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I have a laptop. I have an Xrite colour display calibration tool. I have CS6. It may seem an idiotic question but in all my reading no one explains it simply. I profiled my monitor. It gave me a profile for the colour management. My question is what next?
Do I use that profile in CS6 as my working space?

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What OS are you using on your laptop? –  AndreyT Feb 25 '13 at 21:12
    
@AndreyT: I use an older version of the X-Rite system on a Windows 7 64-bit PC. If the Eye-One software is installed and a profile has been created and applied, it will load each time Windows is started up. The X-Rite software does the necessary changes to the OS without further user intervention. If you are watching your monitor closely during startup, you can see when the colors shift slightly as the profile is applied. –  Michael Clark Feb 25 '13 at 23:20

2 Answers 2

No, you should never use your monitor profile as "working space". Monitor profile serves a completely different purpose.

Your working color space should not be tied to any device at all. It should be set to some abstract device-independent color space that has sufficient coverage and precision to minimize data loss (caused by integer overflow and/or integer rounding errors) during various transformations you will apply to your images. Typically, one would use either AdobeRGB or ProPhotoRGB as working spaces. Keep your image data in at least 16-bit-per-channel format as long as you are processing it. Once you are finished with the processing, you can export the final image to sRGB color space in 8-bit-per-channel format, if you so desire.

Monitor calibration/profiling using such tools as X-Rite simply makes your monitor to display the image data correctly. It is not in any way connected to your working space. Once you generated the monitor profile, just associate it with your monitor using your OS color management settings and that's it. In order to display your image on the screen, Photoshop will automatically convert the image data from your working color space to your monitor color space and adjust it to make sure it is displayed properly. As long as your monitor profile is accurate, the image will be displayed accurately regardless of what your current working color space is.

Depending on the version of the OS you are using, you will also have to make sure that the gamma correction data is loaded from the generated monitor profile into the LUT table of your video card. This is done either by a dedicated Gamma Loader utility (installed by X-Rite profiling software) or by the OS itself (beginning from Windows 7, in case of Windows).

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With the version of the X-Rite system I use on a Windows 7 64-bit platform the gamma correction settings the OS uses are modified when I apply a profile from within the Eye-One Match software and are properly loaded each time the system is started up. –  Michael Clark Feb 25 '13 at 23:25

If your monitor is properly calibrated and you have created a profile, using the sRGB color space for instance, then you should use sRGB as your working space. The monitor profile is loaded on the graphics adapter (video card) and works to offset the inaccuracies of your monitor's output.

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@Itai: With the X-Rite system you calibrate the monitor using the monitor's controls and measuring with the eye-one display device before generating a profile which is then applied to the graphics adapter's output. –  Michael Clark Feb 25 '13 at 23:06
    
Adjusting the monitor is not calibration. Calibration is the second part of your comment, which transforms the output sent to the display in your example, because that system does not include a calibratable monitor which is why this often results in banding artifacts and loss of color-depth. –  Itai Feb 25 '13 at 23:36
    
@Itai: From Wikipedia: Calibration is a comparison between measurements – one of known magnitude or correctness made or set with one device and another measurement made in as similar a way as possible with a second device. The device with the known or assigned correctness is called the standard. The second device is the unit under test, test instrument, or any of several other names for the device being calibrated. –  Michael Clark Feb 25 '13 at 23:39
    
Kind of twisted definition. Someone should fix Wikipedia here, they are mixing profiling and calibration, both similar but only one alters the output of anything. –  Itai Feb 25 '13 at 23:43
    
@Itai: In the case of the X-Rite System, the software disables any profile currently running on the GA. It then sends standard patches to the monitor. While they are displayed and being measured by the Eye-One device, the monitor's settings are adjusted until they match as closely as possible to the desired result. That is calibration. –  Michael Clark Feb 25 '13 at 23:44

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