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Chapter 5. Color Settings: Configuring P... > Color Management in Photoshop

Color Management in Photoshop

A little history: In versions of Photoshop prior to 5, the program acted like almost all other applications at the time and simply sent RGB values straight to the screen. A little-understood feature called Monitor Setup let you tell Photoshop how your monitor behaved—what its white point, primaries, and tone reproduction characteristics were, in effect providing Photoshop with a monitor profile. If the information was correct, Photoshop knew what color you would see when a set of RGB numbers was displayed on the monitor, and it would attempt to preserve that color during color space conversions. You can think of this approach as a crude color management system, albeit a limited, closed, proprietary one.

But it had a fundamental flaw. Even when used correctly, this approach had no mechanism for telling other users how your monitor behaved and hence no mechanism for conveying what colors the RGB numbers represented; so the image would appear different on each system, and would convert to other color spaces differently on each system. Most users just left Monitor Setup alone, so images converted the same but appeared different on different systems, giving rise to the myth that it's impossible to trust the monitor.


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