I have calibrated several different monitors. Will Photoshop be able to pull up the correct color profile depending on which monitor I am showing Photoshop on?

  • Details that I should have included: I am using Windows 10 and Photoshop 6. A laptop is my primary screen and a monitor is a secondary screen. Sometimes I use a different monitor as a secondary screen. All three screens (laptop and the two secondary monitors) are calibrated and have saved ICC profiles. I am hoping that Photoshop 6 uses any of these display profiles, if I move the Photoshop window onto that display.
    – KAE
    Apr 30 '18 at 17:39

I don't really want to provide 'half an answer' but I don't want to leave it as a comment either - so this is ½ an answer...

First of all, I agree with Rafael - the OS handles the profiling. So long as your display's profile is in the list of available profiles in Photoshop and is not selected as part of your workflow[1] then the OS will handle it.

afaik it depends on whether you're on Mac or Windows & how many monitors are connected simultaneously as to how well it handles it.

To my understanding, Mac can automatically detect & follow all screens & compensate for each as you drag an app or image to it.
Windows cannot apply correct profiling for more than the primary screen.

You can test this empirically on Mac by dragging an image across between screens in Photoshop & watching it change as it passes half its area to the other screen. As it passes the line the colour looks "wrong" until you release the mouse, then it flips to the new profile. You can see this effect in Photoshop if you float a window free of the interface & drag it between screens.
The Finder [using QuickLook] does not display the same 'double compensation' it does it smoothly & you cannot see the change, the image continues to match perfectly at all stages.

[1] A common error is to set your display as the "working profile".
Never do this. Use sRGB, Adobe RGB 98 etc... as appropriate.

  • When you talk about setting the working profile, you are referring to setting the working profile in Photoshop, right? Just making sure I understand. And it's useful to learn that Windows only controls the color of the primary display, which is a laptop in my case. When someone gets a fancy second monitor, do they set that as their primary display then?
    – KAE
    Apr 30 '18 at 18:01
  • 1
    Yes, in PShop’s settings. You should be able to find your profiles in the list, which shows everything will find them correctly, but set working profile to either your camera’s or your ‘output task’ eg sRGB if you’re working to web. I’m afraid idk how Windows handles it - you could try the ‘drag test’ to see how it responds.
    – Tetsujin
    May 1 '18 at 8:05

In my modest understanding of the color profiles, the monitor profile is saved in the operating system and used to control the values of the graphics card.

So there is no need for Photoshop to pull any profile for the monitor because it is assuming the output is defined by the OS.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.