Is there a good way to export a photo from darktable to Nik Collection?

I am just starting to re-use DarkTable, v3.0, on MacBook Pro running Catalina. Is there a recommended way to send a photo that I am editing in DarkTable, to Nik Collection, and have it returned to DarkTable after those changes are made?

Plan “B” is to just export the images, and do this manually, but that seems rather crude.

I’m a novice at DarkTable - just got it going again, after a frustrating day trying to set things up properly. I’ve edited my first collection of 10 images, and want to enhance them with Nik, after which they would be returned to DarkTable. (I know I can import them into Lightroom, and do all this, but I’m trying to see if I can move from Lightroom to DarkTable.)

I signed up, ‘michaeljmyers’ and verified the account. Where would I find the Darktable plugin for Nik_Collection?

Or try my lua script ext_editor. You can define up to 9 external programs and do round trips with DT, even from inside darkroom, also using keyboard shortcuts

Thanks for the reply.

I wouldn’t have any idea where to even start.

I’ve only been using Darktable now for two days. :slight_smile:


Here is the user guide section on lua:

@mikemyers “I wouldn’t have any idea where to even start.”
I’m with you on this one. I’ve no notion of what is needed to make this work either. Perhaps some of the Youtubers here could shed some light on this in an upcoming video. A while back there was a tutorial to integrate the Nik Collection into Gimp 2.9, but I failed to get it working despite the instructions in the video. But I digress… The point is some of us need to be guided through the process.

The two plugins are lua plugins, so you download them, link them in your luarc, and start darktable. Or you read the lua documentation that is also linked.

There is a nice README:

I’m not sure how to say this properly. I am a total novice at Darktable, and thanks to the online information, and a lot of YouTube videos, and a lot of struggling, and a lot of frustration, I finally got it to sort of work.

Watch this video.

This fellow used a Canon G7X Pro Mk II, which just happens to be the camera I shot the first 20 raw images from, that I tried to import into Darktable. One minute into the video, he opens up an image - check the corners; the images look like he used a fisheye lens.

I spent all that night trying to find out what I did wrong, and finally gave up. I deleted and reinstalled the program, deleted my files, and imported some basic ‘jpg’ images which worked. I never knew what I did wrong, until I accidentally found this YouTube video!!!

Now I understand what I did wrong, that I have to manually select the lens that I used, so the images appear corrected. This has never been the case in my other editors, so why would I expect I needed to do it in DarkTable?

Anyway, the bottom line is I’m a novice, not to mention I don’t know and/or understand scripts. I appreciate that all of you have figured out a way to allow Darktable to work with Nik Collection, but before I even started to learn how to do that, I need to learn Darktable.

My hope, is that this ability will eventually be built into Darktable.

For me, I’m already paying my $10 per month for Adobe’s Photography Plan for Photoshop and Lightroom, so I’m not going to save anything by using Darktable. However, Darktable seems like a more powerful editor than Lightroom, so I’m going to continue to struggle with it.

My workflow seems to be to edit in Darktable, export the files, then import them into Lightroom, do whatever else I need, then send to Nik Collection to enhance them, and after they return to Lightroom, I can export them with the watermarks, re-sized for my use.

I will continue to use Darktable, as that’s the only way I’m going to learn it.

I will also continue to use DxO PhotoLab 3, as it has some fascinating new ways to edit.


I use RawTherapee, but my workflow will work for you provided you’re on Windows. Download the Partha build of GIMP ( After doing edits in DT, export as a TIF to GIMP, and then go to Filters–>NIK Collection. You can stay Adobe-free with this method.

1 Like

Just so you know, I never heard of a “Lua plugin” before, have no idea what you’re talking about. Have no idea what a “luarc” is or does.

**I was hoping to find a simple utility that I could install, and magically Darktable would then have the ability to send images off to Nik for processing. **Apparently, such a thing does not (yet) exist.

I do have a work-around. I export full-size images as files, which I import into Lightroom. Then I can send them on a round-trip to Nik Collection, and after they return, I can export them as a file, complete with my watermark.

(I’m still fighting Darktable - every time I learn a fix for something, there are other things broken. The last is that on my MacBook Pro 13” running Catalina, when I go to “LightTable” mode, the window stretches to wider than my computer screen. My guess is that there is something in the left panel that prevents it from squeezing down to what it needs to be, but then the middle panel should have compressed more. As it is, it’s un-useable without a lot of moving the window around.)

Thank you for all the help, and I do appreciate what all of you are doing, but for me it’s like a third grader walking into a calculus class. Much more that I need to learn before I get to doing things like you’re describing.


@peterbud I donn’t know who creates the Windows installer for darktable, but perhaps it would be a good idea to add the Lua scrips into it or create an extra installer for the Scripts.

Hey Mike,
I try to explain it to you in a few screenshots.

First you need to get the scripts:
Go to and download the .zip folder.

  1. Open the finder an go to the Folder “~/.config/darktable”

  2. unzip the .zip and copy the content to the the folder “lua”. The Path should be: /.config/darktable/lua
    If there is no folder called lua then create one.
    It should look like this:

  3. You just need to create the luarc file. Use the texteditor to do so.
    In the luarc you need to require the script you want to use.

  4. Right click on the luarc and open the information about the file.
    You need to remove the .rtf the close the information tab and confirm that you don´t need the suffix .rtf.

The next time you start darktable the script should also start.
If you want more scripts just add a new line the same way as the other.



Thank you for taking the time to do all this. I’m leaving for home (Miami, Florida) in two days, and once I’m settled, I will look into doing this, one step at a time.

I think I better get a little more used to how Darktable works, before I do anything on my own, but I really would like to be able to use Nik as a part of my workflow.

Again, thank you!!!


how does it work and how is it installed?

Its a lua plugin, it works and gets installed the same was as other lua plugins.