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Chapter 6. Printing and Faxing > Color Management

Color Management

Color management is the process of producing accurate, consistent color among a variety of input and output devices. In Windows, the color management system (CMS) maps colors between devices such as scanners, monitors, and printers; transforms colors from one color space to another (for example, RGB to CMYK); and adjusts tints displayed or printed for correctness. For most of us, this kind of precision isn’t very important, but for graphic artists and designers, it’s an essential part of preparing proofs and professional output.

Just like a printer needs a printer driver or a scanner needs a TWAIN driver, each piece of hardware needs its own color profile. A profile is a file made by the hardware manufacturer (or Microsoft) specifically for the device, and it contains information about the color characteristics of the hardware. You simply associate the profile with the device via the device’s Properties sheet, and the color system does the rest. Only if a device supports color management does its Properties sheet have a Color tab on it, however.


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