How to Edit Your Photos Using the VSCO Studio Desktop App – MUO – MakeUseOf

VSCO released VSCO Studio on desktop for a selection of users in 2023, and you can use the app to make several adjustments to your images. In this guide, you’ll learn how to edit your photos using the VSCO Studio computer app.

The Initial Requirements for Using the VSCO Desktop App

To use VSCO Studio on your desktop, you’ll need a VSCO Pro subscription. VSCO Pro costs $59.99 per year if you’d rather pay annually and $12.99 per month for those who’d prefer a month-to-month membership. A seven-day free trial is available if you want to test VSCO Pro.

You can sign up for VSCO Pro via both the VSCO website and through the app on your smartphone. However, you can only submit your payment details from the website on your computer if you live in the US. Everyone else will need to download the app.

Download: VSCO for iOS | Android (Free, in-app purchases available)

After signing up for VSCO Pro, you can access the VSCO Studio desktop app. If you plan on using VSCO as your main photo editing app, it’s worth comparing VSCO Pro with Lightroom Classic.

What Kinds of Photo Files Can You Edit in the VSCO Desktop App?

You can easily edit JPEG files in the VSCO desktop app without too much difficulty. But unfortunately, things aren’t so easy for other formats.

As of November 2023, the VSCO desktop app doesn’t allow you to edit RAW. So, you’ll need to seek an alternative if you’d prefer to work with these kinds of files.

How to Import a Photo to VSCO for Desktop

To sign into your VSCO account, you’ll need to use the VSCO website. Once you’re in, follow the instructions outlined below.

  1. Click on the Studio tab, which you’ll find on the left-hand side.

  2. Tap the + button.
    Select the Plus Icon in the VSCO Desktop App

  3. Pick the file(s) that you’d like to import from your computer or external hard drive. Depending on the overall file size, the images might take some time to upload.

VSCO can be advantageous in situations where capturing in JPEG is better. With that in mind, it’s worth reading about when you should shoot and edit in JPEG instead of RAW.

How to Edit Photos in the VSCO Desktop App

The editing features in VSCO for desktop aren’t as advanced as Lightroom and other premium photo editing apps. Nonetheless, you can still use a couple of different features to alter your images. We’ll identify these in more detail below.

Applying a Preset

Many people use VSCO because the presets available are great for posting on social media and blogs. And because you’re a VSCO Pro member, you’ll have access to several presets in the desktop app. These presets cover several categories, such as film, and different genres (e.g. portraits).

Follow these steps to apply a preset to your picture in the VSCO Studio desktop app.

  1. Tap the first icon beneath the three dots on the right-hand side.
    Choose the Preset Tab in the VSCO Desktop App

  2. Scroll through the different presets and pick the one you want to apply to your images.
  3. Change the settings associated with your preset. Some will only allow you to alter the strength. Others, meanwhile, let you move Character and Warmth sliders as well.
    The Preset Sliders in the VSCO Desktop App

Note that when applying the presets, the app can sometimes take a few seconds for your changes to appear on the image. So, if you don’t immediately see anything, wait a bit, and the problem should solve itself.

In addition to picking the right editing software, you should also choose the correct equipment for great photos. Consider looking at the best DSLR cameras if you want a starting point.

Using the Sliders in VSCO Studio for Desktop

Besides applying presets, you’ll also have access to several adjustment sliders in the VSCO desktop app. Many of these are the same that you’ll find if you’ve used Lightroom or Capture One before. A key difference, however, is that the sliders in the VSCO Studio app for desktop range from -6 to +6.

Here’s how to use the VSCO sliders on your computer.

  1. Go to the icon beneath Presets. It looks like two vertical sliders.
    Select the Sliders Icon in VSCO

  2. Move the sliders until you’re happy with the end result. If you have a rough estimate of what you want to change, you can type the number into the slider instead.

Changing the Dimensions of Your Photo

If you want to post your pictures on social media, you may need to adjust the dimensions of your edited photos before exporting and sharing them. Adjusting the size of your images in the VSCO Studio app is very simple:

  1. Click on the cropping icon in the right-hand toolbar.
    Choose the VSCO Cropping Icon

  2. If you want to choose a pre-adjusted ratio, go to Aspect Ratio and pick your preference. Alternatively, move the corners of your image until you’re happy with the result.

Besides cropping your picture free-form, you can also crop the photo with the same dimensions in which you imported it. Tap Original at the bottom of your screen.

How to Reset All of Your Edits

One particular annoyance about the VSCO Studio app for desktop is that it can sometimes feel quite unintuitive. For example, if you press Ctrl + Z to undo your most recent edit, you’ll open a webpage that you previously closed in your browser.

If you aren’t happy with the edits that you’ve made, you can still easily reset these. Press \ and return at the same time, and your pictures should readjust themselves.

Exporting Your Image From VSCO

Once you’ve finished editing your photo in the VSCO Studio app for desktop, you can easily export the picture to your hard drive or computer. Follow the steps below to do that.

  1. Tap the Export icon.
    VSCO Export Tab on the Desktop App

  2. A pop-up window will appear and ask if you want to post to VSCO and not just download it to your computer. If you only want to download on your computer, tap Download full size and select Save.
    Opt to Save a Photo in the VSCO Desktop App

  3. Allow downloads from your browser if you haven’t already when the next window appears.
  4. Access the downloaded picture in your Downloads folder. You can then move it to wherever you’d like to save it.

When you save your pictures from VSCO, they’ll be in .jpg format.

Everything You Need to Know About Editing in VSCO on Your Computer

VSCO Studio for desktop is another way to use the popular mobile app. You can easily apply multiple presets, along with adjusting basic sliders. On top of that, it’s easy to share your pictures on social media—thanks to the resizing feature.

It’s worth trying VSCO Studio out with your free trial. If you don’t like it, you can always cancel prior to getting billed.

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