Manage, develop and edit photos with Darktable

At Darktable you will find all functions exclusively in the program window – the menu bar is almost empty. But you get used to this peculiarity very quickly. Similar to the personas of Affinity apps or the tabs in Lightroom, the application is divided into the three areas “light table” (5), “dark room” and “other”, between which you switch in the top right of the window. The structure is explained by the two overview pictures “The light table by Darktable” and “Darktable’s digital darkroom”. Behind “others” is a drop-down menu, which you use to switch to the “Slideshow”, “Print”, “Map” and “Tethering” (remote control of cameras) views.

First you should take a look at the settings and adjust them if necessary before you start with Darktable. You can reach this via the gear button directly under the word “light table” (7). On the “GUI Options” tab, you can set the language of Darktable if Darktable is not presented in German.

  • Darktable also manages large photo collections that are spread across multiple disks.
  • The program offers extensive tools for developing RAW images and can easily compete with Lightroom & Co. in many places.
  • Many of the non-destructive editing functions can also be selectively applied to image areas using masks.
  • Some details in operation are something that takes some getting used to, especially for Mac users.
  • The open source project has been continuously improved and developed for years.

The darktable window is basically divided into a main part and four bars at the edges. You can show and hide these bars by double-clicking the arrow at the respective window edge. With the tab key you can hide all strips at once or make them visible again – this is useful if you are working on a small screen. Most of the features of Darktable can be found in the left and right sidebars. They are divided into modules that you can expand and collapse by clicking on their names.

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