navigator panel in Photoshop. It displays a thumbnail of the image with a red rectangle that indicates which part of the image is displayed in the preview. You can use the Navigator to display a certain image area in the preview by clicking on it in the thumbnail. To quickly scroll around in the preview click somewhere on the thumbnail, hold down the mouse button and move the mouse.
The Info tab shows information that is not essential but which may be helpful under certain circumstances.
If the Show Blown Highlights check box is active, a line pattern will be displayed over highlight areas that were cut. Additionally a value in the label of the check box indicates the percentage of blown highlights. This feature doesn't show blown highlights that were already present in the image before you started BWStyler. So it only indicates problems that were created by a too strong BWStyler effect.
When moving the mouse over the preview, the color below the cursor is shown in the color box of the Info tab sheet. Additionally the color is shown as RGB and HSL values. The x and y values represent the image coordinates of the pixel whose color is shown. For images with 16-bit/channel the color values are shown as 8-bit values like in Photoshop.
The first line at the bottom of the Info tab sheet shows the image size in pixels and the channel bit depth. The second line displays the camera model and the ISO value with which the photo was taken. If no EXIF data is available, this line is empty.
The Prefs tab sheet contains some options for defining the behavior of BWStyler.
On Start Up
The On Start Up combo box
defines which settings are used when BWStyler is started. The "Default
Settings" option sets all controls back to their default values. "Previous
Settings" loads the settings that were previously applied to an image.
loads a self-defined preset file. If no preset file was previously chosen, a
file dialog appears. Otherwise use the "Define Own Defaults" item
of the Reset arrow menu to choose a new preset
"Logged Settings" automatically opens the settings that were previously applied to the same image. It only works in Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and Photoline. Additionally it only works if you had previously activated the Log Settings check box and if you had already processed the same image file. This works in the same way as the Reset option. Please see the Tools & Reset page for more information.
The Language combo box allows you to set your preferred language for the BWStyler dialog. At this time you can only choose between English and German. When running BWStyler for the first time, it is automatically set to the language of your operating system.
The Skin combo box features various skin options. Skinning means that the user interface receives a new look. There are different options for imitating the user interface of Lightroom, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements and PaintShop Pro. There is also a dark version of Aero (the default UI style of Windows Vista/7), a special PhotoWiz skin style as well as an option to only skin the sliders.
Each skin sets its own preview background color, but you can change it again with the Preview color box that is discussed next. You can use a different skin and preview background color for the plugin, standalone and Lightroom versions of BWStyler. The None option of the Skin combo box recreates the standard controls and deactivates skinning, which requires restarting BWStyler.
The Preview color box shows the current color of the preview background. By default this is the color of the window background. Click on the color box to display a menu with different options: Reset Color restores the default color and Choose Color displays a color dialog for selecting a certain color. The other menu items apply various gray tones from black to white. The same context menu appears if you right click on the preview background.
If you encounter any problems, you can deactivate the support for multiple processor cores and hyperthreading pipes with this check box. If your computer only uses a non-hyperthreading, single-core processor, this check box is disabled by default.
Host Color Dialog
This check box is only available in the plugin version of BWStyler as the Lightroom/Standalone version has no access to a host color dialog.
When clicking on a color box a color dialog shows up for selecting a color. If the Host Color Dialog check box is activated, the color dialog of the host application, e.g. Photoshop's color dialog, is displayed. We recommend to keep the Host Color Dialog check box deactivated unless you need a specific feature of the host color dialog.
When the Host Color Dialog check box is deactivated, BWStyler uses an advanced version of the color dialog of the operating system. It shows the effect of a chosen color in the preview while the color dialog is still displayed. You just need to make sure that the Preview check box on the color dialog is activated. The host color dialog always has to be closed in order to see the effect of the chosen color and you need to reopen it to choose another color, which is less convenient.
With the Anti-Aliased Curve check box activated the curve on the Main tab sheet looks thicker and smoother. Otherwise it is drawn as a sharper but jagged 1-pixel line.
If the Instant Preview check box is activated, the preview is updated while you drag a slider. Instant Preview may work too slowly on computers with an older processor. You can also get the same effect if you hold down the Shift key while dragging a slider.
When the Log Settings check box is activated BWStyler automatically saves preset files at
c:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\ThePluginSite\BWStyler2\logfiles\
Windows Vista/7: c:\Users\<user>\AppData\Roaming\ThePluginSite\BWStyler2\logfiles\
MacOS X: /Library/Application Support/PhotoWiz/BWStyler2/logfiles/
after pressing the OK button. In Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and Photoline the file name of the image is used as the preset file name. In other applications a random number is used, because these applications do not supply the file name of the image to BWStyler. If you apply BWStyler a second time to the same image and have Log Settings activated, the previous preset file in the logfiles folder will be overwritten.
At least with Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Paint Shop Pro and Photoline this feature allows you to easily find the settings that you applied to a certain image by looking into the logfiles sub folder. For other applications you can only look at the file date and guess which preset file was used for which image.
In connection with the Logged Settings option of the On Start Up combo box (see above), you can use the Log Settings check box to automatically make BWStyler start up with the settings that were applied the last time to the same image. So if you need to correct the same image again, you will automatically be presented with the same settings that you used the last time. In case you don't want to start up BWStyler with the logged settings or forgot to activate this option, you can also open the logged settings by clicking the arrow button next to the Reset button and choosing "Logged Settings" from the button menu.