Capture One tips and tricks

11+1 tips and tricks for Capture One

Following the previous blog post about 11 tips and tricks for Capture One, here is another post stuffed with tips and tricks to ease your workflow!

If you don’t already own Capture One, download a 30-day trial and follow along.


1. Apply a Style or Preset as a Layer

Capture One 11.1 introduced a simple way of applying a Style or Preset as a Layer.*

Right-clicking a Style or Preset will open a menu, allowing different options. Selecting ‘Apply to New Layer’ will create a new Layer with the name and adjustments of the Style or Preset. From the Layers tool, you can now adjust the opacity of this Layer, controlling the impact.

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Applying a Style as a Layer and changing the opacity


*This feature requires that the tools included in the Style or Preset work on Layers. Black & White, Film Grain, Basic Color Editor, Vignetting among others don’t work on Layers. If a Style includes tools that don’t work on Layers, a warning will show.


2. Show / hide / move the Browser, Tools and Viewer

Shortcuts in Capture One are among those things many photographers don’t take the time to learn. Continuously investing time in learning, remembering and using shortcuts will inevitably improve your workflow.

Here are five of my personal favorite shortcuts that quickly make the interface of Capture One highly dynamic and flexible:

  • [Cmd / Ctrl + b] : Show/hide the Browser
  • [Cmd / Ctrl + t] : Show/hide the Tools
  • [Cmd / Ctrl + Shift + b] : Switch the Browser below/to the side
  • [Cmd / Ctrl + Shift + t] : Switch the Tools left/right
  • [Cmd / Ctrl + Alt + v] : Show/hide the Viewer

Like any shortcut in Capture One, these can be customized:

Mac: Capture One 11 > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts…
Win: Edit > Edit Keyboard Shortcuts…


3. Adding the same tool multiple times

Are you tired of switching back and forth between the RGB and Luma curve? Or maybe the Shadow, Midtone and Highlight in Color Balance? Fear not, this trick will help!

As the interface of Capture One is customizable, you can simply add the same tool multiple times and have them next to each other. You can do this in the current Tool Tabs or create your own. Right click anywhere in an empty space in a Tool Tab to add new tools.

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Adding the same tool multiple times


4. Film Curve – Extra Shadow

Some images are a bit heavy on the contrast or saturation straight out of camera with the Auto curve applied. This is of course a subjective matter, but if you like your images to have a slightly more flat starting point, there is a trick for that!

In the Color Tool Tab, go to Base Characteristics. Change the Curve from ‘Auto’ to ‘Film Extra Shadow’. This will provide a starting point with less contrast. Bringing back the same contrast level if needed is a quick pull in the Contrast slider or some Levels adjustments.

This Film Curve can be saved as a default option for your camera, which is applied when importing images going forward. Go the tool submenu [•••] and select ‘Save as Defaults for…’

Film curves - Auto vs. Film Extra Shadow


5. Two different Auto Levels methods

Auto Levels (the tiny ‘A’ in the top right of the Levels tool) is a quick method of getting a fairly decent contrast with a single click. Within ‘Preferences > Exposure’, you can select between two different channel modes:

RGB Channel: Will move the RGB channel, affecting overall contrast and luminosity.

Red, Green and Blue Channels: Will move the channels individually, affecting contrast and correcting for any color cast there might be present in shadows, midtones or highlights.

Auto Levels channel modes

The Clipping Thresholds can also be set from the preferences, allowing control over the strength of the Auto Levels adjustments.

Auto Levels


6. Select by filename list

You send a large number of images to a client for them to make a list of their picks. You get a list of filenames back in an email. How do you most easily find those images in your Session / Catalog? Select by filename list.

Go to Edit > Select By > Filename List… and copy the filenames into this window. Click OK, and the images from the list are instantly selected within your active album/folder. With this selection you can simply give the images a rating, color tag or create a new Album (Right Click > Create Albums From > Selection…) for further processing.

You can create keyboard shortcuts for both ‘Select By Filename List’ and ‘Create Albums From Selection’. With this workflow, selecting and managing any number of images from a filename list will take as little as 15 seconds.

Select by filename list


7. Single Pixel noise reduction

Within Noise Reduction, there is a slider called ‘Single Pixel’. This will take care of most instances of hot pixels in your images. A hot pixel is a dead pixel on your camera sensor that typically shows up as pure white.

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Single Pixel Noise Reduction – Removing hot pixels



8. Advanced Color Editor, hue rotation

If you’re familiar with the Advanced Color Editor, you might have encountered the limit of 30 degrees with the Hue slider. Does this mean you cannot change a color range more than 30 degrees around the hue wheel? Nope, there is a trick!

The tool allows up to 30 color picks – per layer. With this in mind, you can simply pick the color range again (and again and again…) and change the Hue in the same direction, effectively pushing the change 30 degrees per color pick.

The reasoning behind the 30 degrees limit is to make sure precise adjustments are fast and easy.

Color Editor Hue Rotation


9. Crop settings

In ‘Preferences > Crop’ you can decide what to show and when to show it when working with the Crop Tool. You can mix and match your settings as desired. The easiest way of finding out what works for you is to select an image, select the Crop Tool and make a tight crop, then go to Preferences without switching to another cursor tool.

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Changing the Crop Tool visuals



10. Sub Folders in Process Recipes

If you use Process Recipes (if not, then you should!), you might have seen the field ‘Sub Folder’. It’s a nifty little feature that allows you to specify a sub folder for each recipe, automatically placing images exported with the recipe in the respected sub folder. You can, for example, add a ‘TIFF’ sub folder for your TIFF recipe and a ‘JPG Preview’ sub folder for your small resolution JPG recipe.

Process Recipe Sub Folder



11. Toggle cursor tools with the same shortcut

This is not specific to Capture One, but the trick to toggle between cursor tools with the same shortcut is to hold down Shift as well. For example, toggling between the rotation cursor tools is [Shift + r].

Toggle rotation cursor tools

12. Creating custom ICC profiles

Is the skin tone of a specific camera model too red, or do you need the blues of another camera to be permanently less saturated?

If you are unhappy with a color profile of a supported camera model in Capture One, you can create your own. Any color adjustments made in the Color Editor can be saved as a custom ICC profile and used on future images.

To learn more about how the Color Editor works, you can watch the webinar, Color Editor Master Class (60 minutes).

Static Image
Saving and using a custom ICC profile


What are your favorite tricks in Capture One?

If you missed it in the beginning, here are another 11 tips and tricks for Capture One.

If you don’t already own Capture One, you can download a 30-day trial and discover the power of it!

April 19 2018

By Alexander Flemming

Category: Tech Talk Tags:
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  • Alexander Flemming
    Alexander Flemming

    Alexander works as a Photographer and Marketing Specialist in Software Marketing of Phase One. Previous experience as a Test Engineer along with 10 years of photography have provided Alexander with a broad understanding of the many technical advantages of Capture One Pro.

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    Comments (8)

    Serge Lambotte

    Great concise information- thank you!

    Is there a way to auto-process files as they are incoming? All the great features for developing unique image styles and automate absolutely everything end there, who else is paying people just for pressing CMD+D the whole day!?

    Alexander Flemming

    Hi Dominik,

    There is unfortunately no built-in feature for that. You would need to look into Apple Scripting for that (Mac only).

    – Alex

    Michel Hulsey

    Is there a way to view the before and after of an edit or of all of the editing you’ve done thus far? Lightroom has this as backslash \.

    Alexander Flemming

    Hi Michel,

    Yes, there is! If you hold down your ALT key, you can click and hold either the global reset icon or the tool based reset icon. This will show your image without the settings.

    – Alex

    Dear Guys

    I just started to familiarize myself with the Capture One demo, but whenever i open or import a RAW, it automatically gets some profile or curve, which i cannot get rid of. I would like to see the pure raw image, which is completely clean and untouched like in any other RAW manipulating application. I swictched off every adjustment i could, etc, so what i’m suspecting is that my ICC Profile (SONY A7 S2) is messing it up somehow, especially the shadows lifted like crazy. Please check the screenshot on the link (if i can add link in this comment). It is just imported, nothing touched. I dont know what more to switch off, please help.


    Alexander Flemming

    Hi Gabriel,

    It does indeed look like something has been touched. Try resetting the image completely (cmd/ctrl + r). If that doesn’t get your shadows right, contact our support here:

    You mention, however, that you want to see your raw file as it is, exactly like other RAW applications are doing it. I will guess that most of them apply a curve and ICC profile as well, so you’re not seeing the RAW image as it is. To get close to that in Capture One, you will need to select the curve ‘Linear Response’ within Base Characteristics, and ‘No Color Correction’ as ICC profile.

    – Alex

    Wow Alex, fast response! :) Great:)

    I realized what was the issue, somehow the sony a7sII camera profile i have downloaded before from for video editing as a plugin, seemed to mess up Capture One’s (sony) profile. I have since uninstalled the filmconvert sony profile and voila, Capture one shines and works perfectly! And especially the “no color correction feature”! Beautiful!

    Thank you very much Alex! :) Its been a pleasure


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