How to Export Images in Darktable

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How to Export Images in Darktable

Darktable is a great tool to work with RAW image files. Unlike Lightroom which is only available for Windows and macOS, Darktable is a cross-platform tool, available for Windows, macOS and Linux. The use of Darktable is pretty similar to Lightroom. You can use it as a photo management tool as well as RAW processing tool whereby you can make photo adjustments and basic editing.

One of the basic things you need to learn if you are new to Darktable is how to export the RAW files you are editing to other formats such as JPG.

Darktable itself is a non-destructive image editing tool. Which means, all the changes you made won’t really be applied until you export your images. Darktable uses a .xmpfile to store the edit information. In Darktable, you can export multiple images at once.

To export images in Darktable, you need to be on the lighttable mode.

Then, select an image you want to export. If you want to export multiple images at once, you can press and hold the CTRL button on your keyboard while selecting the images you want to export with your mouse. Once you have selected the images, you can then click the “export selected” menu on the right panel.

As you can see, there are several parameters you need to set before starting to export. First, you need to set the export destination on the “target storage” section. Darktable allows you to directly upload the exported images to Google Photos and Flickr. If you want to store the exported images to your computer hard drive you can select the “file on disk” option.

Another important parameter you need to set is file format. Darktable provides several options of file format. In addition to JPG, you can also select other formats like PDF, PNG, TIFF and WebP. You can also specify the quality of the images you want to export.

Once you done setting the parameters, you can then click the “export” button on the bottom of the panel.

Done, you can now use your images.


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  1. Thanks but no thanks. Darktable needs to get off their f*cking worthless asses and make it easy for ANYONE to export images. Seriously, don’t force your users to Google “how do I export an image from Darktable.” Just make it obvious how to do it, is that so f*cking hard you m*rons????

    • It’s free software. Made for people to enjoy the functionality of lightroom without paying adobe. If you like, you can learn all the programming languages and compile image processing libraries in your own software. How about you actually get a perspective on how you sound, swearing and belittling people that make this stuff available for your “worthless ass” to use for free and bitch about online.
      Exporting is fairly simple, too. I was hoping this article would discuss some size presets, though.

  2. Agree 100% And then I want to know: how do I write the FILENAME… and WHERE? darktable may be good at some things, but it is hopeless at COMMUNICATION and has never heard of SIMPLICITY. And while we’re on the subject what the hell is BASH and all that meaningless junk that pops up if I hover over the save/export box?

  3. And, I sure didn’t mind paying for Adobe Lightroom… until they started criminally charging an annual license fee. What this society’s corporations r allowed to do is exploit and take our dough and our data (same as dough).

  4. I mean… by exploiting and taking our $$/data while w out our permission n w none of the proceeds coming back to us or to help society is shameless and greedy.

  5. I agree w the first comment full of cussing
    The export function is a critical component of photo editing and should be right out there in the open. How many others had to google this important feature? I’ve read that this program was built by photoguing engineers but honestly, the program is not user friendly and maybe, some foss programmers just don’t have the vision necessary to build a user friendly UI, e.g. Darktable.

  6. The user interface of Darktable does present a big learning curve for beginners (which is why I ended up at this page as well). However, I suspect that once you know your way round, it just gets out of the way and enables you to have a high level of productivity.
    In addition, as it is FOSS, you can get involved if you have a strong opinion and discuss ways to improve it.
    Alternatively, if you don’t like it, use something else.
    Personally, I am grateful to the developers of Darktable for putting in their time and effort to make this package available.


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