General tab
GUI tab


The Settings panel lets you make alterations to the way your program runs, and change the GUI (Graphics User Interface) to suit your needs.  

Most of the settings on this panel need to be saved before taking effect.

You can also reset all registry settings for the program from here. The program will need to restart directly after doing so.

Howler Stores the position of every tool panel when you exit the program.  It is possible for these settings to become corrupted in the registry for various reasons, such as a changed screen resolution may leave panels outside the viewable area, so deleting them may solve errors with starting the program. 

 The General Tab

  Memory options determines how much ram to set aside for the multiple undos. If you're using a machine with less than 64 megs, consider setting this to a lower value.  Howler doesn’t otherwise  require a huge amount of ram, so if you have plenty, then set this to a higher value and you'll be able to have more undos.  For video resolution images, 16-20 megs will often be plenty, but for higher resolution images, you might consider using a higher value.  Beware though, that the program will allocate out whatever value you give it, so using a value that is too high will effect your systems performance.  You'll have to save the settings if you want to keep it.  The setting will take effect the next time a new image is created.

Undo memory should be balanced for the type of work you do? Animators should reserve more memory for animation frames, while photographers should use more undo memory.

  This setting lets you start the program without being asked for an image size. You can specify an image size for the program to use when it starts up.

Default resolution presets

You can edit your resolutions presets from the Settings panel.  These are the resolutions that are displayed when you start the program or when you select a new image size or when you resize an image.

The format of the text strings and parameters is as follows:

"320 x 200 - NTSC"  A string that is displayed.  This string can be anything enclosed in quotes, but this format is recommended.
Follow the  string with a comma, the width, then the height (in pixel) like this:  ,320,200, so the full entry would look like this:

“320 x 200 – NTSC”, 320,200

Be sure to save your settings when you add an entry, or it won't be remembered next time you start the program!

  Startup plugin are plugins you select to run at startup. For instance, you could run the Color Mixer plugin if you liked using that feature a lot. A plugin could in theory be any executable file, so long as it was named correctly, but usually programs written specifically for Howler would be more appropriate.
To add a plugin at startup, click the button and select a plugin from the list that is presented.  To delete a plugin, select it from the list on the Settings panel, and click the button.  Remember that your settings on this panel have to be saved to take effect.

  A Startup Well File is the color scheme (Well) that is loaded in the bottom of the tool panel at startup.  You can alter the well at any time with Drag and Drop, or by loading or creating a new one, but this lets you load a custom Well file at startup.

To save a well file, right click on the Mixer button on the bottom of the tool panel, or use the Save well option under the utility menu.



Threading and GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) settings let you enable or disable GPU support, benchmark your GPU, and see the current threading settings used by the program. Click “Benchmark” to test the speed of your GPU. Checking the “Screen refresh” checkbox will let you see the progress of the benchmark, but it may throw off the results significantly.

You will be shown the speed of your GPU relative to your CPU. GPU support required Windows 7 or later, and Direct x 11 or later to operate, as well as drivers that support Microsoft C++ AMP.

There is no guarantee that your GPU is faster than your CPU, so it is possible to disable the GPU if desired.

 The GPU Tab

  Smooth scaling applies bi-linear filtering and halftone dithering if appropriate to the screen refresh when working on a zoomed image. The result is a smoother, nicer looking image at the expense of slightly slower refreshes.  Internally, the screen refresh takes place on integer boundaries, so there may be some artifacts when painting while scaled, but they clear up afterward.

Spline based input smooths the input from a mouse or tablet as you are drawing, to reduce segmentation caused by low sample rates of the input device.  If this option is not checked, you may experience straight, segmented lines instead of smooth ones.  This usually happens with more with tablets, which often have a slower sampling rate than mouses.

“Use the , separator instead of .” This option is for countries that use a comma as a decimal separate. The program should work correctly, but this option allows you to force this behavior if needed.

“Custom brush bounding.” This option displays a bounding box around custom brushes instead of an preview of the image in the custom brush.

“Middle button for panning.” This option lets you pan and zoom with the middle mouse button instead of opening the media context menu.

“Default jpg quality.” This option lets you set the default quality level when saving JPEG files. The original value is 80, but it can be set to anything from 10 to 100, with 100 being the highest quality.

“Main window fill color.” This option sets the color of the main window, which is what shows behind the image you have loaded.