Gone are the days of clunky, ugly user interfaces with little or no option for customization. It wasn’t that long ago that what you saw was what you got. Customization was not possible. That was true for websites, operating systems, phones, pretty much everything. It was a bad time. Thankfully, we now live in a more enlightened world in which companies are able to offer us the customization we so desire. Capture One is one of those companies which offers its users a plethora of options.

Capture One Workspaces

Alright, I’m being pretty silly here, it’s that time of day. It wasn’t that bad when we were locked into one pre-determined UI (user interface). However, as with many things, ignorance is bliss. Be that as it may, the degree of customization which Capture One Pro offers is pretty amazing.

customizing workspaces in capture one pro


We’ll start from the top, literally, and work our way down.

You can find the workspace menu at the top of your Capture One window. Go to Window > Workspace and you’ll be presented with all the default workspaces Capture One provides. If you save your own workspace you’ll also find it contained here.

To save your own Workspace, head back to Window > Workspace and then at the top of that menu you’ll see “Save Workspace”. There are lots of possible options for tinkering with Capture One so it’s nice to be able to save your adjustments for future use. You could have one Workspace for:

  • tethered capture
  • client viewing
  • editing
  • culling
  • whatever your endless imagination can conjure

the main tool bar in capture one pro

Customizing Capture One’s Top Tool Bar

The top tool bar of Capture One is where, surprisingly, all your tools are contained; viewing tools, processing tools, exposure warning, focus display, grids, you name it, it’s there. If you right click anywhere along that top bar, you’ll be able to click customize. Having done so, a window like the one below will appear.

the drag and drop tools in capture one pro

As is common with so many things these days, it’s a drag and drop affair. You can:

  • move new tools onto the bar
  • drag unwanted tools off
  • adjust the order of all the tools on the top bar by dragging them around


Why would you want to do this? Good question. There’s certainly nothing wrong with how the Default workspace is arranged but having the ability to put your favorite tools that little bit closer to where you’re usually hovering will save valuable seconds. It’s also nice to be able to completely customize your working environment. Tenuous, undoubtedly, but nonetheless useful.

Adjusting Tab Width And Preview Size

Moving down just a little bit more, we’re able to adjust the width of our main panels and change the preview size of captured images. Depending on whether you have your browser placed right or below (use the keyboard shortcut CTRL / CMD + SHIFT + B), hover your mouse over the boundary line of the panel and it’ll change into that funny double arrow symbol.

how to change the preview size in capture one pro

There are two ways to adjust the preview size. When in grid view (CTRL + ALT + V / CMD + OPTION + V) you’ll find a slider just next to the search bar. When you’ve got the main viewer up and the browser is either placed right or below the preview size slider is hidden. Click on the little man next to the search icon and the same slider will appear.

Floating Tools & Making Your Own Tool Tab

My apologies that last tip was kinda boring but this one is far cooler. Capture One has a range of pre-defined tool tabs like Details, Local Adjustments, Exposure and so on.

Within each of those, if you’re in the Default Workspace, will be certain tools. Exposure, for instance, has things like Curves, Levels, High Dynamic Range, Clarity and so on, but, it doesn’t have to. If your heart desires, you can add or remove any tool which is available throughout Capture One.

how to remove a tool in capture one pro

To add a new tool all you have to do is right click on either the Tool tab icon at the top or an any empty space within the tab you’re currently working on. From there, you’ll be presented with a colossal list of possible tools to add.

This feature is absolutely fantastic. I never realized how much I hated traveling from one window to another, clearly I’m somewhat lazy, but the speed increase this provides is great.

Also, if you find yourself in a new studio and you want to customize a Tool Tab without ruining what they already have (you’re one of those really considerate photographers) then you can even create your own custom tab separate from all the rest and save it for future use.

adding your own custom tool tab in capture one pro

If you click on the Tool tab bar at the top of the adjustment panels, you’ll see a menu like the one above. From here, you can add your own custom tool tab, name it, and choose from a few symbols. You then have your very own, empty, tool tab which you can populate however you choose.


To give you a practical example, as a still life photographer I regularly freelance for a few studios doing e-commerce photography. I always add a custom tool tab with the following; Color editor, High Dynamic Range, Curves and Levels. With that created I almost never have to navigate away from that one tab. Most other activities I need to accomplish can be done using keyboard shortcuts which brings me neatly onto the last section.

Another quick tip for customizing adjustment panels is the ability to float a panel. Simply click at the top of a panel and drag it anywhere you like on screen. Nice!

the number of adjustment panels available in Caputre one pro

Customize Capture One With Keyboard Shortcuts

If you’re a shortcut junkie like me then you’ll love this section. There’s not much to explain so I’ll just list the shortcuts for you.

Hide Browser: Cmd + B / Ctrl + B
Hide Tools: Cmd + T / Ctrl + T
Hide Viewer: Alt + Cmd + V / Ctrl + Alt + V
Enter Fullscreen: CMD + SHIFT + > / f11

Using those you can go through a number of quick adjustments in milliseconds. It can be really useful if you need to focus in on one image for example and have the whole crew crowd around. Hide the browser and Tools to instantly get a much cleaner and larger view.

Final Thoughts

Ignorance is bliss but now you know all these customization options exist, you’ll find it hard working in any program that does not offer them. If you want to learn more about Capture One be sure to take a look at all these useful articles. If you’re in the mood to learn a little more about actual photography, head over to the SLR Lounge store and have a look at everything on offer, there’s some great stuff!