General Usage


The Main Dialog

The Preview and Zoom options

On the left-hand side of the dialog box is the preview box that shows you what the final effect will look like. Controls to adjust the preview zoom level are located below the preview. You can zoom the image between 6% and 3200%. When starting ColorWasher the zoom rate is automatically set to Fit, which displays the image completely in the preview. The 100% option means that the original size of the image is displayed. There are Fit and 100% buttons at the left for quickly switching between these zoom states. To jump from one preview zoom rate to another you can use the zoom combo box which is located between the two zoom buttons. With the Ctrl and minus/plus key shortcuts you can also change the zoom ratio.

Changing the Window Size

To resize the ColorWasher window and make the preview larger under Windows you have to move your cursor to the border of the ColorWasher dialog. The cursor will then turn into a double arrow. Holding down the left mouse button and dragging the mouse changes the size of the window. You can also drag the handle at the bottom right of the ColorWasher dialog. Click the maximize button on the right side of the ColorWasher title bar to enlarge the window to full screen. Clicking it again restores the old window size.

Enlarging the preview also increases the time that ColorWasher needs to update it. On the other hand making it smaller makes ColorWasher render the preview faster.

The Tools

There are a few icons at top right corner of the preview, which lets you do various operations on the preview.

You can scroll the image in the preview by activating the hand tool and dragging the image with it. You can also use it to click on the preview to reveal the original image. While being moved, the original image is shown and after you release the right mouse button the preview is recalculated. If one of the other tools is activated, you can also scroll the image by holding down the right mouse button and dragging.

You can draw a sample area on the preview if the sample area tool is activated. Please don't confuse it with an image selection as known from graphics applications. The sample area may look like a selection marquee, but it is used to measure the color area that it surrounds and not for selecting a certain part of the image. For more information, please read the Sample Area page.

With the eye dropper tool you can click anywhere in the preview to pick a color that is used for color correcting the image. You can also drag around in the preview and instantly see the effect if the Instant Preview check box on the Prefs tab sheet is active. So it works similar to the sample area tool. If you activate the Target color box on the Color tab sheet, it also lets you select a color for this color box. This way you can also pick a color for adding a color effect to the image.

The split view tool lets you move the separation lines in the preview or choose a focus point in case the Multi check box is activated. When you choose the split view tool, the split view feature is automatically activated. Read more on the Split View page.

The Modes

In Easy Mode only the most important controls and options will be accessible. This is helpful when you are just starting with ColorWasher or want to do some quick corrections. In Expert Mode all controls are available. For more information, please read the Easy Mode page.

The Reset

Clicking the Reset button sets all controls to their default values. This is useful if you want to start over with adjusting the effect. Clicking the arrow down button displays a context menu with various reset options. See the Reset, Undo & Presets page.


Although there are various other controls available for adjusting the image effect the main controls are sliders. Sliders can be used to select a certain value within a specific value range. To do that you can drag the slider knob with the mouse (or keyboard), enter a numerical value in the white text box at the right of the slider bar, click somewhere on the slider bar for large value steps or use the two arrow buttons for small value steps. If the Instant Preview check box on the Prefs tab sheet is not activated, you can hold down the Shift key while dragging the slider knob to make the preview update with every movement of the knob. If the Instant Preview is activated, you don't need to hold down the Shift key for the same effect.

You can now also use the mouse wheel to change the slider values. You need to give the slider the focus by clicking on it or using the tab key. After that you can scroll the mouse wheel to move the slider knob. After you stopped moving the wheel the preview will automatically update.

The Bottom Tab Control

The Help tab sheet makes it easier for new users to get started and makes it possible to use ColorWasher without a glance at the manual. It can provide useful hints and assist you in the B/W conversion process. If you move the mouse over a certain control, the text box will display some explanations and hints about that control. After you know all about ColorWasher, you can deactivate these explanations by deactivating the check box in the bottom right corner of the Help box. We recommend that you keep it activated.

The Histo tab sheet displays various histogram of the image. The Info tab sheet shows color values of the image pixels. Finally, the Prefs tab sheet contains options for changing the general behavior of ColorWasher. Please read further on the following pages: Histo Tab, Info Tab, Prefs Tab.

The Preview Check Box
and Progress Bar

A deactivated Preview check box does not render the effect and therefore does not display any effect in the preview. This way you can see before/after versions of the image and adjust a number of controls without provoking a repeated rendering of the effect. When the effect is rendered, you see a bar running from left to right in the progress bar control. After the rendering is completed and the preview updated, the time that was needed for rendering is displayed as well as an approximation of the time that is needed to render the full image.

Split View & Multi

ColorWasher offers various split views for evaluating or correcting the image. For more information, please read the Split View page.

OK, Cancel and ?

When using the Plugin version clicking on the OK button exits ColorWasher and applies the effect to the image. The current settings are saved and restored when you use ColorWasher again in case you have the Previous Settings item activated in the On Start Up combo box in Preferences. The Cancel button simply exits ColorWasher without changing the image. If you hold down the CTRL key while clicking on Cancel, you will be prompted for Cloak Mode. In Cloak Mode the current settings will be applied to the images without displaying the ColorWasher dialog. For more information, please read the Cloak Mode page. The Cloak Mode feature only works in the Plugin version.

When using the Lightroom version clicking the OK button makes ColorWasher process the opened images. ColorWasher automatically exits after all images were saved and you can continue working in Lightroom. Cancel exits ColorWasher and does not apply an effect to the image(s).

In the Standalone version the Open button lets you can open one or more images with the help of a file dialog. The Save As button displays a file dialog for entering a file name and choosing the image format. Then it renders and saves the image. You can read more about it on the Standalone page.

You can also cancel or exit ColorWasher by clicking on the x button in the title bar.

The ? buttons displays the html manual.


Differences between the Plugin, Lightroom and Standalone Versions

If you only open one image in the Lightroom version of ColorWasher, you see no difference to the Plugin version. If you select two or more image in Lightroom, the Lightroom version of ColorWasher displays an Images tab control left of the preview. This Image tab is also displayed in the Standalone version if you open more than one image. It lets you switch between the images.

As result of displaying the Images tab control the preview gets smaller. To increase the preview size again please enlarge the ColorWasher window. See below for instructions.

The Standalone version on the other hand offers a few more features than the Lightroom and Plugin versions of ColorWasher. That is because it does not rely on another program for opening and saving image files. As a result the OK button of the Lightroom and Plugin versions is replaced by Open and Save As buttons for opening and saving image files. The Cancel button is called "Exit", which saves the effect settings unlike the Cancel button. Additionally the Standalone versions offers an arrow-down button in the top left area of the window below the title bar. Clicking on it displays an menu with various options.

Apart from these small extras and changes, all versions of ColorWasher behave and work the same. For more information visit the Standalone/Lightroom Features page.