Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

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Some of my photos look different because I was not careful with saving with or without color profile. Now I would like to be able to find out what color profile is used by an image. Is there a simple tool to see this? Hopefully a command line one? I'll try to pay attention next time!

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Exiftool is a command-line utility that does exactly what you're after. Check out the ICC profile documentation.

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Good news! I got Exiftool. Bad news! I don't understand the help. Are there examples for getting the color space and profile out? – Zak Aug 31 '11 at 23:42
I've no idea I'm afraid, Zak, I just happened to know that exiftool ticked your boxes of colour profile + command line. I haven't used it myself. – Mark Whitaker Sep 1 '11 at 9:36
@Zak - Just drop photos into the executable, and it will show you the color space as one of the output rows if the image has one defined. If none is defined, I believe it won't output any row for color space. – dpollitt Jan 14 '12 at 22:15
@dpollit did't work for me. I have an image with Adobe RGB profile embedded, but exiv2 -pa | grep -i adobe shows nothing. – artfulrobot Mar 2 '14 at 10:16

You can use imagemagick's identify program for this.


$ identify -verbose example.jpg | grep -A1 Profile-icc 
Profile-icc: 560 bytes
  Adobe RGB (1998)

(I could not get this out with the exiv2 tool mentioned in another answer.)

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Have you got Adobe Bridge or Lightroom? Bridge can sort by Colour Profile, but I cannot find a way to do it in Lightroom, though it must exist (if it does in Bridge). This will only work in Windows or on a Mac though.

Alternatively, in Windows the colour profile is reported as part of the image properties, so it would just be an entry in metadata. So I would guess it should not be difficult to write a script that queries the metadata for every image, but I am the wrong person to tell you how to do that.

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Good suggestion! I have Lightroom and I'll check. – Zak Jan 15 '12 at 15:16

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