Color Management

In previous editions of this book I went into some detail explaining how the new ICC-based color management system in Photoshop worked and how photography users should configure their color settings. The Photoshop 5.0 system offered a more precise way of sharing color files with other Photoshop users and if setup wisely, would produce better CMYK color separations from RGB files. But the main problem was the way all the color settings were organized. In Photoshop now, the ICC-based color management interface has been completely redesigned. The color settings are conveniently available within a single easy-to-use interface. Photoshop 6.0, 7.0 and CS takes a lot of the guess work out of configuring your system's color settings. The Color Settings dialog suggests several presets for different types of Photoshop work, from web design to prepress publishing. You can choose which of these options most suits your work flow and Photoshop customizes everything accordingly. The Color Settings presets are loaded and saved from within the Edit > Color Settings dialog. These settings can then be shared with other Adobe applications or other Photoshop users.

Although you still have default RGB and CMYK work spaces in Photoshop, you are no longer obliged to face the choice between converting or not converting colors every time you open a file which does not match your current color work space. Instead you can continue to color manage in whatever color space the incoming file is in. It is possible to have several documents open at once and all of them can be in different color spaces. The soft proofing preview options enable you to soft proof an image in the color space of any output device (providing you have a profile for that device), or you can simulate on screen the expected output using any saved CMYK setup setting. There is also a well designed Print Preview option which enables you to customize how an image is placed when you print it. You can either do this visually, dragging the image preview, or with millimetric precision.

Color Management Chapter Download

The following PDF Acrobat download contains the complete text from the color management chapter in Adobe Photoshop CS for Photographers and it also incorporates the steps contained in Chapter three describing how to calibrate and profile the computer display.

Adobe Photoshop CS color management (1.8 MB)

Color Management Consultancy Service

Readers in the UK may wish to take advantage of Neil Barstow's Colour Management consultancy service, offering custom profiing, training, implementation and seminars.

T: +44 (0) 1273 774 704
M: +44 (0) 7778 160 201