Color Printer Profiles and Photoshop Elements 10

The final leg in a color-managed workflow within Photoshop Elements 10 is to convert color from your color workspace profile to your printer’s color profile. Basically, this conversion means that the colors you see on your monitor in your current workspace are accurately converted to the color that can be reproduced by your printer.

To print accurate color, a color profile designed for your printer and the paper you use needs to be installed on your computer.

You can manage color in Photoshop Elements in three ways when it comes time to print your files:

  • Printer Manages Colors. This method permits your desktop color printer to decide which profile to use when you print your photo. Your printer makes this decision according to the paper you select.

    If you choose Epson Premium Glossy Photo Paper, for example, your printer chooses the profile that goes along with that particular paper. If you choose another paper, your printer chooses a different color profile. This method is all automatic, and color profile selection is made when you print your file.

  • Photoshop Elements Manages Color. When you make this choice, color management is taken out of the hands of your printer and is controlled by Elements. You must choose a color profile after making this choice. If color profiles are installed by your printer, you can choose a color profile from the list of profiles that match your printer and the paper source.

  • No Color Management. You use this choice if you have a color profile embedded in one of your pictures. You’ll probably rarely use this option. Unless you know how to embed profiles or receive files with embedded profiles from other users, don’t make this choice in the Print dialog box. Very few Elements users work with files with embedded profiles.

Each of these three options requires you to decide how color is managed. You make choices about whether to color-manage your output. These selections are unique to the Print dialog box and more specifically to the More Options dialog box for your individual printer.

Color profiles are also dependent upon the ink being used, and refilling cartridges with generic ink can (in some cases) result in colors shifting. Similarly, if the nozzles aren't clean and delivering ink consistently, you may see very strange results.

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