Photoshop Top 40, Feature #10: Color Settings

Hey gang,

The word is out: Feature #10 is Color Settings, Photoshop’s command for regulating all things related to color management. It affects every image you create. Color Settings is located under the Edit menu, in case you’re wondering.

For those of you tracking the contest, the winner is jude, who guessed “Edit… Color Settings…,” which is spot-on.

Fully 25 of you guessed this feature (or something very much like it, as in “color management” or “color profiles,” both of which are fundamentally correct). And frankly that amazes me. It means a surprising minority of you are reading my mind with an alarming degree of accuracy.

Which is excellent news. Because now it’s time to guess Feature #9. Hint: It takes something bad and makes it good. Click here to take the survey (or skip it if you filled it out last week) and submit your entry!

And now a few words about this week’s feature: The Color Settings command is your way of establishing reliable color management policies across the entire Creative Suite. While admittedly techy, it ensures that what you see is what everyone else sees as well. And it’s not hard to set up. Watch the video to learn more.

As usual, the base photographs hail from image vendor Fotolia. The woman in profile is file #9428051 from chagin. The flowers are file #6951203 from Beboy. For an exclusive dekeOnline deal, click this link.

(For a list of all Photoshop Top 40 videos thus far, click here.)

Photoshop Top 40 is available as a downloadable podcast from iTunes. Click here to subscribe. dekePod subscribers will get the videos automatically.

I’m eager to make sure the survey works to everyone’s satisfaction. This week’s survey includes a skip option for those of you who submitted last week. (Note that if you skip and did not fill out the survey, your submission won’t be counted.) Please let me know your experience.

Next entry:Martini Hour 052, In Which Colleen Compliments Our Guest’s Definition of a Martini

Previous entry:Martini Hour 051, in Which Deke Discovers Our Guest Can’t Even Find Matching Socks


  • jude…

    Way to go!

  • We want the list :)

    Deke, why don’t you post the list of right answers including timing stats.

    That would be great!

  • Ladies and Germs, I am humbled…

    ...I’d like to thank Deke…

    ...and Colleen for setting up the contest…

    ...and Theresa for notifying me…

    ...and my family for…uh…I’ll think of something…

    ...and all members of this noteworthy blog…

    ...and most of all, Thomas Knoll, without whom I might not be writing this missive.


    Thank you, from my bottom, I thank you.


    “Thanks again, for another day full of something that I
    just can’t put my finger on.”—Kim Knoche

  • Sweet,

    I have been having troubles with printing my school projects on our printer, and some of the photos were coming out wrong… color-wise, this has helped!!! thanks Deke.

  • Few points…

    ... I’d like to make:

    In the beginning you mention using AdobeRGB, even if you’re working for web. I cannot agree with that. For (only) web, sRGB is best choice. It will save trouble later.

    At around 7:50 you say PS will convert the sRGB (flowers) image to AdobeRGB. It will not with your settings (“preserve embedded profiles”). Also, you’re not “working in AdobeRGB”. It’s merely the default working space (used for untagged images or new documents unless set different in “New document > Advanced”). If you’re in an sRGB image, you’re working in sRGB space and gamut. (While PS is using Lab internally wink)

    On the ticking “don’t show again” at 9:15. I’d not recommend that, but then again, I also have the “ask when pasting” and “missing profile” box in the settings ticked. 

    At 9:45: Of course the RGB values are different if you eyedropper them. Any color inside sRGB gamut will have been converted, so those will remain identical. But any color that was outside sRGB gamut, will have been clipped, since the conversion is Relative Colorimetric.

    If you want more of my thoughts on it:

  • Congrats


    PS I wonder how many people took part in this contest.

    PPS Deke’s tips are so enigmatic! But I kinda like it wink

  • Yikes !!!

    I’m probably not alone in biting my tongue and not (especially after visiting/viewing the site indicated) replying as I’m tempted to….

    ... think I’ll sit back and see how Deke weighs in on this :(

  • Congratulations!

    Nice work pal.

    Enjoy the prizes!!!

  • Need more beer…. get my head around all that!

  • First paragraph, Deke said

    First paragraph, Deke said towards the end, if it’s for the web to save for web, which makes it sRGB… unless I heard it wrong.

    Second paragraph, if you do the More Options, Conversion Options step, which was way before the 7:50 mark, won’t that convert the sRGB by default?... that’s what I thought it was for… and what kind of LAB are you running anyways… lol

    Third paragraph, less confusion, which I like….

    Fourth paragraph, don’t be clipping Deke’s gamut, we like him as he is around here….

    Last line; Nice website!

  • So close…

    …but not quite close enough. I would also be interested in a list of correct (and almost correct) guesses with timing stats.

    This countdown is as delightful as it is informative! You are my personal hero, Deke!!

  • Clearly one guy’s Color Settings may not be another’s

    But I’d still go with mine in a heartbeat.

    In my experience, there is no such thing as “working for the Web.” If we’ve learned anything over the past several years, it’s that our artwork has to be destination-independent. One moment it appears in print, the next on a Web page, the next who knows where. When working with an 8-bit/channel image, Adobe RGB (1998) is a great standard with virtually universal support. When outputting that image to the Web, Save for Web automatically converts it to sRGB, which is a smaller space with a reduced gamut. So JPEGs and PNGs are automatically adjusted, as warranted by the relatively copious (and color-accurate) imagery on this site.

    Good call at 7:50: Photoshop is converting from sRGB to your monitor’s characterized space, not Adobe RGB. Pardon the misspeak.

    At 9:15, I used to agree with you about turning on those very check boxes. (See ancient editions of my Photoshop Bible.) But that leads to an array of confusing and irritating alert messages that are largely unhelpful, given that—in the end—you want the conversions to occur.

    Not so at 9:45: Regardless of your Intent setting (Relative Colorimetric or my preferred Perceptual), very nearly all colors in an image will change in the conversion from one RGB space to another b/c the Lab coordinates are different inside the two spaces.

    Anyway, there’s that. I think we can all agree this is pretty technical stuff. But after more some 15-odd years working with the feature (which first sprung up in Photoshop 5) and enjoying Adobe’s technical expertise, I’m confident that the methods documented in this video represent the best approach for the widest range of photographers and designers.

  • Doh!

    In my rush to get my guess as to what #9 will be, I submitted the wrong feature! I’m almost positive that I know what it is! I pasted in the wrong answer. Oh well.

  • Congrats!

    Congratulation Jude!

  • Keep it coming

    It’s this type of discussion that really gives us all an education…

  • Don’t know how to quote here, so I’ll try this:

    On the “working for the Web.” I should have been clearer on the “only” part wink

    Not so at 9:45: Regardless of your Intent setting (Relative Colorimetric or my preferred Perceptual), very nearly all colors in an image will change in the conversion from one RGB space to another b/c the Lab coordinates are different inside the two spaces.

    Point I was trying to make is that the “RGB values” will differ, but the color (as in “what is seen”) should be the same. Otherwise we’d see a color change when converting from AdobeRGB to sRGB. And we don’t. (for in gamut colors)

    There is no such thing as a Perceptual conversion from AdobeRGB to sRGB in PS. Regardless of what you set, it will be colorimetric.

    I can agree that the check boxes are down to personal preference. (As is the default working space)

  • Color Settings YouTube

    When I click on the arrow to see the color settings it just keeps loadin (circle rotating) and never starts.  Wuz up?

  • You mean the arrow in the Color Settings dialog

    To the right of Settings? My guess is you need to restart Photoshop. Or your computer. Or rest the program by launching it while pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt (Cmd-Shift-Option).

    Just sounds like on of the anomalies.

  • Nice Feature

    Nice video and great feature. These discussions really give us all an education. Nice work pal!

Share your feedback, work, homages, questions, wisecracks, advice, critiques, riffs, derision (within reason), frustrations, and love of all things graphical. Log in (or register) to lend your voice.