Styles and Presets

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Capture One has a wide range of built-in Styles and Presets that not only allow you to add a visual effect to images but you can also use them to add specific adjustments and metadata to images in your daily workflow. You can also create and apply your own customized Styles and Presets.

An overview of Styles

Capture One ships with a number of built-in high-quality Styles that can be used to optimize your workflow and save time when you need to modify an image or apply a certain effect or look to images. Styles are the combined settings from multiple tools that are applied to images in a single step. Like Presets (the saved settings from individual tools), Styles are the same kind of adjustment settings that are made in Capture One during a typical round of image editing.

While the Built-in Styles may be used own their own to apply an effect, they can used as a starting point for further adjustment, or customized and saved as a User Style. Like all of the adjustments in Capture One, they don’t alter the source image file, they are simply instructions on how to process the image. You can amend or revise those instructions endlessly, it makes no difference to the source image.

User Styles are not limited by the choice of settings or the number of tools used. For example, a User Style may comprise of a combination of color corrections, as well as settings from the curves, clarity and vignetting tools, adjustments such as cropping or keystone correction, and include values added to the IPTC metadata fields. 

Capture One also allows you to stack or combine Styles and you can even save those Stacked Styles as a User Style. You can also add Presets or groups of Presets to User Styles, allowing you to optimize the adjustments for practically every step in your editing workflow (see below for more information on Presets). For example, you could create several User Styles from a number of individual User Presets with unique IPTC data for various clients, switching between them as necessary (according to items such as rights usage terms, contact details and instructions, etc), and apply the appropriate Style on import. After that you could apply another for Style for Exposure, Curves and Color, and finally another User Preset from a collection of sharpness-based Users Presets.

User Styles can also be shared between users - there are number of sources of free and commercial User Styles available. There’s practically no limit to the versatility of Styles and Presets. Styles are accessed from the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector or from the Adjustments menu.

Capture One ships with a number of built-in high-quality Styles that can be used to optimize your workflow and save time when you need to modify an image or apply a certain effect or look to images.

Applying a Style Pro

Capture One Styles do not dynamically alter adjustments based on the image it’s applied to. Each style comprises of a group of fixed settings or values. There is, for example, no automatic adjustment of the Exposure, High Dynamic Range or the Levels tools.

If you want to apply automatic adjustments you should apply those first either at the time of import or from the Adjustments menu >  Auto Adjustments, or by clicking on the A icon in the main tool bar (click and hold the A icon to see what tools are are being adjusted).

It is not necessary to make a color correction (i.e., apply a white-balance) before working on an image using a Style. However, in certain circumstances it may be necessary to make a white-balance adjustment after the Style has been applied.

  1. Select an image in the browser.
  2. Navigate to the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector, or from the Adjustments menu. (Alternatively, select the Style tool icon in the main tool bar. Note the Style tool icon is not added by default. For more information, see Customize the Toolbar.)
  3. Go to the Built-in-Styles folder (or User Styles folder, if you have created any) and scroll over the list.
  4. You can preview the effect of the Style in the Viewer by hovering the cursor over the named Style in the list. The selected Style will be highlighted in the list and, after a short delay, the effect will be previewed on the primary variant or all selected variants and corresponding thumbnails, in the browser.
  5. To apply the Style to the image, click-on the desired Style from the list. A small check-mark will appear in front of the selected Style in the list and the image will be updated in the Viewer. (If you select the wrong Style, click-on it again in the list to remove the check-mark. The image will be updated in the Viewer (without the previously applied Style). Adjustments are automatically saved to the image or images, like any other in Capture One.
  6. When selected, the Style is listed under the Applied folder (click on the disclosure triangle, if not displayed). All Styles applied to the selected image are listed.

Capture One Styles do not dynamically alter adjustments based on the image it’s applied to.

Creating a User Style Pro

When creating a Style (i.e., a User Style) you should consider carefully whether you want to include the White Balance setting; it is generally not recommended as it’s unlikely to give the desired result. It is also usually best to avoid including Exposure and Noise Reduction settings, adding them manually after applying the Style. However, as you can edit the Style before saving it, it is simple to remove that and other unwanted or highly specific settings, such as Color Tags,  Keywords, Crop, Keystone correction and more.

Before starting work on an image it may be helpful to compare the original to the altered photo. To make a copy press F2/F7 Mac/Windows) or select Image > New Variant, and then select both  (Cmd/Ctrl-click (Mac/Windows)).

Once a Style is saved on your computer it can be imported and shared by other users. The Capture One style format .costyle can be copied to other computers and between platforms.

  1. Perform your preferred adjustments to the new image.
  2. Navigate to the Adjustments Inspector and go to the Styles and Presets tool.
  3. From the tool’s title bar, click on the Action menu icon (…) and select Save User Style from the menu. Note the option is also available from the Adjustments menu.
  4. The Save dialog will open. Uncheck the settings that you do not want to include in the Style. If appropriate, you can use this opportunity to remove highly-specific adjustments or metadata, for example white balance, color tags and ratings, and usage terms.
  5. Name and save the Style, using an appropriate and meaningful name.
  6. To verify the new Style (if you have more than image in the Viewer, deselect the Edit Selected Variants option, if enabled), go to Styles and Presets tool and, using the cursor, either hover over or select the Style from the User Styles folder. All of the saved User Styles will be listed there for future use.

When creating a Style (i.e., a User Style) you should consider carefully whether you want to include the White Balance setting; it is generally not recommended as it’s unlikely to give the desired result.

Stacking Styles and Presets

You can apply or stack more than one Style (ie. Built-in Style or User Style) to an image (or group of images). Although stacking can be used to apply a bewildering combination of adjustments, it is perhaps best used with a number of custom User Styles or (User Presets) with fewer adjustment settings dedicated to certain steps in the editing workflow.

For example, you could have a User Style for a certain color-balance, a User Preset with certain IPTC metadata and keywords, and another User Preset for a specific sharpening routine. If you have several choices for each type, you can optimize the combination depending on the image, and even save those stacked-combinations as a new User Style.

Note stacking Styles and Presets is not an additive process. Each Style and Preset is compared and, where they adopt adjustments for the same tools, the last applied Style or Preset overrides the previously applied one. For example, when Style 1 applies a +1 EV exposure adjustment, and Style 2 applies a +1.5 EV exposure adjustment, the adjustment applied will be +1.5 EV.

Capture One allows you to stack Styles and Presets from either the dedicated Styles and Presets tool, or from the Adjustments menu. Note you must enable the Stack Styles option first before attempting to stack them, otherwise the previous one is replaced with the newer one. 

For a clearer overview when stacking, it is recommended that the Style and Presets tool is adopted from the Adjustments Inspector instead of the Adjustments menu.

  1. Navigate to the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector and click on the Action menu icon (…). The Action menu dialog opens.
  2. Select Stack Styles, adding a checkmark in front.
  3. To apply the first Style, follow steps 1 through 6 above, listed under Applying a built-in Style or User Style.
  4. To add an additional Style, repeat steps 4 and 5 above. The image in the Viewer will be updated with the combined result of the applied Styles. (If you select the wrong Style or want to remove a Style, click on the active Style in the list to remove the checkmark. The image will be updated in the Viewer (without the previously applied Style).
  5. All Styles applied to the selected image will be displayed under the Applied folder (click on the disclosure triangle, if not displayed). The last applied in the group is listed first (and will, therefore, override the other adjustments for the same tools, where relevant).
  6. When more than three Styles are applied, scroll through the list to see the additional Styles.

You can apply or stack more than one Style (ie. Built-in Style or User Style) to an image (or group of images).

Copying Styles between images

Styles can be quickly copied between images using the usual copy and apply commands (i.e., from the contextual menu, the adjustments menu, and from the copy icon in the tool bar). In addition to applying Styles, any individual adjustments made to the primary variant are also copied to the selected images.

Note that although a quick global copy and apply can be used without using the Adjustments Clipboard tool, it is useful when copying Styles to verify the adjustments. Where too-specific settings for tools such as exposure, white-balance color, crop and certain metadata are included, you can use the Adjustments Clipboard to deselect them if you don’t want them.

  1. Select an image in the browser with the Style or stacked Styles applied that you want to copy. Note the image can include individual adjustments in addition to Styles.
  2. To copy all the adjustments, go to the Adjustments Clipboard (which may be either blank initially or showing a list of settings if used recently) and press Copy.
  3. From the Adjustments Clipboard deselect any adjustments that aren’t required, particularly specific items such as white-balance, exposure, noise reduction, ratings, tags and keywords if it’s you’re intention to create a general-purpose User Style.
  4. To keep the Styles data separate from other adjustments when copying between images, make sure Include style layers box is checked. The Styles remain visible and editable. If unchecked, the Style layers are flattened making subsequent editing or removal of individual Styles impractical.
  5. Select the images you want to apply the Styles and any individual adjustments to in the Browser, using the Cmd/Ctrl (Mac/Windows) key.
  6. To apply the adjustments from the Adjustments Clipboard, press Apply.
  7. The selected images will have the Styles and any additional adjustments applied to them.
  8. (Optional.) To save the combination as a User Style, from the Adjustments Clipboard click on the Action menu icon (…) in the tool’s title bar. The Action menu opens.
  9. Select Save as a Style. A Save window opens. Give the Style a memorable name and select Save.

Saving adjustments as a Style

Any combination of tool settings that are copied to the Adjustments Clipboard can be saved as a User Style. Every tool that can be used to make an image adjustment in Capture One has a copy button (double-ended arrow icon) for copying the settings to its own individual clipboard, and ultimately the Adjustments Clipboard, located in the Adjustments Inspector. However, while this method is perhaps preferred when creating very specific Styles, you can of course simply copy all of the adjustments applied using the global copy command and then copy them to the Adjustments Clipboard. Both options allow you to exclude certain items from the Clipboard before creating the Style. Ultimately which method you choose will likely depend on personal preference.

  1. Select the image in the browser and perform your adjustment using your chosen tool.
  2. Click on the double-headed arrow icon in the tool’s title bar. The tool’s individual Adjustments Clipboard window opens.
  3. Click on Copy, to save the adjustment to the Adjustments Clipboard (and in-turn the global Adjustments Clipboard).
  4. Repeat steps 1 to 3 for each tool. (Alternatively, you can make adjustments to your image using multiple tools and copy them using any of the global copy commands.)
  5. Navigate to the Adjustments Inspector and go to the Adjustments Clipboard tool. The Adjustments Clipboard will be enabled, displaying a list of the tools.
  6. From the Adjustments Clipboard, select Copy.
  7. Verify the adjustments have been transferred from the tools to the global Adjustments Clipboard. If they haven’t, click on the Action menu (…) in the Adjustments Clipboard tool’s title bar and verify the Autoselect Adjusted option is enabled. If not, choose Select Adjusted from the menu. The adjustments will now be displayed in the list.
  8. Deselect any adjustments that aren’t required.
  9. From the Action menu (…), select Save As Style… A Save window opens. Give the Style a memorable name and select Save.

Any combination of tool settings that are copied to the Adjustments Clipboard can be saved as a User Style.

Removing an applied Style

When you are already working from the Styles list (either in the Style and Presets tool or from the Adjustments menu), you can remove an applied Style by clicking on it to remove the checkmark. If not, it is usually quicker to remove the Style listed in the Applied folder, located at the top of the Styles and Presets tool or menu. Note the Style (i.e., Built-in Style or User Style) is removed from the selected image, it is not deleted and can therefore be re-applied at anytime.

  1. Select the image in the browser with the applied Style you want to remove.
  2. Navigate to the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector, or go to the Adjustments menu or the optional Styles (brush) icon in the main tool bar and choose between the following two options:
    • Select the Style from the Applied folder, left- or right-click and choose Remove.
    • Scroll through the list of Styles and click on the active Style in the list to remove the checkmark. (Click on Remove, when working on the list in the Style and Presets tool, as illustrated.)
  3. The image will be updated in the Viewer (without the previously applied Style).

When you are already working from the styles list (either in the Style and Presets tool or from the Adjustments menu), you can remove an applied style by clicking on it to remove the checkmark icon.

Importing Styles

Capture One allows you to import Styles (i.e., User Styles) that you’ve either created on another computer or that you’ve acquired from another source. Besides being able to choose from the growing number of Capture One Styles available to download for free and for purchase on the internet, this option is particularly useful when you want the same Style available on one or more of your computers, and saves time copying the settings between them. Styles are cross-platform compatible and so can be shared between Mac and Windows machines.

Capture One supports the import of single Styles (with a .costyle extension) and multiple Styles arranged in folders as part of a Style Pack (with a .costylepack extension). Note, if Styles are delivered as a Zip file, the package will have to be opened (i.e., unzipped) first before importing.

  1. Go to the Styles & Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector and click on the Action menu icon (…). The Action menu opens.  Select Import Styles.  Alternatively, go the Adjustments menu > Styles > Import.    
  2. The system Downloads Folder in the Finder/Windows Explorer opens.
  3. Navigate to a single Style, or Style Pack and press Open.
  4. The Style or Styles (where appropriate) are imported into the User Styles Folder, available from the Styles and Presets tool in either the Adjustments Inspector or the Adjustments menu.

Capture One allows you to import Styles (i.e., User Styles) that you’ve either created on another computer or that you’ve acquired from another source.

Importing a Styles Pack

Capture One also supports the importing of Styles Packs. These files are a compressed Zip-type package with a ".costylepack" file extension, consisting of multiple Styles (and their sidecar files, where specified). They greatly simplify the importing and organizing of Styles within the application. Where multiple Styles have been arranged in folders and sub-folders, the entire directory structure is maintained in the Styles and Presets tool, or from the Adjustments menu, allowing presets to be grouped by type (e.g. Color, B&W, Grain, Film Speed, etc).

Styles Packs can be purchased from Phase One at the online store, as well as through official Phase One Ambassadors.

Note, if the Styles Pack is delivered as a Zip file it will have to be opened (i.e., unzipped) first before being imported. Importing Presets from a Styles Pack is not supported. Presets are stored in separate sub-folders in the application, therefore if there are any Presets included in a Style Pack they may not be imported correctly.

  1. A Styles Pack can also be imported using any one of the following methods:
    • Go to the Style and Presets tool and click on the context menu (...), select Import Styles, navigate to the Style Pack and select Open.
    • Drag and drop the Styles Pack file on the Viewer.
    • Double-click on the Styles Pack in the Finder/Explorer (Mac/Windows).
    • Drag and drop the Styles Pack file on the Capture One icon in the dock (Mac only).
  2. The Styles are imported into the User Style Folder available from the Styles and Presets tool from either the Adjustments Inspector or from the Adjustments menu.

Capture One also supports Style Packs. These are a compressed Zip-type file with a ".costylepack" file extension consisting of muliple Styles (and their sidecar files, where specified).

Deleting a Style

When you want to delete a User Style that you’ve created or acquired from another source, Capture One will delete it from the application. Note you can only delete a single Style at a time using this method. Warning! The Style is moved to the System Trash. If you’ve purchased a Style and want to use it in the future, please make sure you either recover it from the Trash before emptying, or that you have another copy that you can access. Note you cannot delete a Built-in Style.

  1. Select an image in the Viewer and then select from either:
    • Adjustments menu > Styles > Styles Library > User Presets > Delete User Style > [Name of Style to delete]. Then continue from Step 4.
    • Go to the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector and head to User Styles folder. (If there aren’t any displayed you may have to click on the disclosure arrow).
  2. Select the User Style that you want to delete in the list, and right-click on it. A menu with two items (Remove/Delete) will open. Note, as confirmation that you have selected the correct Style, the Viewer will be previewed with the Style initially and then after a pause it will be removed.
  3. Press Delete. A confirmation dialog box will open.
  4. Press OK to delete the file. Warning! The Style is moved to the System Trash, pending permanent deletion.

When you want to delete a User Style that you’ve created or acquired from another source, Capture One will delete it from the application.

An overview of Presets

Practically every adjustment tool in the Tool Inspectors has the option to save adjustment settings as a User Preset, and most adjustment tools have a number of Built-in Presets. Each tool has a Manage Preset menu (i.e., three-bar icon) where you can access and apply the corresponding tool’s Presets directly.

The Built-in Presets may be useful in their own right or the can be used as an initial setting or starting point for that particular tool, prior to further adjustment. In addition to selecting and applying the Preset to the corresponding tool, individual tool Presets can also be stacked.  Although there’s no real restriction, in practice this option is likely to be relevant to a small number of tools.

For example, you’re unlikely to want to stack a number of sharpening settings, however, you may well have a need to apply different combinations of keywords, and IPTC Photo Metadata properties, such the Caption/Description writer, Creator’s Contact details, Licensor and Instructions.

Both Built-in Presets and customized User Presets can also be accessed from the Presets Library in the Adjustments menu > Styles > Built-in Preset) or from the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector. This option is provided so that you can see every Style and Preset available to you and you can apply each one from there. You can stack Presets by tool, and stack Presets with Styles. Such is the flexibility, you can even create a User Style from a group of Presets or with a mix of Presets and other Styles.

Creating a User Preset

Most adjustment tools in Capture One have a Manage Preset menu where you can save the settings as a User Preset. When using tools where repetitive settings with fixed values are common, such as when sharpening or adding keywords or IPTC metadata, it makes sense to create a number of Presets for each tool.

  1. Select an image to work on in the Viewer.
  2. Select the tool you want to make a preset for from the Inspector and make the necessary adjustments.
  3. Click on the Manage Preset menu (i.e., three horizontal-bar icon) in the title bar at the top of the tool.
  4. Select Save User Preset... from the drop-down menu. A Save Preset dialog box will open, listing the individual settings. Note in some cases there are a large number of individual settings applied. Either confirm the choices or disable those that aren’t required by removing the checkmarks.
  5. A Save dialog box will open. Add an appropriate name and save the Preset.

Most adjustment tools in Capture One have a Manage Preset menu where you can save the settings as a User Preset.

Applying a Preset

Practically every tool that can be used to make image adjustments has a range of Built-in Presets. You can use these as suggestions or use them as a starting point for further adjustment. Any customization of these Presets can themselves be saved as as User Preset, saving you the trouble of repeating the adjustments in future. All User Presets created specifically with the tool will be displayed in the tool’s menu (and the Presets Library) and are applied in the same way as the Built-in Presets. You can usually preview the effect on an image in the viewer before applying a Preset.

  1. Select an image to work on in the Viewer and choose between: 
    • Select the relevant tool from the Inspector, and click on the Manage Preset menu (i.e., three-bar icon) in the title bar at the top of a tool. A Manage and Apply menu will open and any Built-in or User Styles applicable to the selected tool will be displayed.
    • Go to the Adjustments menu > Styles > Styles Library > User Presets/Built-in Presets.
    • Go to the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector and head to User Presets/Built-in Presets folder as appropriate. (If there aren’t any displayed you may have to click on the disclosure arrow).
  2. To see the effect on the image in the Viewer, hover the cursor over the Preset in the list. Note in some cases it may not be possible to observe the effect or application of the settings without referring to the tool itself.
  3. To apply the effect to the image, click on the Preset in the list. The image in the Viewer will be updated, if different to the previewed Preset. If you make a mistake, reselect the Preset from the list and click on it a second time. The image will be updated with the Preset removed.

Practically every tool that can be used to make image adjustments has a range of Built-in Presets.

Removing an applied Preset

Removing a Preset removes the Preset’s settings from the image that it has been applied to and therefore it can be reapplied at anytime. This action is applicable to both types of Preset - User Presets and Built-in Presets. The Preset can be removed from the Tool it was created in or from the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector or the Adjustments menu.

  1. Go to the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector and select the Preset to remove from the list in the User Presets or Built-Presets folders, Ctrl-click/right-click (Mac/Windows) to open a two-option menu (Remove/Delete) and select Remove. The Preset can also be removed from the Adjustments menu. Select the Preset in the list and click on it to remove the checkmark.
  2. Alternatively, navigate to the tool where the User Preset was created.
  3. Click on the Manage Preset icon (three horizontal bars) in the title bar at the top of the relevant tool. The Manage and Apply menu opens.
  4. Go the Applied [Tool Name] Folder, listing the applied Presets for that tool. 
  5. Select the Preset from the list and click on Remove from the single-option menu. 
  6. The Preset is removed and the image is updated in the Viewer. 

Removing a Preset removes the Preset’s settings from the image that it has been applied to. This action is applicable to both User Preset and Built-in Presets.

Deleting a User Preset

User Presets can be deleted either from the tool they were created in or from the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector. Warning! Presets are moved to the System Trash, pending permanent deletion.

Note in some cases when navigating away from a Session Folders to images in the System Folders and then creating a User Preset, the Delete User Preset option may be unavailable, and displayed grayed out. Should that occur, navigate back to the Session Folders, click on a Session image and then follow the steps listed below.

  1. Go to the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector and select the User Preset to delete from User Preset folder, Ctrl-click/right-click (Mac/Windows) to open a two-option menu (Remove/Delete) and select Delete.
  2. Alternatively, navigate to the tool where the User Preset was created.
  3. Click on the Manage Preset icon (three horizontal bars) in the title bar at the top of the relevant tool. The Manage and Apply menu opens.
  4. Select Delete User Preset...
  5. A fly-out menu will open, listing the User Presets for that tool. 
  6. Select the User Preset to delete. A warning dialog box will open, asking you to confirm the choice.
  7. Press Delete to remove the Preset permanently. Warning! The User Preset is moved to the system trash, pending deletion.

User Presets can be deleted either from the tool they were created in or from the Styles and Presets tool in the Adjustments Inspector.

Saving Presets as a Style

Multiple Presets from individual tools can be saved as a User Style.

  1. Select an image with all the intended adjustments applied from your chosen Presets and then choose between:
    • Go to the Adjustments menu > Styles > Manage > Save User Style…
    • From the Adjustments Inspector, go to the Styles and Presets tool, click-on the Action menu (…) icon in the tool’s title bar and select Save User Style…
  2. A Save Style Dialog box opens, showing a list of all of the settings selected by tool for the chosen image.
  3. Select Save. A Save Style dialog opens.
  4. Choose an appropriate name for the Style and select Save.

Like most workflows in Capture One there are several methods to save Presets from individual tools as as Style. Arguably the method described below is the simplest.