1 View Modes
Single Image View: In this view, the image is displayed with the analog effect applied across the Image Preview area.
Split View: The image is displayed with a red line running either vertically or horizontally through it, with the original on one side and the edits on the other.
Side-by-side View: In this view, two separate previews appear. The previews are linked for zooming and panning. This lets you see the before- and after-images as a whole, or at the fine detail level.
The Compare button lets you toggle on and off a preview of the image state selected by the History State selector found in the History Browser and your edited image. Press and release this button to toggle between the two states.
The Compare button is only available in the Single Image View mode.
3 Zoom Tool
The Zoom tool enables you to zoom into your photo. Clicking on the Zoom tool will immediately zoom into the zoom value selected (100% by default). After zooming into your photo, the Navigator will be displayed which enables you to click and pan on a bird’s eye view of your photo.
4 Background Selector Tool
The Background Selector tool lets you change the color of the background surrounding the image. The three choices are white, gray, and black.
5 Palette Display Tool
The Palette Display tool lets you toggle the control palettes on and off in the interface. Turning off the control palettes provides an uncluttered working space to review your images.
1 Filter List
The list of filters shows all filters found in the currently selected category. After clicking on a filter, you can use the up and down arrows to navigate to the next or previous filter displayed.
The Categories enable you to filter the provided filters. Clicking on a category will show only those filters that are found within that category. Click on the All category to show all filters again.
3 Favorite Selector
Clicking on the star next to a filter allows you to select it as a favorite filter. Favorite filters will appear within the Favorites Category as well as within the Nik Collection Selective Tool, if using the software through Photoshop or Photoshop Elements. To deselect a filter as a favorite, click on its star again.
4 Filter Presets
Rolling over a filter name displays the Preset button. Clicking on the Preset button will show the available presets for that filter. Presets in Color Efex Pro 4 show the range of possibilities found for a particular filter. Unlike in other Nik Collection products, you cannot create or import custom presets. To save one or more filters with custom settings, click the Save Recipe button to create a custom recipe.
5 Filter Twirler
Clicking on the filter twirler displays the filter controls.
6 Toggle Filter
Toggling this checkbox on and off shows and hides the filter’s effect on your photo.
7 Filter Control Menu
Copy Control Points: Select this option to copy all of the control points in the current filter to the clipboard. This can be used to later paste the copied control points to another filter to maintain the same selection in a separate filter.
Paste Control Points: Select this option to paste all copied control points to the current filter.
Default Filter (keep CPs): Select this option to reset the filter to the default values while keeping the control points added to your photo.
Reset Filter (delete CPs): Select this option to keep the same filter but reset the sliders to default values and remove all added control points.
8 Delete Filter
Select this option to delete the filter.
9 Filter-specific Controls
The sliders provided vary for each filter. For more information on sliders within each filter, please see here.
10 Control Point Section Twirler
Click on the Control Point Section twirler to display the controls available for control points.
11 Add + (100%) Control Point
To add a + Control point, click on the + button, and then click on the image where you wish to place the control point. Clicking the + control point button automatically sets the Base File slider to 0%, making it possible to add the current filter effect only to the area selected by the control point, and places a control point with the Opacity slider set to 100%.
12 Add – (0%) Control Point
To add a - Control point, click on the - button, and then click on the image where you wish to place the control point. Clicking the – control point button leaves the Base File slider at its current value and places a control point with the Opacity slider set to 0%, removing the filter effect from the selected area.
13 Opacity Slider
The Opacity slider makes it possible to control the overall opacity of the current filter. The Opacity slider is automatically adjusted to 0% when using a + (100%) control point, but can also be adjusted manually.
14 Show Effect Preview
After adding a control point to the image, the checkbox within the Show Effect Preview Column will be enabled. By un-checking this box, you can disable that control point’s effect on the image. Click on the Show Effect Preview Column header to show or hide all control points' effects.
15 Size Column
The Size Column will display the value of each control point’s Size slider.
16 Show Selection Column
The Show Selection Column enables you to show the selection of a control point. Checking the box next to a control point in the Show Selection Column will show only the selected control point’s selection. The control point is affecting areas inked in white, while areas inked in black are not being affected, with gray areas being partially affected. Click on the Show Selection Column header to show or hide the selection of all control points.
17 Group Button
Click on this button after selecting more than one control point to place the selected control points into a group. All control points that are added into a group will obtain the same enhancement slider settings. Groups act in a similar fashion to control points, except where a control point bases its selection off of a single color and tonal value, groups can use multiple values to create a more precise selection. A group of control points share a single set of enhancement sliders and apply the same enhancement effect to their selected objects.
After adding control points into a group, the icon for the control points will change, with the enhancement sliders being presented only on one control point. The size slider for each control point in a group however can be adjusted independently.
18 Ungroup Button
To remove all control points from a group, select the group and then press the Ungroup button. All control points will be displayed as ungrouped, allowing you to delete, modify, or create new groups from the individual control points.
19 Duplicate Button
Clicking on the Duplicate button will duplicate the currently selected control point(s).
20 Delete Button
Clicking on the Delete button will delete the currently selected control point(s).
21 Add Filter
Click this button to add a new blank filter that can then be filled with one of the filters from the Filter list. This makes it possible to stack additional filters on your photo. To add an additional new filter without having to first click this button, hold the Shift key while selecting a filter from the Filter list.
Recipes are a new addition to Color Efex Pro 4 that enable you to quickly apply multiple filters to your photo with a single click. Please note, adding a recipe will replace all of the filters currently applied. To prevent this from happening, hold the Shift key down while adding a recipe.
1 Recipe Library
The Recipe Library is a collection of available filter combinations for Color Efex Pro 4.
2 Recipe Categories
Click on a category to see a visual representation of the effect of the recipe. In addition to the built-in recipes, you can create your own recipes or import recipes from friends or downloaded from the Internet. Recipes that you create by clicking on the Save Recipe button (see 4) will be placed in the Custom category. Recipes that you import will be found in the Imported category.
3 Import Button
Clicking Import will open a file browser and enable you to locate recipe files to be imported. To select multiple recipes, use the Shift key to select a range of recipe files to be imported. All imported recipes will be displayed in the Imported category.
4 Save Recipe Button
Click this button to save the current list of filters to the Custom category within the Recipes section of the left control panel. Due to the image-dependent nature of control points, any control points added to your photo will not be saved within the custom recipe, however all of the filters, slider settings, and base fill settings will be saved. If you wish to save control points in the recipe, hold the Shift key while clicking the Save Recipe button.
The following controls are found in the Custom and Imported categories:
5 Export All
Click on this button to save all of the current recipes to the selected folder. The recipe files can then be backed up or shared. You can import multiple recipes at once by clicking on the Import button and then selecting all of the recipes to be imported.
6 Delete Recipe
Roll over a recipe to display this button. Clicking on this button will remove the recipe from the custom recipe library.
7 Export Recipe
Roll over a recipe to display this button. Clicking on this button will export the recipe to a file that can be backed up and shared.
8 Update Recipe (Only available for Custom Recipes)
Roll over a recipe to display this button. Clicking on this button will update the recipe to match the current filters applied. Control Points will not be saved.
1 Show History Browser
Clicking on this button will open the History Browser enabling access to the available history states. The History State selector is used to select which state in the history to compare the current state to.
2 Previously Applied Enhancements
Once the History Browser is displayed, a list of all applied enhancements will be listed. Clicking on a state will immediately revert the image back to that state. You may then either click on another state to revert the image again, or adjust the image controls. Adjusting the image controls after reverting back to a previous state will permanently erase any subsequent steps.
3 History State Selector
Clicking and dragging the History State selector (available while in the split and side-by-side views) will set the before value for the Compare button, split view, and side-by-side view. Dragging the History State selector to the Original Image state will allow you to compare the current black and white image to the original color image.
4 Last Filtered State
Click on this button to apply the exact adjustment used on your last image processed inside Color Efex Pro 4.
Loupe & Histogram
Clicking on the Loupe section provides a detailed view of the image at 100% that follows the mouse cursor. This enables fine detail review of the image without having to zoom into the image.
Clicking on the Histogram button provides access to a histogram that can be used to review the distribution of brightness values throughout the image.
3 Thumbtack Button
Click on the thumbtack button or right-click on your image to lock the position of the Loupe.
4 Show/Hide Zone System Indicators
Click on the checkbox to show/hide zone system indicators on image and within loupe.
The Help button accesses the electronic help provided with Color Efex Pro 4.
Click on Settings in the Color Efex Pro 4 filter interface to configure default look and functionality, and to determine how Color Efex Pro 4 interacts with your images.
The Brush button is only available when Color Efex Pro 4 is accessed from Adobe Photoshop. Clicking Brush applies the edits as a mask rather than a new layer, providing the ability to selectively brush on or off the sharpening.
The Cancel button discards any settings specified in the current session, closes Color Efex Pro 4, and returns you to your host application without changing the image.
The OK/Save button processes and applies the effects to the active image.