Prepare for Online Proofing

If you will be showing photo proofs online, you need to ensure that the image the client sees is the image they will ultimately purchase. Here is the step by step guide to calibrating your monitor to standards recognized by professional print labs for the best quality in your photo proofing and viewing:

The most basic requirement for color management is to calibrate your monitor and create an ICC profile for it. Applications that support color management will use your monitor’s ICC profile to display color graphics consistently. If you don’t have a hardware-based calibration and profiling utility, you can get reasonably accurate results using Adobe Gamma.
Although all color gamuts overlap, they don’t match exactly, which is why some colors on your monitor can’t be reproduced in print. The colors that can’t be reproduced in print are called out-of-gamut colors, because they are outside the spectrum of printable colors. For example, you can create a large percentage of colors in the visible spectrum using programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, and InDesign, but you can reproduce only a subset of those colors on a desktop printer. The printer has a smaller color space or gamut (the range of colors that can be displayed or printed) than the application that created the color.Visible spectrum containing millions of colors (far left) compared with color gamuts of various devices and documents. To compensate for these differences and to ensure the closest match between on-screen colors and printed colors, applications use a color management system (CMS). Using a color management engine, the CMS translates colors from the color space of one device into a device-independent color space, such as CIE (Commission Internationale d’Eclairage) LAB. From the device-independent color space, the CMS fits that color information to another device’s color space by a process called color mapping, or gamut mapping. The CMS makes any adjustments necessary to represent the color consistently among devices. RGB CMYK532 LESSON 17Setting Up Your Monitor for Color ManagementA CMS uses three components to map colors across devices:• A device-independent (or reference) color space.• ICC profiles that define the color characteristics of particular devices and documents.• A color management engine that translates colors from one device’s color space to another according to a rendering intent, or translation method.A. Scanners and software applications create color documents. Users choose document’s working color space. B. ICC source profiles describe document color spaces. C. A color management engine uses ICC source profiles to map document colors to a device-independent color space through supporting applications. D. The color management engine maps document colors from the deviceindependent color space to output-device color spaces using destination profiles. To successfully compare gamuts and make adjustments, a color management system must use a reference color space—an objective way of defining color. Most CMSs use the CIE LAB color model, which exists independently of any device and is big enough to reproduce any color visible to the human eye. For this reason, CIE LAB is considered device-independent.About ICC profiles An ICC profile describes how a particular device or standard reproduces color using a cross-platform standard defined by the International Color Consortium (ICC). ICC profiles ensure that images appear correctly in any ICC-compliant applications and on color devices. This is accomplished by embedding the profile information in the original file or assigning the profile in your application. At a minimum, you must have one source profile for the device (scanner or digital camera, for example) or standard (SWOP or Adobe RGB, for example) used to create the color, and one destination profile for the device (monitor or contract proofing, for example) or standard (SWOP or TOYO, for example) that you will use to reproduce the color. About color management enginesSometimes called the color matching module (CMM), the color management engine interprets ICC profiles. Acting as a translator, the color management engine converts the out-of-gamut colors from the source device to the range of colors that can be produced by the destination device. The color management engine may be included with the CMS or may be a separate part of the operating system.Translating to a gamut—particularly a smaller gamut—usually involves a compromise, so multiple translation methods are available. For example, a color translation method that preserves correct relationships among colors in a photograph will usually alter the colors in a logo. Color management engines provide a choice of translation methods, known as rendering intents, so that you can apply a method appropriate to the intended use of a color graphic. Examples of common rendering intents include Perceptual (Images) for preserving color relationships the way the eye does, Saturation (Graphics) for preserving vivid colors at the expense of color accuracy, and Relative and Absolute Colorimetric for preserving color accuracy at the expense of color relationships.
You can find additional information on color management on the Web and in print. Here are a few resources:
On the Adobe Web site (, search for color management or go directly to
On the Apple®Web site (, search for ColorSync.
On the LinoColor Web site (, open the Color Manager Manual.
On the Agfa Web site (, search for the publication The Secrets of Color Management.
On the ColorBlind Web site (, click Color Resources.
At your local library or bookstore, look for GATF Practical Guide to Color Management, by Richard Adams and Joshua Weisberg (May 1998); ISBN 0883622025.
For information about setting up color management in Photoshop, see Photoshop 7.0 online Help.
Below are just a few of many tips for properly calibrating your monitor….
Calibrating and characterizing your monitor
The first requirement for color management is to calibrate your monitor and create an accurate ICC profile for it. Although this doesn’t address your entire workflow, at least it ensures that your monitor displays colors as precisely as it can. Calibration is the process of setting your monitor, or any device, to known color conditions. Characterization, or profiling, is the process of creating an ICC profile that describes the unique color characteristics of your device or standard. Always calibrate your monitor, or any device, before creating a profile for it; otherwise, the profile is only valid for the current state of the device.
Monitor adjustment for Mac OS
Mac OS 8.x and Mac OS 9.x users can get good results from the Monitor Calibration Assistant built into their systems in the Monitors control panel. In Mac OS 10, use the Display Calibration Assistant in the System Preferences. The resulting ICC profile uses the calibration settings to describe precisely how your monitor reproduces color. Before you begin calibrating your monitor, be sure to remove any old Adobe Gamma control panels from your system. Then, simply follow the on-screen instructions, and you’re finished with this lesson.Monitor adjustment on WindowsAlthough monitor calibration and characterization are best done with specialized software and hardware, you can get reasonably accurate results with the newest version of the Adobe Gamma utility for Windows, included with your Adobe product. If you are satisfied with your existing monitor profile, you do not need to use Adobe Gamma because Adobe Gamma will overwrite those settings.You may find it helpful to have your monitor’s user guide handy while using Adobe Gamma.Preparing to calibrate your monitorBefore you begin to make monitor adjustments, it’s important that the conditions be right for the procedure and that your computer is cleared of settings or old utilities that might conflict with the process.1 If you have any older versions of Adobe Gamma, delete them because they are obsolete. Use the latest Adobe Gamma utility instead. (Windows only): If the Monitor Setup Utility (included with PageMaker 6.x) is on your system, delete it because it, too, is now obsolete. 2 Make sure your monitor has been turned on for at least a half hour. This gives it suffi-cient time to warm up for a more accurate color reading.3 Set the room lighting to the level you plan to maintain consistently.4 Remove colorful background patterns on your monitor desktop. Busy or bright patterns surrounding a document interfere with accurate color perception. Set your desktop to display neutral grays only, using RGB values of 128. For more information, see the manual for your operating system.
Setting Up Your Monitor for Color Management
If your monitor has digital controls for choosing the white point of your monitor from a range of preset values, set those controls before starting. If you set them after you begin the calibration process, you’ll need to begin the process again. Later, you’ll set the white point to match your monitor’s current setting. 6 On the Windows desktop, choose Start > Settings > Control Panel. 7 Double-click Display, and then click the Settings tab and make sure that your monitor is displaying thousands of colors or more. Calibrating the monitorOn Windows, you’ll use the Adobe Gamma utility to calibrate and characterize your monitor. The resulting ICC profile uses the calibration settings to describe precisely how your monitor reproduces color. In this section, you’ll load an existing monitor profile as a starting point for calibrating your monitor. Note: Adobe Gamma can characterize, but not calibrate, monitors used with Windows NT® .Its ability to calibrate settings in Windows 98 depends on the video card and video-driver software. In such cases, some calibration options documented here may not be available. For example, if you’re only characterizing your monitor, you’ll choose the default white point and gamma, but not the target calibration settings.1 If the Control Panel is not open, choose Start > Settings > Control Panel. Then doubleclick Adobe Gamma.Note: If you are running Windows XP and do not see the Adobe Gamma icon in the Control Panel, try changing the View menu selection to Classic View.You can use either the control panel or a step-by-step wizard to make all the adjustments necessary for calibrating your monitor. In this lesson, you will use the Adobe Gamma control panel. At any time while working in the Adobe Gamma control panel, you can click the Wizard (Windows) or Assistant (Mac OS) button to switch to the wizard for instructions that guide you through the same settings as in the control panel, one option at a time.
Setting the midtones
The gamma setting defines midtone brightness. You can adjust the gamma based on a
single combined gamma reading (the View Single Gamma Only option). Or you can
adjust the midtones individually for red, green, and blue. The second method produces a
more accurate setting, so you will use that method here.
For the Gamma option in the Adobe Gamma utility, deselect the View Single Gamma
Only option. Drag the slider under each box until the shape in the center blends in with
the background as much as possible. It may help to squint or move back from the
Single gamma not calibrated (left), and calibrated (right)
Make adjustments carefully and in small increments; imprecise adjustments can result in
a color cast not visible until you print.
Selecting a target gamma
You may also have an option for specifying a separate gamma for viewing graphics.
Note: This option is not available in Windows NT, due to its hardware protection shield that
prevents Adobe Gamma from communicating with the computer’s video card.
If you have this option, choose one of the following from the Desired menu:
• Windows Default for Windows systems. Leave the setting at 2.2.
• Macintosh Default for Mac OS computers. Leave the setting at 1.8.
Setting the Monitor’s whitepoint.
Now you’ll adjust the hardware white point, the whitest white that a monitor is capable of
displaying. The white point is a measurement of color temperature in Kelvin and determines whether you are using a warm or cool white.
First, you’ll make sure that the white-point setting matches the white point of your
monitor. Do one of the following:
• If you know the white point of your monitor in its current state, you can select it from
the Hardware menu in the White Point section. If your monitor is new, select 9300 Kelvin,
the default white point of most monitors and televisions.
• If you started from a manufacturer’s profile for your monitor, you can use the default
value. However, the older your monitor, the less likely it is that its white point still matches
the manufacturer’s profile.
• If your monitor is equipped with digital controls for setting the white point, and you
already set those controls before starting Adobe Gamma, make sure that the Hardware
menu matches your monitor’s current setting. Remember, though, that if you adjust these
hardware controls at this point in the calibration process, you’ll need to start over,
beginning with the procedure in “Setting the optimal brightness and contrast” on
page 538.542 LESSON 17
Setting Up Your Monitor for Color Management
• If you don’t know the white point and don’t know the appropriate values, you can use
the Measure option to visually estimate it. If you choose this option, continue to step 1.
To get a precise value, you need to measure the white point with a desktop colorimeter or
spectrophotometer and enter that value directly using the Custom option.
If you were unable to choose a hardware setting as described, try the following
1 For best results, turn off all lights in the room.
2 Click Measure, and then click OK (Windows) or Next (Mac OS). Three squares appear.
The goal here is to make the center square as neutral gray as possible. You’ll train your eyes
to see the contrasts between the extreme cooler (blue) white and warmer (yellow) white,
and then adjust the colors in the squares to find the most neutral gray between them.
3 Click the left square several times until it disappears, leaving the middle and right
squares. Study the contrast between the bluish square on the right and the center square.
Clicking on the left square will reset all the squares
a shade cooler.
4 Click the right square several times until it disappears, and study the contrast between
the yellowish square on the left and the center square.
Clicking on the right square will reset all the squares
a shade warmer.ADOBE PHOTOSHOP 7.0 543
Classroom in a Book
5 Click the left or right square until the center square is a neutral gray. When complete,
commit the changes by clicking the center square.
For a color illustration of adjusting the white point, see figure 17-1 of the color
Setting an adjusted white point
This option, when available, sets a working white point for monitor display, if that value
differs from the hardware white point. For example, if your hardware white point is
6500 Kelvin (daylight), but you want to edit an image at 5000 Kelvin (warm white)
because that most closely represents the environment in which the image will be viewed,
you can set your adjusted white point to 5000 Kelvin. Adobe Gamma will change the
monitor display accordingly.
Do one of the following to specify a separate white point for viewing graphics:
• To use the current white point of your monitor, choose Same as Hardware from the
Adjusted menu.
• To specify your monitor’s white point to a target value other than the Hardware value,
choose the gamma setting you want from the Adjusted menu544 LESSON 17
Setting Up Your Monitor for Color Management
Saving the monitor profile
Now that you have adjusted all the settings for your monitor, you will save the ICC profile
you have created. Applications that support color management will use this monitor
profile to display color graphics.
1 In Adobe Gamma, rename the monitor profile by editing the text in the Description
text box. (We named the profile My Monitor.) When you name the monitor here, it
appears by default when you start Adobe Gamma.
2 Click OK.
3 In the Save As dialog box, type the filename again, and save the file in the Color folder.
Adobe Gamma makes the new monitor profile the default. You can use this profile in any
application that supports ICC-compliant color management. ADOBE PHOTOSHOP 7.0 545
Classroom in a Book
Review questions
1 What does the color management engine do?
2 What is calibration?
3 What is characterization?
Review answers
1 The color management engine translates colors from the color space of one device to
another device’s color space by a process called color mapping.
2 Calibration is the process of setting a device to known color conditions.
3 Characterization, or profiling, is the process of creating an ICC profile that describes
the unique color characteristics of a particular device. You should always calibrate a
device before creating a profile for it.

17 Setting Up Your Monitor for Color Management

Leave a Comment