For most color-managed workflows, it is best to use a preset color setting that has been tested by Adobe. Changing specific options is recommended only if you are knowledgeable about color management and very confident about the changes you make.
After you customize options, you can save them as a preset. Saving color settings ensures that you can reuse them and share them with other users or applications.
In Acrobat, you cannot save customized color settings. To share customized color settings with Acrobat, you must create the file in InDesign, Illustrator, or Photoshop, and then save it in the default Settings folder. It will then be available in the Color Management category of the Preferences dialog box. You can also add settings manually to the default Settings folder.
A working space is an intermediate color space used to define and edit color in Adobe applications. Each color model has a working space profile associated with it. You can choose working space profiles in the Color Settings dialog box.
A working space profile acts as the source profile for newly created documents that use the associated color model. For example, if Adobe RGB (1998) is the current RGB working space profile, each new RGB document that you create will use colors within the Adobe RGB (1998) gamut. Working spaces also determine the appearance of colors in untagged documents.
If you open a document embedded with a color profile that doesn’t match the working space profile, the application uses a color management policy to determine how to handle the color data. In most cases, the default policy is to preserve the embedded profile.
To display working space options in Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign, choose Edit > Color Settings. In Acrobat, select the Color Management category of the Preferences dialog box.
To view a description of any profile, select the profile and then position the pointer over the profile name. The description appears at the bottom of the dialog box.
RGB Determines the RGB color space of the application. In general, it’s best to choose Adobe RGB or sRGB, rather than the profile for a specific device (such as a monitor profile). sRGB is recommended when you prepare images for the web, because it defines the color space of the standard monitor used to view images on the web. sRGB is also a good choice when you work with images from consumer-level digital cameras, because most of these cameras use sRGB as their default color space.
Adobe RGB is recommended when you prepare documents for print, because Adobe RGB’s gamut includes some printable colors (cyans and blues in particular) that can’t be defined using sRGB. Adobe RGB is also a good choice when working with images from professional-level digital cameras, because most of these cameras use Adobe RGB as their default color space.
CMYK Determines the CMYK color space of the application. All CMYK working spaces are device-dependent, meaning that they are based on actual ink and paper combinations. The CMYK working spaces Adobe supplies are based on standard commercial print conditions.
Gray (Photoshop) or Grayscale (Acrobat) Determines the grayscale color space of the application.
Spot (Photoshop) Specifies the dot gain to use when displaying spot color channels and duotones.
In Acrobat, you can use the color space in an embedded output intent instead of a document color space for viewing and printing. For more information on output intents, see Acrobat Help.
Adobe applications ship with a standard set of working space profiles that have been recommended and tested by Adobe for most color management workflows. By default, only these profiles appear in the working space menus. To display additional color profiles that you have installed on your system, select Advanced Mode (Illustrator and InDesign) or More Options (Photoshop). A color profile must be bi‑directional (that is, contain specifications for translating both into and out of color spaces) in order to appear in the working space menus.
In Photoshop, you can create custom working space profiles. However, Adobe recommends that you use a standard working space profile rather than create a custom profile. For more information, see the Photoshop support knowledgebase at www.adobe.com/support/products/photoshop.html.
For a newly created document, the color workflow usually operates seamlessly: Unless specified otherwise, the document uses the working space profile associated with its color mode for creating and editing colors.
However, some existing documents may not use the working space profile that you have specified, and some existing documents may not be color-managed. It is common to encounter the following exceptions to your color-managed workflow:
In either case, the application uses a color management policy to decide how to handle the color data in the document.
If the profile is missing or does not match the working space, the application may display a warning message, depending on options you set in the Color Settings dialog box. Profile warnings are turned off by default, but you can turn them on to ensure the appropriate color management of documents on a case-by-case basis. The warning messages vary between applications, but in general you have the following options:
A color management policy determines how the application handles color data when you open a document or import an image. You can choose different policies for RGB and CMYK images, and you can specify when you want warning messages to appear. To display color management policy options, choose Edit > Color Settings.
To view a description of a policy, select the policy and then position the pointer over the policy name. The description appears at the bottom of the dialog box.
RGB, CMYK, And Gray (Gray option is available for Photoshop only.) Specifies a policy to follow when bringing colors into the current working space (either by opening files or importing images into the current document). Choose from the following options:
Preserve Embedded Profiles Always preserves embedded color profiles when opening files. This is the recommended option for most workflows because it provides consistent color management. One exception is if you’re concerned about preserving CMYK numbers, in which case you should select Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles) instead.
Convert To Working Space Converts colors to the current working space profile when opening files and importing images. Select this option if you want to force all colors to use a single profile (the current working space profile).
Preserve Numbers (Ignore Linked Profiles) This option is available in InDesign and Illustrator for CMYK. Preserves color numbers when opening files and importing images, but still allows you to use color management to view colors accurately in Adobe applications. Select this option if you want to use a safe CMYK workflow. In InDesign, you can override this policy on a per-object basis by choosing Object > Image Color Settings.
Off Ignores embedded color profiles when opening files and importing images, and does not assign the working space profile to new documents. Select this option if you want to discard any color metadata provided by the original document creator.
Profile Mismatches: Ask When Opening Displays a message whenever you open a document tagged with a profile other than the current working space. You will be given the option to override the policy’s default behavior. Select this option if you want to ensure the appropriate color management of documents on a case-by-case basis.
Profile Mismatches: Ask When Pasting Displays a message whenever color profile mismatches occur as colors are imported into a document through pasting or dragging-and-dropping. You will be given the option to override the policy’s default behavior. Select this option if you want to ensure the appropriate color management of pasted colors on a case-by-case basis.
Missing Profiles: Ask When Opening Displays a message whenever you open an untagged document. You will be given the option to override the policy’s default behavior. Select this option if you want to ensure the appropriate color management of documents on a case-by-case basis.
Color conversion options let you control how the application handles the colors in a document as it moves from one color space to another. Changing these options is recommended only if you are knowledgeable about color management and very confident about the changes you make. To display conversion options, choose Edit > Color Settings, and select Advanced Mode (Illustrator and InDesign) or More Options (Photoshop). In Acrobat, select the Color Management category of the Preferences dialog box.
Engine Specifies the Color Management Module (CMM) used to map the gamut of one color space to the gamut of another. For most users, the default Adobe (ACE) engine fulfills all conversion needs.
To view a description of an engine or intent option, select the option and then position the pointer over the option name. The description appears at the bottom of the dialog box.
Intent (Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign) Specifies the rendering intent used to translate one color space to another. Differences between rendering intents are apparent only when you print a document or convert it to a different working space.
Use Black Point Compensation Ensures that the shadow detail in the image is preserved by simulating the full dynamic range of the output device. Select this option if you plan to use black point compensation when printing (which is recommended in most situations).
Use Dither (Photoshop) Controls whether to dither colors when converting 8‑bit-per-channel images between color spaces. When the Use Dither option is selected, Photoshop mixes colors in the destination color space to simulate a missing color that existed in the source space. Although dithering helps to reduce the blocky or banded appearance of an image, it may also result in larger file sizes when images are compressed for web use.
Compensate For Scene-Rendered Profiles (Photoshop) Compares video contrast when converting from scene to output profiles. This option reflects default color management in After Effects.
In Photoshop you display advanced controls for managing color by choosing Edit > Color Settings and selecting More Options.
Desaturate Monitor Colors By Determines whether to desaturate colors by the specified amount when displayed on the monitor. When selected, this option can aid in visualizing the full range of color spaces with gamuts larger than that of the monitor. However, this causes a mismatch between the monitor display and the output. When the option is deselected, distinct colors in the image may display as a single color.
Blend RGB Colors Using Gamma Controls how RGB colors blend together to produce composite data (for example, when you blend or paint layers using Normal mode). When the option is selected, RGB colors are blended in the color space corresponding to the specified gamma. A gamma of 1.00 is considered “colorimetrically correct” and should result in the fewest edge artifacts. When the option is deselected, RGB colors are blended directly in the document’s color space.
When you select Blend RGB Colors Using Gamma, layered documents will look different when displayed in other applications than they do in Photoshop.