ColorThink Pro Introduction
Purpose of this Document
This documentation is intended as a description of the CHROMiX ColorThink tool set and not as a manual concerning color management, the building of ICC color profiles, or the use of profiles in a production workflow.
It is assumed that the user is far enough along the color management path that they understand what a profile is and have used profiles at least in a basic way in their workflow. Basic use of a graphical user interface (pointing, clicking, dragging, dropping and so forth) is also assumed. Please refer to the documentation that came with your computer and your color management tools for more information.
Welcome to ColorThink Pro
ColorThink is a complete tool set for managing, repairing, evaluating and graphing ICC profiles.
Each of the major tools in ColorThink is described in its own chapter. The overall user interface design strategy and additional menu and tool choices are supplied in this chapter.
There are many software tools available for building and editing ICC-compliant color profiles. There are, however, very few tools available for handling profiles once they have been built.
ColorThink Pro Basic Features
(also found in ColorThink 2.2)
- Organize profiles and simplify one’s system
- Open any ICC-compliant profile and explore its color contents as well as its header fields and tag database
- Perform comprehensive 16-point checks on all installed profiles and repair problems if possible
- Modify both the internal and external profile names to clarify profile contents and purposes and how they appear in application menus
- Graph profile gamuts and other color information in two and three dimensions
- Open images and inspect, remove, and embed profiles
- Create device link profiles
Advanced features in ColorThink Pro
In addition to the above, the Pro version allows the user to:
- Slice profile gamuts for detailed gamut comparisons in the Grapher
- Save graphs as Quicktime movies
- Model workflows in the Color Worksheet showing images and individual colors as each profile processes them
For a comparison between ColorThink 2 and ColorThink Pro, see the CHROMiX website: ColorThink comparison chart
The ColorThink Pro tool set is composed of seven distinct tools that are designed to work together whenever possible. They are:
Profiles, colors, and images are objects that can be inspected, listed, and graphed as appropriate. The interface has been designed to present as consistent as possible a view of each object and interface elements such as icons are used throughout to represent each object type. The icons and interface elements used for the objects are listed below:
What happened to the Profile Linker, Image Inspector & Color Lists?
One of the design goals in ColorThink Pro was to expand the functions of each of these tools while simplifying the interface. In the Color Worksheet any list of profiles can be linked together to form device link, abstract, or ColorCast™ profiles. Images are fully color managed and can be analyzed through an entire workflow from source to separation to soft or hard proof. Color Lists can also undergo multiple profile transformations and the results compared to either the source or other lists using a variety of delta-E formulae.
Installing ColorThink Pro
ColorThink Pro System Requirements
ColorThink Pro 3.x requires:
Macintosh OS X
- PowerPC / Intel processor (Rosetta support only on Intel)
- Mac OS 10.3.9 or later
- 1 GHz G4 processor or better recommended
- 1 GB RAM suggested
- 2.0GHz Intel or compatible CPU recommended
- Windows XP - XP SP2 recommended
- 1 GB RAM suggested
ColorThink is physically composed of a single application with several supporting files and folders. All files are gathered in two locations:
- Mac OS X
- ~/Library/Preferences/CHROMiX ColorThink: - This folder contains the main ColorThink preferences file as well as the “Profile Manager Sets” folder. The “Profile Manager Sets” folder contains, as you may be able to guess, the sets the user may create when enabling and disabling profiles. The ~ refers to the active user’s folder on OS X.
- \Documents & Settings\ - This folder contains the main ColorThink preferences file as well as the “Profile Manager Sets” folder. The “Profile Manager Sets” folder contains, as you may be able to guess, the sets the user may create when enabling and disabling profiles.
ColorThink Folder Structure
- Application Folder
This folder contains the ColorThink application as well as its subfolders. It is suggested that you always keep the ColorThink application and its subfolders together in the same folder on your hard disk. ColorThink will search inside these folders for required and optional files it needs as it runs. The ColorThink subfolders contain:
- Profiles – Place any favorite profiles in this folder and they will appear in all Add: menus (see below for more information regarding the Add: menu)
- Stunt Files – These are data and image files supplied with ColorThink for use as examples, in evaluating profiles, or in common analysis functions.
- Demo Files – This subfolder contains the demo profiles and image file used when ColorThink runs in demonstration mode (without a serial number).
If you wish to have ColorThink Pro loads certain files automatically every time it opens, create a folder called:
...in the same directory where the ColorThink Pro application resides.
- Any file you place inside this autoopenfolder will automatically be opened into ColorThink pro each time it opens. This can be useful for certain kinds of repetitive testing.
Using ColorThink Pro
Drag and Drop
The graphical user interface feature: “drag and drop” has been used extensively throughout the ColorThink tool set. Adding profiles to graphs or other tools and moving colors around is often just a matter of dragging them from one window into another.
If a tool window has an icon in the upper left corner, the icon can be dragged “by proxy” to other locations. More detail is supplied with each tool on how and where to drag these icons.
Dragging in the Finder / Windows Explorer – Drag color files such as profiles, images and color lists onto the ColorThink Pro application icon to open them using ColorThink. Occasionally holding modifier keys while a file opens will alter which tool is used. See the Keyboard Shortcuts section of each tool for more details.
Dragging from the Finder / Windows Explorer into the application – When in either the Finder / Windows Explorer or ColorThink, profiles, images and color lists can be dragged onto:
- The menu bar area to open them
- Any open graph to add them to the graph
- Any menu bar button to perform that tool’s action on the file in question
...and other locations described in each tool’s chapter.
- Dragging within ColorThink
- As mentioned above, dragging items from lists or by proxy is an effective method of adding items to lists, graphing them, or performing other actions. Please refer to each tool’s description for full details.
The color is displayed accurately on your monitor using the monitor profile associated with your display.
Clicking on the bottom white area of the tab will open it and display more information. In most cases, the Lab value for the tab will be displayed but in some cases device colors (for example CMYK values) are displayed. Option/Alt click the tab for LCH values. Dragging the tab by clicking on the top colored-portion allows you to move the tab between windows.
Add “+” Menu
The Add: menu contains:
- All open color items such as profiles, images and color lists.
- All color items listed in the “Profiles” folder in the ColorThink application folder. This folder is supplied as a method of listing often-used profiles such as popular Photoshop working spaces, the user’s monitor or printer profiles, and so forth. This is listed as the "Favorites" folder in the Add: menu. (It is the same thing as the "Profiles" folder in the ColorThink Pro program folder.)
- Profiles installed on your system and visible in the Profile Manager.
Use this menu to quickly add color items to the tool in which it appears.
Note to Windows users: All profiles on the Windows platform generally reside in one folder, residing deep in the folder structure and sometimes hard to remember or navigate to. (C:\Windows\System32\spool\drivers\color) These are the profiles that show up in the "Installed >" section.
The Favorites folder feature allows for other popular profiles to be placed in a more easily accessible place and be seen and used by ColorThink. This can be a great aid in organizing your profiles, so you can get to the ones you really need and separate them from the rest! Your Favorites folder is found here:
- C:/Program Files/CHROMiX ColorThink Pro/Profiles
(Those not covered by individual tools)
- About Box – this window contains
- The current ColorThink application version
- Registered Username
- Links for updates, feedback, and CHROMiX and other web sites. These links use the settings in your OS to find the appropriate Web browser or email application.
- Settings for multiple ColorThink tools and overall functions are set in the “Preferences” dialog. Some of these preferences are also set in individual tool windows. When set in either location, they are saved to disk and used for future sessions.
- Restructure Profile – A profile is restructured by reading it into memory and writing it back out to the hard disk. This process forces the rebuilding of the profile and can solve profile problems not discovered by the Profile Medic or Profile Inspector.
- Edit Profile with… - To edit a profile’s color information using a third-party tool, choose this menu option when it is enabled. To set the preferred editing tool, select “EditPreferences…” and click the “Helper Applications” tab.
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