module header

At the top of each processing module is the module header.

module header

Click on the module name to expand the module and display the parameters that control its operation.

By default darktable will only allow one processing module to be expanded at a time – if you click the header of another module, the previously-opened module’s controls are collapsed. If you want expand more than one module, you may expand further modules by Shift+clicking on the header and all previously expanded modules will remain open. This behaviour can be reversed via a setting in preferences > darkroom.


Note: Expanding a module does not cause it to be activated. See below for how to activate modules.


The module header contains the following controls in order from left to right:

on/off button
Click to toggle the module on or off. Some modules are essential for image processing and cannot be disabled (though their parameters may be amended). Similarly, some modules are not applicable for certain types of image and cannot be enabled.

Ctrl+click on the on/off button to toggle whether the module has focus. The focus state is usually used to activate any overlays that a module places over the image to control its functionality. For example, the crop & rotate module only shows the composition and crop guide lines on the image if it has focus.

module name
The module name consists of a description of the module’s operation (which cannot be changed) followed by the module’s instance name (which can). By default the first instance of a module has an empty instance name. If you create additional instances, the name of each new instance is initiated with unique integer. For example, the second created instance of an exposure module will be automatically named exposure 1.

Ctrl+click on a module’s name to manually amend its instance name.

multiple instance menu
This drop-down menu allows you to create, delete, move and rename module instances. Middle-click on this icon to directly create a new instance of the module. See the multiple instances section for more information.
reset parameters
Click to reset all parameters within the module to their default values. Ctrl+click to reapply any automatic presets for the module – if no automatic presets are applicable for this module, Ctrl+click will simply reset to default values (same as click).
presets menu
This menu allows you to apply, create and edit module presets. See the presets section for more information.

The visibility of the three icons to the right of the module name can be controlled through preferences > darkroom > show right-side buttons in darkroom module headers.