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Part 2 - Photoshop 7 Colour Settings

Now begins the process of configuring Photoshop. This is achieved through the "Colour Settings" dialog found under the "Edit" menu (Windows and Mac OS9.x) or the Photoshop menu (Mac OSX).

The  "Colour Settings" dialog is the control room for the Photoshop 7 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 choice.

I will work my way through each section of the "Colour 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 "Colour Settings" has to offer, even if some are only applicable to the most advanced of Photoshop users.




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.




If you are upgrading from Photoshop 6 it is simply a matter of selecting the your previous setup. Notice that Adobe has retained the "Colour Management Off" option for those users who find the whole subject much too complicated. Although I don't recommend choosing this option I am aware that quite a few new Photoshop users working on the PC Windows platform find it easiest to handle. 

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 in Part 1).




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 colour space, since configuring the others follow a similar process.

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.




Notice that just above the four common working spaces we also find options for "Monitor RGB" (green spot in the screenshot), and in the case of Mac systems "ColorSync RGB". "Monitor RGB" is simply the colour space of your monitor as created by the Adobe Gamma utility (or a 3rd party software/hardware combination).

Unlike version 5 Photoshop 6 and 7 have no out-front way of informing the user, which monitor profile is actually being used. However, a quick check for "Monitor RGB" in the RGB working space pop-up should be enough to put your mind at rest. If "Monitor RGB" is showing something other than the profile you created when calibrating the monitor it is essential that you investigate the reason and make the appropriate corrections.  It is also 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 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  you can still create it yourself by choosing "Custom" (yellow spot in the above screenshot). 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".


Bruce RGB



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