Choose a Color Workspace in Photoshop Elements 10 - dummies

Choose a Color Workspace in Photoshop Elements 10

By Barbara Obermeier, Ted Padova

In Elements, you have a choice between two workspace colors: either sRGB or Adobe RGB (1998). You access your color workspace settings by choosing Edit→Color Settings. The Color Settings dialog box opens.


The options you have in the Color Settings dialog box include

  • No Color Management: This choice turns off all color management. Don’t choose this option for any work you do in Elements. When using No Color Management, you need to work with files that have color profiles embedded in the photos. Most likely you won’t use these types of photos.

  • Always Optimize Colors for Computer Screens: Selecting this radio button sets your workspace to sRGB. sRGB color is used quite often for viewing images on your monitor. But this workspace often results in the best choice for color printing, too. Many color printers can output all the colors you can see in the sRGB workspace. In addition, many photo services, such as the Kodak EasyShare services, prefer this workspace color.

  • Always Optimize for Printing: Selecting this option sets your color workspace to Adobe RGB (1998). The color in this workspace has more available colors than you can see on your monitor. If you choose this workspace, be certain that your printer is capable of using all the colors in this color space.

  • Allow Me to Choose: When you choose this option, Elements prompts you for a profile assignment when you open images that contain no profile. This setting is handy if you work back and forth between screen and print images.

You probably created a monitor color profile when you calibrated your monitor. You probably also selected a color profile when you opened the Color Settings dialog box and selected your workspace color.

When you start your computer, your monitor color profile kicks in and adjusts your overall monitor brightness and corrects for any colorcasts. When you open a photo in Elements, color is automatically converted from your monitor color space to your workspace color.

At print time, you use another color profile to output your photos to your desktop color printer. Color is then converted from your workspace color to your printer’s color space. Each of these color profiles, and proper use of them, determine whether you can get good color output.