ColorThink Pro - Profile Inspector and Renamer
Profile Inspector and Renamer
Profile Inspector opens all ICC-compliant profiles and displays their contents graphically as well as allowing browsing of header and tag table information. Using the same technology as the Profile Medic, Profile Inspector performs a comprehensive 16-point integrity check on the profile’s structure and internal information. Any errors or warnings are summarized in a list and can be repaired with Profile Medic.
Opening Profiles into the Profile Inspector
- Choose “FileOpen” and select a profile - or -
- Double click a profile in PM - or -
- Drag a profile onto the menu bar - or -
- Drag and drop it onto the ColorThink application icon.
Profile Inspector Window
- Button Bar
(Mac OS X only) This indicator displays whether or not ColorSync’s validation procedure found the profile to be sound. ColorSync uses different validation checks for profiles than the Profile Inspector. This information is shown to confirm that ColorSync likes it too. If the profile fails ColorSync's validation procedure it will display ->
The arrows and the colored block represent a summary of the type of profile (matrix vs. look up table – LUT vs. NCP), the accuracy (8 or 16 bit), the grid size of a LUT-based profile, and the number of custom colors in a Named Color Profile (NCP).
For device profiles, the color tabs in the overview represent the colors of the primaries of the device as they were read when the profile was made.
For device link profiles the tabs show a representation of how colors will be modified by the profile. As no colorimetric information is contained in device link profiles, default RGB and CMYK profiles are used to display colors to screen. If the link profiles refer to color spaces other than CMYK, RGB, Lab or XYZ, there are no standard profiles available via ColorSync and color tabs will not be displayed. When available, the tabs will open to show device settings. Please refer to the Tutorials section of this manual for an example of evaluating a device link profile.
The Lab and XYZ tabs represent the Profile Connection Space (PCS) and are for illustration only. They cannot be dragged for graphing or other purposes.
Refer to the section near the beginning of this manual for a full description of color tab features and behavior.
Device and Profile Connection Colorspace
The box area on the left of the Overview Tab summarizes the information regarding the device colorspace of the profile.
The box on the right summarizes the information regarding the Profile Connection Space (PSC) of the profile.
Device Link Profiles
Device Link Profiles are used exclusively to convert from one set of device colors to another and as a result, contain no colorimetric information. To display CMYK or RGB colors on screen, the default RGB and CMYK profiles set in the ColorSync control panel are used.
Named Color Profiles
(NCP’s) are properly opened and the number of colors in the profile is displayed. An “Export Color List” button is available and allows the export to the worksheet of the NCP’s list of colors for further analysis and graphing.
Monitor profiles will display the measured white point in Kelvin.
The gamut volume number here represents cubic Lab values. This provides a reasonable approximation of the number of uniquely perceptible colors contained in a device's color gamut. This is intended for relative comparison purposes only.
Header Fields tab
The header fields in an ICC profile contain information and settings that apply to all ICC profile types. Most of these fields are for information purposes only but some can be edited:
- Preferred CMM
- This setting is typically used in applications or printer drivers that do not allow the setting of the desired CMM (Color Management Module). CMM selection and arbitration is a complex issue that takes into consideration the available CMM’s, the ability of the selected CMM to perform the desired operation and other factors. Change the setting with the popup menu and then save the profile using “FileSave” for the change to take effect.
The CMM used in ColorThink Pro is "LCMS" (littleCMS). This is a highly respected color management module and is used in a number of other commercially-available products including the software products made by Apago, inc.
This CMM also enables ColorThink Pro to offer the same module for both Windows and Mac platforms. For those who need consistency between operating systems, this ensures that you will get the same numbers on both systems (for example, when calculating profile gamut volume.)
- Default Rendering Intent
- This setting is typically used in applications or printer drivers that do not allow the setting of the desired rendering intent. Change the setting with the popup menu and then save the profile using “FileSave” for the change to take effect.
A diamond will appear next to the profile icon showing the profile has been altered and the change has not been saved.
Future versions of ColorThink will offer more information regarding the header fields. In the meantime, please refer to the ICC specification for more information. A link to the ICC website is available in the ColorThink About Box and the “Web” menu.
Tag Table tab
The tag table in an ICC profile contains a series of data fields that are variable length and contain many different types of information. Text, color, device settings, descriptions and other information are contained in tags. The ICC profile specification requires some tags to be supplied in each type of profile. Additional “private” tags can be supplied by profile making or editing applications and may be used by CMM’s to render color differently.
ColorThink recognizes all ICC-approved tags and a descriptive explanation is given for each of these tag types.
The Tag List displays each tag in the profile including its data type and a description field.
The name (also known as the tag signature) is the official name as specified in the ICC specification.
The type describes the different functions of the tag as defined by the ICC.
- Examples include "text" "desc" "mft2". Click on a tag for more information including where in the profile the tag resides and a summary of the tag's contents.
- Different tag types will have different descriptions.
- “Text” data types can be exported as text files and opened in text editors, spreadsheet programs like Excel, or even opened into the Color Worksheet. Some profile-building applications (such as GretagMacbeth ProfileMaker Pro) embed the original measurement and reference data in the profile in the form of “Text” tags. These lists can be exported as text files and also re-opened into the Color Worksheet for analysis or graphing. (Click the "Open in Worksheet" button.)
- Color tags are shown in several different coordinate systems and a color tab displays the color for viewing or graphing.
Columns in this table can be re-ordered according to alphabetical order by clicking on the column heading. Once re-ordered, the Profile Inspector must be reopened in order to return to the original sort order. It is not possible to save a profile with a customized sort order of its tag table.
If a tag name is italicized that means that it is sharing data with another tag. Comparing the offset numbers of the different tags will show which tags are pointing to the same data.
- Private Tags
Private tags are unique to the profile creator or editor. Some private tags can be recognized by ColorThink Pro. Private, unrecognized tags are marked as such. If a profile manufacturer is willing to make their private tag information available to CHROMiX, we will consider writing tag interpreters for their tags into future versions of ColorThink. Please contact us for more information.ColorSmarts Guide to compare the tag list of two different profiles.
Altering Profile Tags
- Warning! The following procedures can render a profile useless if used incorrectly. Always save a backup copy of your profiles before making any changes.
- Deleting tags
A tag can be deleted from the tag table by highlighting the tag and clicking the Backspace key (Delete on some keyboards).
Possible purposes for deleting tags:
- This can be useful in eliminating extraneous tags when repurposing profiles.
- If the profile will be publicly distributed, you may want to eliminate unused tags to avoid confusion and shrink the profile size.
- Some color data sets do not allow public distribution, so deleting these from the profile is required for compliance.
It is possible to delete tags that are required by the ICC specification and therefore render the profile useless. Be careful! See ICC Specifications at www.color.org for more information.
- Copying tags from profile to profile
Tags can be swapped from one profile to another by clicking and dragging a tag from one open profile inspector window to another.
In most cases, the profile must be saved (File > Save As...) in order for the changes to be updated when altering tags.
This screen gives a 2D graph of the either the neutral rendering curves or dot gain curves.
Neutral Rendering Curves
The Curves indicate what the profile needs to do, all along the spectrum of white to black, in order to produce neutral gray.
When viewing a CMYK profile, you will see four thin colored lines running from bottom left to top right. These represent the process colors which would closely resemble the actual "curves" that are used to adjust color on a press or other CMYK device.
- The left axis, labeled 0 to 100, (bottom to top) represents the ink output values.
- The bottom axis, labeled 100 to 0, (left to right) represents the luminance (L*) input values for CMYK. <--as of version 3.0.1
- The bottom axis would be labeled 0 to 100, left to right when referring to the density line. (To avoid confusion this labeling is left off of the graph for the density line.)
- Change the rendering intent that is graphed by clicking the drop-down box next to "Rendering Intent."
Since an RGB profile represents additive primary colors, the Curves tab will represent three thin lines of Red, Green and Blue running from upper left to bottom right. In other words, the upper left corner will start out white, with all of the RGB values combining to make white.
Gray density line
The thick gray line running from top left to bottom right represents the gray level reproduced by the profile. This line is color-accurate, so if the profile produces off-color neutrals, this tint will be reflected in this gray line.
The number scale on the left of the graph indicates RGB values from 0 to 255. So, at the upper left starting point, the paper is white. The line represents how much density is presented in relation to how much ink of any color is being laid down.
- The bottom axis, labeled 100 to 0, (left to right) represents the input values for RGB. <--as of version 3.0.1
- The bottom axis would be labeled 0 to 100, left to right when refering to the density line. (To avoid confusion this labeling is left off of the graph for the density line.)
- Change the rendering intent that is graphed by clicking the drop-down box next to "Rendering Intent."
The Chroma window identifies at what point (in Lab space) is the neutral axis of the profile, for any given L (lightness) value. It is as if you were looking down the center of the profile and seeing where the grays differ from the center of Lab. The numbers on top of the Chroma bullseye window are the "a" and "b" values. The Chroma value below the windows tells you how many Chroma values away from Lab neutral that point is. The concentric rings in the Chroma window are one delta E apart.
So, in this illustration: at an L value of 5.6, the a value would be -.2 and the b value would be .8. This is a slightly green point approximately 1 delta E away from neutral.
This window is not necessarily an indication of how accurate your profile is, but is a good gauge of how much work your profile is doing to get your color into shape.
Dot Gain Curves
These dot gain curves are calculated using the XYZ method of dot gain calculation. To see an explanation of this calculation, check the Bruce Lindbloom website: http://www.brucelindbloom.com/index.html?Eqn_DotGain.html
One of the advantages of this method is that it allows ColorThink to calculate dot gains from profiles even when there is no measurement data available (for example, when the measurement data is not embedded in the profile.) Other means of calculating dot gain depend on using original measurement data.ColorSmarts Guide to see this function in practice.
The gamut volume number here represents cubic Lab values. This provides a reasonable approximation of the number of uniquely perceptible colors contained in a device's color gamut. This is intended for relative comparison purposes only. This is the same number shown on the Overview tab. Gamut Volume
Charactarization / Training Data Availability
ColorThink Pro will recognize if the data used to create the profile is embedded in the profile. That is, if the reference and measurement information exists in the tag table, Training Data Available: will return a "Yes."
In some cases, the ColorSmarts Guide can automatically extract this data for some tests.
For example, when running the "Evaluate Profile Proofing" procedure in the ColorSmartsGuide, if you have "training data available", then the measurement and reference data will be populated automatically by merely clicking and dragging your profile into place in the Guide.
This is a summary of the ink information found in the Curves tab. You can use this information to confirm that your profile is using ink the way you expect. For example, a CMYK profile, built using 350% total ink limit, would not expect to be using more than 350% total ink here. The total ink limit shown here may fall below that requested when building the profile, but if it exceeds the TIL of the profile then it is an indication that the profiling software made a poor profile.
The black start numbers listed here are taken from the cyan percentage for that rendering intent.
Ink Color / ISO 12647-2 Compliance
This represents a quick comparison of this profile to the popular offset lithography standard. (The numbers are taken from ISO 12647-2 page 7, and assume a white backing when measuring.)
Errors / Warnings tab
If any errors or warnings are discovered as the profile is opened, a caution () or stop () icon will appear in the “Errors and Warnings” tab to alert you of the problem. All errors and warnings will be summarized in this tab. Click the Profile Medic button to perform the necessary fixes on the profile.
Drag and Drop Options
Drag and Drop the profile icon...
- Onto a graph button or into an existing graph to add it to the graph..
- Onto an open image window to embed it into the image file.
- Onto a Color List window to convert the list using the profile’s color information.
Internal vs External Names
ICC profiles contain an internal name in addition to their file name. The intention of the internal name is to allow the profile creator or user to give the profile a better description than that which could be made using only a filename. Unfortunately, most applications (including Photoshop) use this internal name while the user sees the filename. Many users change the filename and expect the name displayed in application menus to change. This is rarely the case and can cause confusion. This tool allows you to rename a profile's filename, internal ("desc") name, or both.
Invoking the Profile Renamer
You can access Renamer from Profile Manager, Profile Inspector, or Profile Medic. When in the Profile Manager, select a profile and choose “ProfileRename”. When a profile is open in the Profile Inspector, select “ProfileRename” or click the Renamer button. You can also Option-drag a profile onto the application for a quick rename.
Renaming a profile
- To copy the Internal Name down to the File Name, click the down arrow and vice versa.
- If the names are the same, the "lock" button will be checked.
- Check the lock button at any time to synchronize the names.
- If the Lock button is checked, all changes are made in the upper (Internal Name) box and are reflected in both edit boxes.
- Select "Allow (ignore) Suffix - to allow a .icc, .icm or .pf suffix to exist on the filename. It will not be copied into the internal name and any changes made will keep the suffix (unless you explicitly delete it.)
- Select "Remove Suffix" to .. well... you know.
- Select "Add Suffix" and the .icc suffix will be added to the filename. We have decided to only allow the addition of the “.icc” suffix as the “.icm” and “.pf” suffixes are unnecessary and easily cause user confusion.
- Selecting "Change Prefs..." will save the new preference for use in the Color Medic, Profile Inspector, and Profile Manager.
- File names are limited to 31 characters in some operating systems. If you wish the internal and external names to be the same (this is recommended), then locking the internal name to the external file name may limit how many characters can be used.
- Click "Rename" and any changes made to either name will be carried out.
Drag & Drop & Quick Tricks to get into the Renamer
Drag a profile onto the application icon or onto the menu bar while holding the Option key to open the Renamer rather than the Profile Inspector.