Ethan Marcotte now blogs at Unstoppable Robot Ninja.

Weblog entry:

Surviving color management in Photoshop CS2

Good lord, this thing’s still here. Who knew.

So anyway: Dan and I were talking over dinner last night about color profiles, and how they were likely created by some soused Freemasons looking for yet another way to put Western civilization in a half-nelson.

Pointy Hat-Wearing Freemason #1: “Say, brother: how might we put one over on those Illuminati bastards once and for all? I mean, I’m talking really nefarious yet ineffable shit. Like, wow me. Go.”

Pointy Hat-Wearing Freemason #2, Who Might Also Have a Penchant for Curly-Toed Shoes and Cackling Maniacally In the Middle of Cocktail Hour for No Reason: “Hmm…I know! How about making it near impossible for non-Mensa members of society to figure out why screenshots copied to their clipboard look darker than midnight inside a badger’s ass when pasted into, say, Photoshop CS2?”

Pointy Hat-Wearing Freemason #1: “…dude. That is some cold, twisted shit right there. Actually, you’re fired. Get out of here and turn in your hat, you sick puppy.”

If you can’t tell, I’m out of practice with this whole “blogging” thing. Moving on.

But seriously though: who understands this stuff? (Josh, shush.) I certainly don’t: for some reason, whenever I took a screenshot in OS X and saved it to the clipboard (cmd + ctrl + shift + 3 for the whole screen, or cmd + ctrl + shift + 4 for a selection), pasting the resulting data into Photoshop would result in something noticeably darker than the original data.

Go on, try it.

I’ll wait.

Anyway. Dan was kind enough to share a workaround with me (namely, go to View > Proof Setup > Monitor RGB), which showed the proper, “uncorrected” version of the screenshot: unfortunately, he had to do it for each new graphic, which made Dan a very sad panda. And nobody wants that.

So after a bit of mucking around, I came up with something that seems to work reasonably well. Again, this is on OS X, so you PC’ers will likely have to plug in the Windows counterparts as needed:

  1. In Edit > Color Settings, set the RGB dropdown under “Working Spaces” to “Apple RGB”. (Monitor RGB might work as well, but I didn’t test it…and you’re not paying for wild conjecture here, are you?)
  2. Set the RGB dropdown under “Color Management Policies” to “Off”.
  3. Hit the “OK” button.
  4. Now, when you create a new file, hit the “Advanced” arrow at the bottom of the window.
  5. Set the “Color Profile” dropdown to “Don’t Color Manage this Document”. You should only have to do this once.

I realize that some of you probably have this color profile nonsense down cold, and yours truly has only just now knuckle-dragged himself into the twentieth century. But seriously, this was a huge stumbling block for me, and this seems to have fixed it. But as always, if any of the three of you have any tips for yours truly, yours truly would buy you a beer next time he sees you.

And no, he doesn’t think that third person devices are trite and/or contrived. Jerk.


Hooray, technical difficulties.

There’s a WordPress issue that’s currently preventing old comments from displaying correctly. Sorry for the inconvenience, but hopefully we’ll be back online soon.