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ColorWizzard and Photoshop

Using ColorWizzard with Photoshop

This document is intended to provide information on using ColorWizzard monitor
characterization within Photoshop.

Photoshop Version 5 and greater come with a utility called Adobe Gamma. To
avoid conflicts, it is important to use only one calibrator and avoid double-
correction. To disable Adobe Gamma, remove it from the startup group. The
procedure is simple:
• Go to the Start\Programs\Startup menu
• Click the entry called Adobe Gamma Loader.exe
• Drag it onto the desktop and delete. (This does not delete the program,
only the shortcut.)

Working Spaces
Working spaces are used to define the color appearance of the RGB, Lab or
CMYK color model with which Photoshop works. This document is concerned
only with the RGB color model.

The working space and monitor profile are very different:

• Monitor profiles describe how your monitor displays color (what value
equals what color on your monitor)
• Working spaces define the color appearances of files in a standard, and
abstracted way (what value equals what color on a standard, ideal,
theoretical device)
When Photoshop displays an image file on screen, it converts:
• First, the image data from its color space (defined by an embedded
profile) to the working space (depending your settings, this step is skipped
when the color spaces are identical or you may be asked for instructions)
• Then, the pixel values from the working space to the monitor color space
by using the monitor profile defined by the OS (in this case created by
These display-only pixel values are only used to send data to the monitor but are
not otherwise associated with the file (the working space is).

Working spaces are required because monitor color space is too limited to be
used as a master color space to preserve a files original color data. For example,
monitors can’t reproduce cyan that printing presses can, so if a monitor profile
was used as a working space all the cyan colors in the file would be limited to
what a monitor could display, even if it was printed on a printing press.

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ColorWizzard and Photoshop

Working spaces are an abstraction from any real world imaging devices since
there is no imaging device that has a color range that encompasses all imaging
processes/devices. In addition working spaces are often designed to make
editing easier. For example in Adobe 1998 working space, equal RGB values
always equal a perfectly neutral (gray) color. This is not at all true for a monitor,
which often need lots of red to balance the blue and green bias, and would need
something closer to 2R to 1G, 1B to make a neutral.

Selecting a monitor RGB as the default color space, will almost always result in
disabling color management. It limits the color information being recorded in the
file and biases the relationships between the pixel values; they are not uniform
making editing far more difficult.

Photoshop 4.0
This version of Photoshop does not use Monitor ICC profiles.

Monitor characteristics as characterized by ColorWizzard must be entered

manually in Photoshop.

To update Photoshop’s color space, go to the ColorWizzard Control Panel and

click on the Custom >>> button and then the Monitor Parameters button. Record
or print the values in the Phosphors and Gamma sections.

In Photoshop, choose Preferences/Monitor Setup from the File menu. A dialog

box will appear listing information that Photoshop currently assumes about your
monitor. In the White Point list box, choose Custom. In the dialog box that
appears, enter the x and y values for white point provided by the ColorWizzard
Control Panel, then click OK. In the Phosphors list box, also choose Custom.
Another dialog box will appear. Here, enter the x and y values for red, green, and
blue phosphors from the ColorWizzard Control Panel. Photoshop Monitor Setup
can only accept a single gamma value, so you should use the averaged value
displayed by ColorWizzard and enter that value in the Gamma field. Choose OK
to save this new information.

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ColorWizzard and Photoshop

Photoshop 5.0 and 5.5

These versions of Photoshop offer more control and fully use ICC profiles.

From the File\Color Settings\RGB Setup menu:

The RGB combo box is the place where you select your working color space.
Photoshop offers a dozen color spaces here and it is even possible to generate
custom ones by entering Gamma, White point and Primaries values. Load and
Save allow managing these custom settings.
Note: Most profiles are not supported here. To be accepted as a working space, a profile
must comply with Photoshop RGB model. Only matrix-based, single pure-gamma TRC
profile is allowed.

The Display Using Monitor Compensation checkbox activates the use of the
default monitor profile when checked (the name of the default monitor profile
appears in the dialog at the right of Monitor). The Preview checkbox must be
checked also to view the compensation on screen.
Note: Color ‘n’ Code suggests checking both checkboxes to get the full benefit of
ColorWizzard monitor calibration.

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ColorWizzard and Photoshop

From the File\Color Settings\Profile Setup menu:

The Embed Profiles checkboxes allow telling Photoshop to embed a profile in an

image when it is saved only with formats that allow for profile embedding (TIFF,
JPEG, PSD, and EPS). It is possible to have different settings for different image

The Assumed Profiles combo boxes allow specifying the color space Photoshop
should assume when no embedded profile is found in an image.
Note: It is a bad idea to select a monitor profile as the default color space.

The Profile Mismatch Handling combo boxes allow choosing the default handling
when an image contains an embedded profile that does not match the working
color space.
Note: To avoid bad surprises, Color ‘n’ Code suggests:
Always embed a profile.
Select none or sRGB as the assumed image color space.
Select the Ask when Opening option.

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ColorWizzard and Photoshop

When an image is loaded and if there is a profile mismatch, a dialog asking to

Convert or Don’t Convert is displayed:

The From combo box specifies the profile embedded in the image.
The To combo box specifies the working color space (named RGB Color).
The Engine combo box allows switching between Windows system and Adobe
built-in ICM engines.
The Intent combo box allows selecting the rendering intent.
The Black Point Compensation checkbox when checked forces the use of the
media black point. It is 0, 0, and 0 in most profiles.
Note: There is generally no reason to change the From and To values. The Adobe built-
in engine is generally better.

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ColorWizzard and Photoshop

Photoshop 6, 7 and CS (8) – Photoshop Elements 2 and 3

These versions offers even more color settings control.

From the Edit\Color Settings menu:

There is a high-level Settings choice; these settings correspond to some Adobe

standard combinations (Web, Prepress, etc.).

The Advanced Mode checkbox allows showing more or less options:

In the Working Spaces, several combo boxes allow specifying the working color
space for various image types.

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ColorWizzard and Photoshop

In the Color Management Policies group, various controls allow selecting, how
embedded profiles should be handled and how Profile Mismatches, Missing
Profiles conditions should be handled.
Note: Color ‘n’ Code suggests selecting Preserve Embedded profile and Ask when

In the Conversions Options group, it is possible to select the Engine between

Windows system and Adobe ICM engines, to select the rendering Intent and the
Black Point Compensation.
Note: Adobe built-in engine is generally better.

Photoshop 6, 7 and 8 do not offer a direct visualization of the default monitor

profile but it uses it when the Preview checkbox is checked. The name of the
default monitor profile can be seen in the RGB combo box of the Working
Spaces group at the right of the Monitor RGB choice (here it is True Internet
Color: PnP VESA DDC – ICM 9513 T55A TFT Monitor). Other profiles from the
list can be selected as RGB Working Space but Monitor RGB should not
because it almost results in disabling color management .

ColorWizzard™ is a trademark of Color ‘n’ Code, Sàrl.

Colorific® is a trademark of LightSurf Technologies, Inc.
Photoshop® is a trademark of Adobe Systems, Inc.

Color ‘n’ Code, Sàrl Technical Note 7/7