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Photographers

Photoshop CS4: Device Link Profiles

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What is it?
Device link profiles are a powerful color management tool that, until now, have not seen widespread adoption due to limited support, most notably in Photoshop. Traditional ICC based color management uses a device-independent color space, like Lab, to serve as a bridge between two device-dependent ICC profiles, like Adobe RGB and US Web Coated SWOPv2. Device link profiles eliminate the intermediate color space linking two profiles together.

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To access your device link profiles within Photoshop CS4, click on the Advanced button in the Convert to Profile dialog. If the device link profile is grayed out, you don’t have any device link profiles in your Profiles folder.

Why is it important?

Device link profiles allow you to fine-tune the color conversion to protect highlight detail, control the conversion of specific logo colors or ensure black text doesn’t become a rich black. They streamline color conversions when both the source and destination profiles are consistent.

Bonus Tip: Creating Device-link profiles requires specialized software. X-rite offers a plug-in for Profile Maker for creating device link, but the most commonly used Device-link software is Link-o-later from Left Dakota software.

Discussion

2 comments for “Photoshop CS4: Device Link Profiles”

  1. When using device link profiles in Photoshop, we are finding the transparent background fattening.

    Posted by Jeff Ross | February 25, 2011, 4:01 pm
  2. Jeff, there are some limitations with device-link in Photoshop. I’d suggest searching the apple colorSync listserv archives for a detailed discussion of the limitations and the workarounds.

    Posted by Jay | February 25, 2011, 5:25 pm

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