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6) Using Your Color Profiles

Starting with Windows 98, Microsoft started to support color management using the format provided by the International Color Consortium. Microsoft chose to use the .icm file extension standing for "Image Color Management." Apple's ColorSync chose to stick with the .icc extension standing for "International Color Consortium" (yes, Macintosh does generally ignore file extensions)

In most cases, these files are interchangeable. You can rename a .icc file to a .icm file without any problems and vice versa. The internal data structure is the same. You should, however, stick with the proper extension for your respective operating system. When using Windows, use the .icm extension or the operating system won't recognize the file as a color profile.

Some programs such as Adobe Photoshop® don't care what the extension is. They will check the appropriate folders, reading the internal data structure to determine the type of file and profile.

6.1) Installing Color Profiles

Operating systems provide a folder to keep color profiles in. These folders vary between operating systems and are listed below. Once you have uncompressed the folder containing the profiles, copy them to the following folders:

6.1.1) Windows Installation Folder

Windows 98 / ME:

Windows 2000 / XP:


6.1.2) Macintosh Installation Folder

Mac OS9:
System Folder:ColorSync Profiles

Mac OSX:


6.2) Naming Convention for Profiles

Your profile set will have a naming convention similar to the following:

    2200 PremLuster pk 1440 ls NC CWF.icc
    2200 PremLuster pk 1440 ls NC D50.icc
    2200 PremLuster pk 1440 ls NC D65.icc
    2200 PremLuster pk 1440 ls NC INC.icc

2200 Printer Name: (i.e Epson SP2200)
PremLuster Paper Type (i.e. Premium Luster Paper)
pk Ink Set (Epson 2200 can have Photo Black or Matte Black inks)
1440 Print Resolution
ls Print Speed (Epson has High Speed & Low Speed)
NC No Color adjustments (automatic adjustments disabled in print driver, recommended)
CWF Viewing Condition used to create profile:
CWF = Cool White Flourescent
D50 = Daylight 5000K
D65 = Daylight 6500K
INC = Incandescent or Halogen Light

6.3) Using Color Profiles

Color correct in only one place! It is possible to have your application (such as Photoshop) provide color correction and to color correct in your print driver also. Never use icc color correction in more than one place. Below, using the Epson 2200 print driver as an example, we will show you how to enable color correction in Photoshop® and disable it in your print driver.

6.3.1) Printing from Photoshop Soft Proofing in Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop provides a utility to soft proof your print. Soft Proofing simulates on your screen what your printed output should look like. In Photoshop, select View->Proof Setup->Custom and select the profile for your printer and paper. Make sure that the preview checkbox is checked. You can now select different paper types and rendering intents to "get an idea" of what your print will look like. Soft Proofing is not exact, but your print will look "more like" the soft proof than it initially did on your monitor.

Tip: Once you have setup soft proofing, you can toggle it on and off by pressing Ctrl+Y (Mac: Cmd+Y).

Figure 6.1. Photoshop's Soft Proof Setup

Relative Colorimetric with Black Point Compensation: Epson recommends using this setting for color printing. It clips out of gamut colors to the closest color your printer can reproduce. Can cause unnatural effects.

Perceptual without Black Point Compensation: We recommend this setting when printing Black and Whites, Duotones, or Toned B&W images using Color Inks. If you require a true grayscale and less saturated colors, we recommend this setting. Perceptual rendering is normally recommended for photography. All colors are compressed to the color gamut of the output device.

Saturation: Attempts to preserve saturation numbers in the image. Not normally recommended, however experiment using soft proofing.

Absolute Colorimetric: Like Relative Colorimetric, but simulates paper white. Used only to simulate the output of a printing press. Normally, you shouldn't use this. Print With Preview: Disable Color Management

From Photoshop's menu, select File->Print with Preview... You may need to check "Show More Options" and select "Color Management" from the combo box.

Select the proper printer from the Page Setup menu and your paper size and orientation..

In Print Space, select one of the new profiles that matches your paper type. This enables color management from Photoshop. Since you only want to manage in one place, you'll have to disable color management in your print driver (below).

Figure 6.2. Print with Preview, Using Color Management Print Driver Setup

Every print driver's setup dialog is going to be different. The following is for an Epson 2200 printer. After setting up Photoshop's "Print with Preview", click Print and then click the "Properties..." button to setup your printer driver.

You may have to click the "Advanced" button to see the dialog below. Although this is for the Epson 2200, other printers will be similar. Make sure to disable any automatic features (Color Controls, Photo Enhance, etc.) Select ICM (in this case) and "No Color Adjustment". Select your paper type and print resolution. High Speed is not recommended for best quality. Also, turn off any smoothing, sharpening, or enhancement, as you will be doing that in Photoshop.

Figure 3.4. Proper Print Driver Settings for Epson 2200

This is the workflow you will be using for printing from now on. In this example for the Epson 2200, we've checked the "Show this screen first" checkbox so we don't have to click the "Advanced" button every time..


6.3.2) Printing From Other Applications

If you are printing from software that doesn't support color management and would like to color manage from your print driver, you may be interested in the following. Microsoft's website contains additional information on how to enable color management through your print driver.

> Microsoft: To Change The Active Color Profile for a Printer

Other applications may also provide features to select color profiles for printing. We cannot discuss the features of other applications there are too many to cover. You'll have to look for these features yourself.


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