Part 4 - What else is New and Improved?
An interesting question! On the Colour Space conversion and
profile embedding front we find that Profile to Profile command
of Photoshop 5 is no more, some say thankfully; others are still wiping
away the tears. Not to worry, Adobe has provided us with a new and more
effective command that is broadly similar in operation, namely, Convert
to Profile. They have also added a new command - Assign Profile.
This command allows the user to assign any profile to an image without
actually converting the image.
Finally, the Save As dialog has also undergone a few
significant changes with new features being included, I'll also discuss
The Assign Profile command is accessed via the Image > Mode
menu and allows the user to assign any profile of their choosing to an
image. The command itself was designed for only few limited uses,
typically with images that have been scanned into Photoshop using a
Twain module or a scanner package that has no means of embedding an ICC/ColorSync
Assuming that the colour management Policy is not OFF, then an image scanned into Photoshop with NO embedded profile will
be "assigned", "previewed"
and subsequently "saved" in the current Photoshop Working
Space. Obviously, this may not be the most appropriate colour space in
which to edit or save the image, so assuming the user has the correct source
profile we can make the necessary assignment.
It is important to note that unlike the Profile to Profile command of
Photoshop 5, assigning a profile will NOT convert the image (will
not change the numbers; i.e. RGB pixel values). It simply tells Photoshop
the actual colour space that you wish to edit and view the image in (it
changes the image appearance or meaning of the numbers).
Other potential uses for Assign Profile include the removal of
an embedded profile (don't colour manage the image) and assign a
correction profile to an image that the user knows has been embedded
with an incorrect profile (define a new source profile).
Convert to Profile
The Convert to Profile command found under the Image > Mode
menu is basically an enhanced version of Profile-to-Profile. With
Profile-to-Profile we were able to define the source colour space
(and probably get it wrong), in Photoshop 6 this cannot be done since
the assigned profile for the image is locked. The only way that this
source profile can be changed is via the Assign Profile command
In the example above I show an image with an embedded profile (Source
Space = Adobe RGB) being converted into an image that will be in
ColorMatch (Destination Space). Whenever we make this conversion
it will be the profile for the destination space that is embedded within
the image file when saved. Convert to Profile changes the numbers
(i.e. pixel values). The inclusion of the Preview
checkbox allows the user to compare the conversion with and without Black
Point Compensation, Dithering and any one of the four
rendering Intents. The ability to preview the conversion is a
real boon and shouldn't be ignored, use it to your benefit.
method of printing an image in Photoshop 5.x, here's its
Actually, some users prefer to use the Convert to
Profile command to prepare their images for printing, much as they did with
Profile-to-Profile in Photoshop 5. The advantage of this approach is that it provides a very accurate preview of how the image will print, and gives the user the ability to use (and preview) the alternative conversion options.
If you do choose this approach for printing then simply select Same as
Source (direct equivalent of RGB in Photoshop 5) as the Print
Space, the reminder of the settings are as described previously. Of
course, the printer driver must be set for
No Color Adjustment mode.
Photoshop Print dialog settings required for this method of printing
Also, notice that whereas in the previous examples the Source
Space was the same as the Photoshop Working Space it is now the name of the media profile you selected in
Convert to Profile (e.g. Epson Stylus Photo 1270 Photo Paper).
REMEMBER - convert your image
back to your normal Photoshop working space before saving it.
Last but not least, the new Save As dialog throws up a host of
new and useful features. Most of the new features are not really new at
all; just their location has changed.
The Embed Profile checkbox previously existed in the Photoshop
Profile Setup dialog. The chief difference being that whereas it
impacted on each and every file being saved, the new option in the Save
As dialog is specific to the image being saved. You can keep it ON
or turn it OFF as you please. The latter option being a bad idea
in most instances. Notice that the dialog even informs us which profile
is being embedded.
The screen grab shown below is how the dialog appears on Mac OS
systems; the PC Windows versions will look slightly different,
but are functionally identical.
Save As - Mac OS Version
The other save options present in the dialog are those associated
with Layers, Alpha Channels, Annotations, etc.
Again, we can choose to uncheck them and so save the image without the
layers, etc. The Save As a Copy feature is engaged by default as
soon as you uncheck Layers, this prevents you trashing a lot of
I wrote at the outset of this article that Photoshop 6 had many new
and powerful features, some of which had effectively been ignored by
various magazine commentators. The vastly improved colour management
system was one such feature, which is a great pity because on its own it
justifies the price of the upgrade. However, being fair to the
commentators Adobe didn't exactly go out their way to beat a drum
telling the world of these improvements, worse they haven't really
managed to document the new setup in a clear unambiguous manner.
I hope this article has provided you with some insight as to
how Photoshop 6 should be configured. Obviously each user will have
his/her own preferences, but the principles are the same for all. As
good management will tend to make for a more productive work
environment, a good colour-managed workflow will make for a more
productive experience in Photoshop. So now that we have Photoshop 6
configured we can get on with the business of creating and editing our
images in the knowledge that things should appear in print as we see
them on the monitor.