Adobe color management helps you maintain the appearance of colors as you bring images in from external sources, edit documents and transfer them between Adobe applications, and output your finished compositions. This system is based on conventions developed by the International Color Consortium, a group responsible for standardizing profile formats and procedures so that consistent and accurate color can be achieved throughout a workflow.
By default, color management is turned on in color-managed Adobe applications. If you purchased the Adobe Creative Suite, color settings are synchronized across applications to provide consistent display for RGB and CMYK colors. This means that colors look the same no matter which application you view them in.
If you decide to change the default settings, easy-to-use presets let you configure Adobe color management to match common output conditions. You can also customize color settings to meet the demands of your particular color workflow.
Keep in mind that the kinds of images you work with and your output requirements influence how you use color management. For example, there are different color-consistency issues for an RGB photo printing workflow, a CMYK commercial printing workflow, a mixed RGB/CMYK digital printing workflow, and an Internet publishing workflow.
Discuss how the color workflow will be integrated with your workgroups and service providers, how software and hardware will be configured for integration into the color management system, and at what level color management will be implemented.
A monitor profile is the first profile you should create. Seeing accurate color is essential if you are making creative decisions involving the color you specify in your document.
The color management system uses profiles to know how a device produces color and what the actual colors in a document are. Device profiles are often installed when a device is added to your system. You can also use third-party software and hardware to create more accurate profiles for specific devices and conditions. If your document will be commercially printed, contact your service provider to determine the profile for the printing device or press condition.
The default color settings are sufficient for most users. However, you can change the color settings by doing one of the following:
If you use multiple Adobe applications, use Adobe® Bridge to choose a standard color management configuration and synchronize color settings across applications before working with documents.
If you use only one Adobe application, or if you want to customize advanced color management options, you can change color settings for a specific application.
After you create a document, you can use a soft proof to preview how colors will look when printed or viewed on a specific device.
A soft proof alone doesn’t let you preview how overprinting will look when printed on an offset press. If you work with documents that contain overprinting, turn on Overprint Preview to accurately preview overprints in a soft proof. For Acrobat, the Overprint Preview option is automatically applied.
Keeping the appearance of colors consistent across all of the devices in your workflow is the goal of color management. Leave color management options enabled when printing documents, saving files, and preparing files for online viewing.
If you use Adobe Creative Suite, you can use Adobe Bridge to automatically synchronize color settings across applications. This synchronization ensures that colors look the same in all color-managed Adobe applications.
If color settings are not synchronized, a warning message appears at the top of the Color Settings dialog box in each application. Adobe recommends that you synchronize color settings before you work with new or existing documents.
(Illustrator, InDesign, Photoshop) Choose Edit > Color Settings.
(Acrobat) Select the Color Management category of the Preferences dialog box.
The setting you select determines which color working spaces are used by the application, what happens when you open and import files with embedded profiles, and how the color management system converts colors. To view a description of a setting, select the setting and then position the pointer over the setting name. The description appears at the bottom of the dialog box.
Acrobat color settings are a subset of those used in InDesign, Illustrator, and Photoshop.
In certain situations, such as if your service provider supplies you with a custom output profile, you may need to customize specific options in the Color Settings dialog box. However, customizing is recommended for advanced users only.
If you work with more than one Adobe application, it is highly recommended that you synchronize your color settings across applications. (See Synchronize color settings across Adobe applications.)
Pure CMYK black (K=100) appears jet black (or rich black) when viewed on‑screen, printed to a non-PostScript desktop printer, or exported to an RGB file format. If you prefer to see the difference between pure black and rich black as it will appear when printed on a commercial press, you can change the Appearance Of Black preferences. These preferences do not change the color values in a document.
When color management is on, any color you apply or create within a color-managed Adobe application automatically uses a color profile that corresponds to the document. If you switch color modes, the color management system uses the appropriate profiles to translate the color to the new color model you choose.
Keep in mind the following guidelines for working with process and spot colors:
Color-managing spot colors provides a close approximation of a spot color on your proofing device and monitor. However, it is difficult to exactly reproduce a spot color on a monitor or proofing device because many spot color inks exist outside the gamuts of many of those devices.