I'm using Darktable to edit photos. There is one option, which I'm still looking for, but it seems to be unavailable or hidden somewhere. How to (after making some changes) preview a source image in order to compare before & after versions?

It's possible to turn on and turn off one separate function (small power off button next to an option), but how to switch between before/after without clicking each of them separately?

3 Answers 3


Have a look at snapshots, top left in the darkroom mode. For details, have a look at https://www.darktable.org/usermanual/en/module-reference/utility-modules/darkroom/snapshots/

  • 1
    Does it mean that I should make a snapshot every time at the very beginning (before all the changes are made)?
    – kurp
    Jun 22, 2013 at 18:05
  • 2
    Not necessarily. At any time, you can go back in the history stack and take a snapshot of the older version. But be careful to go back to the top of the history stack again. Otherwise, if you cange something, it is applied to this older version, and you lose all later changes. Jun 23, 2013 at 14:41
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    I'm not sure that's what the OP's asking (at least that's not the question I ask myself). In every picture editing software I know, there is a really quick access to the original to being able to compare (eg. in shotwell it is the space key, since it is highly used!) Sep 8, 2016 at 13:57
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    The link is broken, is darktable.org/usermanual/en/snapshots.html a match?
    – stacker
    Sep 13, 2018 at 20:30

You can click on one step of the history stack on the right hand side to view the image "as it is at that step". Click back to the top to view the latest version. Warning: while you are viewing one step of the history stack, any attempt to edit the picture will discard the top of your stack.

You can go to the step you want in history, make a snapshot, come back to the top of history, and compare with the snapshot.


darktable 3.0 has a new "culling mode". It displays a fixed number of consecutive images starting from the first selected, and allows you to pan & zoom them. You can zoom up to 100%, hence compare precisely the sharpness of several images. Activate it from the menu at the bottom of the lighttable, or press x with the relevant pictures selected.

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