Profiling the monitor to match the prints


To adjust the monitor image to match the print, I first use the Adobe Gamma procedure (in Windows Control Panel) and then the Photoshop preview feature/procedure, described here.  This procedure uses the Edit, Color settings to make a custom dot gain curve, and saves the curve in a manner that it can be used in a View, Proof Setup preview system that does not alter the working space and affect the RGB values when the image is converted to RGB for printing.


Here is the procedure I use (which I first saw explained on the Piezo list by Tyler Boley):


1.    Open the file that has a good range of tones and that you have printed with the printer & inkset you want to match.  I like to use the 21-step test file.


2.    Go to Image, Mode, and Assign Profile in older PS versions, or Edit, Assign Profile in CS2.  Check, “Don't Color Manage This Document," and hit OK.


3.    Go to Edit, Color settings.  A “Color Settings” box should appear.  Move it down so that you can get to the top of it, but so that it does not cover your image.  Check “Advanced Mode” (may not be in CS2) and “Preview.”  In the “Working spaces” box, scroll “Gray” line up to "custom Dot Gain."  A curves box should appear.


4.    This is the curve that allows you to adjust the image on the monitor.  The idea, of course, is to match image on the monitor to the print of the image that you’ve already made.  After you have matched the two, name the curve in the space at the top of the box and hit OK.  The curves box disappears, and you now see the name you just selected in the “Gray” Working Space line of the Color Settings box.


5.    Click on this new name in the “Gray” line.  Scroll up to and click on “Save gray.”  Save it as an *.icc file.


6.    In the “Color settings” box, which should still be open, hit “Cancel.”  This will leave all of your working spaces as they were before.


7.    Now you are back at the image file you had originally opened. Go to View, Proof Setup, Custom.  The new curve you made should be in the Profiles list (or “Proof Conditions-Device to be Simulated” in CS2), probably near the bottom – Select it.  Then check "Preserve Color Numbers."  The image on the monitor should then look like it did while you were making the curve.  Hit OK.


You can also record a Photoshop "Action" so that the preview/monitor profiling steps become a simple, single-keystroke function.  For example, function key 2 on a PC can be designated to apply the preview.  To record an Action, click the Actions pallet tab or activate the pallet, which is listed under “Windows” in the top bar.  In the Actions pallet, click the upper right arrow, New Action, and Start recording.  Then select a function key, hit View, Proof Setup, etc. as above.  Then click the Actions pallet upper right arrow (or hit the button to the left of the red record button at the bottom of the pallet) and stop recording.