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Part 2 - Photoshop 6 Colour Settings

Now begins the process of configuring Photoshop for how we want it to handle colour in our documents. This is achieved through the new "Color Settings" dialog found under the "Edit" menu.

 

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The new "Color Settings" dialog is the control room for the Photoshop 6 colour management system, and like all control rooms it's complicated. The default setting is "Web Graphics Default", but this is certainly not the best. The sooner we get things moulded into our own preferred configuration the sooner we can begin working with Photoshop 6 in earnest.

 

I will work my way through each section of the "Color Settings" dialog in turn. Note the "Description" box at the bottom of the dialog. As the mouse is moved across the various pop-up menus, etc. you should see a short but informative explanation of what each menu does. Also note the checkbox labelled "Advanced Mode", it's probably best that you select it now. At least that way you will see everything that the "Color Settings" has to offer, even if some are only applicable to the most advanced of Photoshop users.

 

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The first section is labelled "Settings"; this is simply a pop-up menu with a list of pre-set Photoshop settings, plus any that you may have saved. You need not worry too much about this section just yet.

 

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Working Spaces

The next section is labelled "Working Spaces", and as I discussed earlier it will determine the working space of certain images, namely the 3 types I mentioned above.

 

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There are four types of Working Space in Photoshop, RGB, CMYK, Grey and Spot. For the purposes of this exercise I will concentrate mainly on the RGB color space, since the other three are of no real importance if you're printing colour images to a consumer class inkjet printer from Epson/Canon/HP. If you're really interested in the others read the material by Andrew Rodney and Chris Murphy that I mentioned earlier.

RGB - Working Space

Clicking the RGB pop-up menu with the mouse will produce a list of options similar to that shown below. I chose "Adobe RGB (1998)" because it's the Working Space I settled on when using Photoshop 5. Notice that Adobe RGB (1998) appears within a group of four Working Spaces, each of which is device-independent, and in common use with a wide range of Photoshop users. Typically "sRGB" will be confined to those users solely interested in web design, "ColorMatch" is a favoured choice of many Mac users and "AppleRGB" is apparently for Mac web design.

 

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Notice that just above the four common Working Spaces we have "Monitor RGB" (green spot in the screen grab), and in the case of Mac systems "ColorSync RGB". "Monitor RGB" is simply the Working Space of your monitor as created by the Adobe Gamma utility (or a 3rd party software/hardware combination).

Unlike version 5 Photoshop 6 no longer shows in any obvious way, which monitor profile is being used. However, a quick check for "Monitor RGB" in the RGB Working Space pop-up should put your mind at rest. It is possible to select your monitor space as the Photoshop Working Space, but this is not really a good idea. "ColorSync RGB" is ONLY available to Mac users and will reflect the settings chosen as part of the ColorSync 3.x setup.

The actual list of options available for selection as Working Spaces differs depending on whether you activated Advanced Mode, or not. If you chose to activate Advanced Mode then the list of available RGB profiles will be quite extensive.

If you had previously been using another Working Space such as "BruceRGB" then it should also appear as one of the options in this extended list. If it doesn't then you can create the Working Space yourself by choosing "Custom" (yellow spot in the screen grab). The dialog below appears and you simply type in the data as shown for the Primaries etc, remember to give this new Working Space a name and click "OK".

 

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