Color correction in Adobe Photoshop

This article will show you how to match color profiles in Adobe Photoshop to the printer.

Color settings

The color settings dialogue box allows users to set up working spaces and determines how color will be handled when files are opened. To navigate to the color settings dialogue box click Edit > Color Settings. Then, on the right side, click the "More Options" button so that your window looks like the one below.


Working space

The working space is where you set a standard color profile. This is used as a central location for color and will set your default color settings for files in Photoshop.

Use the following settings for your working space:


Color management policies

Color management policies determine what will happen when files are opened or pasted into Photoshop. Adobe Photoshop has the ability to read and preserve incoming color profiles. Set all of the management policies to preserve embedded profiles. We may or may not want Photoshop to preserve the embedded profile, check all of the check boxes below to make Photoshop give you color management options when you open a file.


Conversion options

The conversion options determine the method Photoshop will use while converting the color profile to the working space profile. When converting a profile there are four different intents each with their pros and cons.

  • The perceptual intent preserves the visual relationship between the source's colors. In other words, the color stays proportional to itself. This type of intent is best for pictures, and is the recommended intent for most documents.
  • The saturation intent preserves the brightness or saturation of colors when transforming them into the working space's profile. This intent is best used in situations where the exact color of a photo is less important then the brightness of the photo (like a business graph or logo).
  • The relative colorimetric intent will give you the most accurate color matching of all the intents, but the color gamut will be cliped when converting from a large color gamut like Adobe RGB to a smaller color gamut like a printer.
  • The absolute colorimetric intent has the ability to simulate the paper white and is thus useful for hard copy proofing.

Under conversion options make sure "Use Black Point Compensation" is checked and "Use Dither" is unchecked. The intent should be set as "perceptual" and the engine should be left as the default "Adobe (ACE)". Note: these are the most common settings. If you know you want a different rendering intent then select that intent. If you are unsure what intent you want, use the perceptual intent.


Soft proof settings

Once you have finished editing your file in Photoshop, you will want to know how your image will look once it is printed. This is where soft proofing comes in. To access the soft proof settings, click: View > Proof Setup > Custom. To ensure that your soft proof looks like what the printer will print use the following soft proof settings:


note: After soft proofing a file, the image on the screen will look very muddy. This is an actual portrayal of what the image will look like on paper. If necessary, now is the time to make final adjustments to the image before printing.

Printing preferences

Now that you are ready to print, there are just a few more preferences that need to be changed. Open the print dialogue box by clicking: File > Print.


On the right-hand side of the print dialogue box, use the following settings to make the printer use the correct color profile for the printer.


Once your settings have been changed, click the print button in the lower right hand corner to print.