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PhotoLine is an image processing utility, image browser, layout program, vector editor, batchconverter and Web editor with a multitude of powerful functions.

PhotoLine is available as 32 or 64 bit application. Imaging functions supported are Lab, CMYK, 16 bit channels, ICC profiles and raw data profiles for digital cameras. PhotoLine offers all the tools you need: Painting, cloning, filtering, blending and flood fill, special effects like squirl, shadow, glowing, distorb, morphing, 3d projection. Also supports, working layers, clipping layers, dynamic layer effects. EXIF digital camera data and IPTC data are also more...

What's New

Version 18.02: Release notes were unavailable when this listing was updated.


OS X 10.6 or later

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Pieteropie Member IconComment+97

I am getting too old for steep learning curves. I hate reading manuals! I use a whole slew of programs and apps to achieve what I want. It's the cheater's way.....

This app seems to complicated and scary for dweebs like me and therefore the money would be wasted even though it is not that expensive for a good product.

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Version 18.02
Adrenochrom Member IconReview+5

After getting frustrated with Adobe Photoshop i switched to PhotoLine some years ago.
Yes the GUI is ugly but it is getting better with every single Update.
Yes, when you are comming from Photoshop you will have a big learning curve but hey, it is worth to deal with !
And yes, i also like GIMP, but PhotoLine has a lot of features you will wait another 4-5 Years till they get something similar.

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Version 17.55
Volstag Member IconReview+12

I've used photoline for far too long. Well, enough. Here's the facts on this thing, from someone who has used it since 2005, and has had to deal with the programmer more times that he ever cared to.

The only thing that makes this better than GIMP is the CMYK support. Photoline is great for quickly cropping JPEGs, which of course can be done in just about anything. There are better things out there for editing JPEGs, and preparing things in CMYK. Likewise, there are far superior DTP apps available, as well as vector editors.

If you shoot in RAW, don't get Photoline at all. It can't handle it. And Gerhard Huber, the programmer, won't admit there's a problem. In fact, he admits to having not tested it fully. My testing shows it will work ok with Olympus and Hasselblad, but forget about Sony, Canon, Nikon, and Minolta. Huber seems to think you can use adjustment layers to fix his incorrectly interpolated RAW files, he told me this directly.

Which brings us to the filters. Horrible. I've never gotten a usable result from almost all of the filters, even the basic color adjustment stuff, like Hue and Saturation. In contrast to just screwing around in Photoshop for a few seconds, where I can accidentally do almost anything and it looks good. Photoline, on the other hand, never looks good if you start changing things.

There are so many random bugs in Photoline, and always have been. They never get fixed, unless someone complains, and provides highly detailed proof that there is, in fact, a bug. Gerhard Huber's first response to a bug report is always, "You are incorrect. We don't have a problem here." I'm now convinced they actually don't use their software, or have anything more than a basic understanding of programming or the subject they are writing the program for, i.e., image editing.

The special effects are even worse than the basic filters. Distort image with image (similar to Photoshop's Displace filter) simply doesn't work. Aside from crashing the app when making adjustments, the results of the effect are beyond useless. It's unpredictable (though repeatable if all parameters are the same), and literally distorts whatever image you use as if a black hole were ripping it apart. And that's on moderate settings. Other effects are just plain silly, and sometimes blindingly bright and bizarre.

Photoline has long tried to combine image editing, layout, and vector design. It's a great notion, until you realize these people know very little about any of these things, let alone how to write an application to perform these tasks.

Vector editing is a nightmare. The ends of curved lines are not straight, so you have to tweak each one if you're doing an arc. And it's far from precise or perfect. Objects routinely protrude beyond the frame which contains them, making alignment imprecise, and sometimes impossible. The whole thing can quickly go wonky.

DTP--I wouldn't try to publish a newsletter with it, but it's good enough for flyers and business cards (though it will likely take a whole day to do anything that is more than rudimentary).

In the end, the biggest problem comes from the lack of support. This app is quite old, and it still functions like it fell off the idea truck three days ago. Given recent communication with the Huber fellow, I'd have to say he doesn't care, and doesn't have the understanding of how it all works anyway. He said to me, "You are right, that the images open different to the preview images (which are embedded into the raw files in JPEG format). That's quite normal. To open Raw images is not so easy as opening JPEG images. PhotoLine creates an adjustment layer when ever you open a raw file. Here you can make your settings to make the images look like you want." He told me this, in connection to the RAW import bug. I had sent him files saved in JPEG that I had imported with Mac Preview (which produced the same image as Photoshop's Camera RAW), along with the same file imported into Photoline (the difference is dramatic). The man is an idiot, who consistently blames others for the failings of his software. How anyone could mistake the files I sent for embedded previews is clear indication of the problem. But he had initially blamed me for the problem, saying, "This sounds like you have disabled demosaicing. That's not possible on the normal release version."

Well, if it's not possible, then it's a bug in the program.

Reply1 reply
Version 17.10

I read your review and an inevitable question emerged:
Why in hell did you use this since 2005? :-)

Prlab Member IconComment+166

Seems like an alternative to Canvas, which I can't use on Lion.

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Version 17.10
M-Rick Member IconReview+152

If there was something to have to be changed in this software it is the GUI, everything else is very good. A real alternative for a professional work.

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Version 17.10
Robert Kroon Member IconReview-1
Robert Kroon

Very good image application. I use this together with the colorperfect plugin and the neat-image plugin. It gives me a very good workflow scanning color negatives (16-bits per channel) and converting them to beautiful color images. PhotoLine easily beats Photoshop CS3 for my work. PhotoLine is rock solid and can handle 16-bits per channel images.

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Version 16.54
Jack75 Member IconReview+33

One more half star for an improved GUI.

Reply0 replies
Version 16.53
Uniquepito Member IconComment+39

Show me any feature which Photoline has and Gimp doesn't! Wake up ppl! It's not worth the money if you try the Gimp.

Reply1 reply
Version 16.51

Hmm... CMYK color mode support?

Rpp Member IconReview+22

This is a very good image processing application. Pretty much the only real and fully featured alternative to Photoshop CS5 at fraction of it's price. I researched a lot of applications to find a lighter and cheaper replacement for Photoshop and this one actually is the only one which f.e. has full support for 16-bit Lab. It can be clunky, has some bugs, but it's stable and not a cute barely useful toy like most of others. It works!

Reply2 replies
Version 16.11

How does Photoline compare with GIMP? (For which some excellent third party books are available- for those of us who read manuals )


one of the advantages of Photoline is the GUI (yes, the icons are ugly), which has dockable elements.

Than there is the color support, that is aimed more at advanced users, semi- and professionals: 16-bit RGB, HLS, LAB and CMYK modes.

Oen thing has needed to be mentioned: Photoline is not newbie friendly. So you need previous image editor knowgledge, reading the Help menu and trying to use the tools and what they can do.

For standard home users, I would recommend something simpler, like Seashore, if you need advanced functions, than Gimp or (if you have money) Pixelmator.

Leonledragon Member IconReview+44

At this price Photoshop element is a bargain...
Also, updates come too often with supplement...

Reply3 replies
Version 15.54

Not sure why you said that PS Elements is better as it retails for $100 and has less features. PhotoLine isn't as user friendly as Elements, but is much more powerful when you take the time to learn it. I'm also curious as to why more frequent, but reasonable updates (about every 2 months) are a bad thing? Major updates occur about once a year and the upgrade price is only about $40-50.

If you're looking for an easy to use program for touching up photos, then something like Picassa is a better choice. If you're looking for a powerful photo and graphics editor without dropping $600 on Photoshop, I'd highly recommend Photoline.


The reason it is a bargain : for the price you have : Bridge (100$ value)...


Yes, Photoshop Elements retails for $100, but, if you paid that, you're not very bright. You can buy it on Amazon for as little as $70.58 (from one of Amazon's partners) or directly from Amazon for $79.99 with a $20 rebate, making it $59.99 net.

One advantage of Photoshop Elements is that it can use some (not all) Photoshop plug-ins. Can PhotoLine do that?

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Version 17.55
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Version 17.02
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Version 16.54
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Version 16.54
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Version 16.54
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Version 16.52
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Version 16.51
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Version 16.11
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Current Version (18.x)


Downloads 37,318
Version Downloads 346
License Demo
Date 27 Feb 2014
Platform Intel 64 / OS X / Intel 32
Price $80.00
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