The Queue

1 Introduction

Saving images from RawTherapee can be done in several ways, the two most common of which are either saving the image immediately Save.png from the Editor tab, or adding it to the batch processing queue Gears.png which resides in the Queue tab.

Using the "Save immediately" feature will put your CPU immediately to work, and as a result, opening and tweaking other images in the Editor will be somewhat slow while the image is being saved. The queue mechanism allows you to put edited images which are ready to be saved to a virtual queue which you can start processing at a later time. Adding them to the queue is instant, so you can continue editing other images and making the most of your CPU for editing. Once you are done editing and putting images to the queue, you can flip the large "On" switch and go off to brew yourself a coffee while RawTherapee grinds away at all the images in the queue.

The queue is persistent - you can exit RawTherapee and restart it later; the queued images will still be there. The queue can even survive a crash.

2 Adding Images to the Queue

There are several ways of adding an image to the queue:

  1. When you are done tweaking an image in the Editor, click the "Put current image to processing queue" button Gears.png.
  2. Also in the Editor tab, click the "Save current image" button Save.png and select "Put to the head/tail of the processing queue".
  3. Right-click on a thumbnail in the File Browser or the Filmstrip and select "Put to queue".

Regardless which method you use, when you go to the Queue tab you will see your photos lined up, ready for processing (if you had the queue set to "Auto-start", it may have finished processing before you viewed it).

3 Queue Settings

The "Save current image" window. Notice the "Force saving options" checkbox, which is disabled in the screenshot because neither of the "Put to the head/tail of the processing queue" options are enabled.

The Queue has several settings, such as the output file format and destination. These settings take effect in all cases except when you use the "Save current image" button Save.png, select "Put to the head/tail of the processing queue" and enable the "Force saving options" checkbox. In this case, the settings seen in the "Save" window will be used, and the ones from the Queue tab ignored. In all other cases, the settings from the Queue tab will be used.

The settings speak for themselves. Two things worth pointing out:

  1. "Save processing parameters with image" will save a sidecar file alongside the output file, with the same filename as the output image but with a ".pp3" extension. This is useful when you want to save multiple copies of the same photo, each one tweaked a bit differently.
  2. The destination folder can be set by selecting "Save to folder", but if you need to dynamically customize the destination folder and filename then select "Use template" instead. Hover your mouse over the Use template input box and a tooltip with an explanation will pop up:
Specify the output location based on the source photo's location, rank, trash status or position in the queue.

Using the following pathname as an example:
the meaning of the formatting strings follows:
%d4 = home
%d3 = tom
%d2 = photos
%d1 = 2010-10-31
%f = photo1
%p1 = /home/tom/photos/2010-10-31/
%p2 = /home/tom/photos/
%p3 = /home/tom/
%p4 = /home/

%r will be replaced by the photo's rank. If the photo is unranked, '0' is used. If the photo is in the trash, 'x' is used.

%s1, ..., %s9 will be replaced by the photo's initial position in the queue at the time the queue is started. The number specifies the padding, e.g. %s3 results in '001'.

If you want to save the output image alongside the source image, write:

If you want to save the output image in a folder named 'converted' located in the source photo's folder, write:

If you want to save the output image in
'/home/tom/photos/converted/2010-10-31', write:

4 Running the Queue

In the top-left corner of the Queue tab you will find an "On/Off" switch, and an "Auto-start" checkbox.

  1. If "Auto-start" is enabled, processing will start as soon as an image is sent to the queue. Usually you will not want this, as this will use your CPU for processing the photos in the queue leaving very little CPU time for allowing RawTherapee to be responsive while you tweak other photos.
  2. If "Auto-start" is not checked, you will have to activate the queue manually by hitting the "On/Off" switch.

You can pause the queue by hitting the "On/Off" switch - RawTherapee will first finish processing the current photo.

5 Clearing the Queue

You can remove a specific image from the queue by clicking the small "Cancel job" Cancel-small.png button in the corner of each thumbnail.

You can clear the whole queue right-clicking on a thumbnail and clicking "Select all" and "Cancel job", or by using the ^ Ctrl + a keyboard shortcut to select all thumbnails and then hitting the Delete key on the keyboard.