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Colour Management in your web browser – Test Images

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Colour Management in your web browser – Test Images

Images with different ICC profiles

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This page contains a number of test images saved with different icc profiles and settings.

As you will see, most browsers take no notice of colour settings or profiles.

Not for nothing is colour mangement on the web known as ‘Colour Manglement’.

Web Colour Management

Keith has written an article covering this and many more aspects of using photos on the web.

The example image (©Photodisc Inc.) is the PDI freeware test image (license details-PDF)

There is a link to all the various colour management information on this site at the end of this page.

PDI image in sRGB

The first examples below, show the result of saving a file with its correct profile.

In this case the files were converted in Photoshop and saved as jpegs with the ’embed color profile’ option ticked.

PDI Adobe 98 with icc profile PDI srgb with icc profile PDI ColorMatch RGB with icc profile
Saved in Adobe98 with ICC profile Saved in sRGB with ICC profile Saved in ColorMatch RGB with ICC profile

If colour mangement is working in your browser then all three images should look the same

The two examples below show what happens if you do not attach the profiles

PDI Adobe 98 without icc profile PDI srgb without icc profile
Adobe98 image saved without ICC sRGB image saved without ICC

Note that they are technically no longer colour managed, but we ‘know’ what they should be. Unfortunately the browser doesn’t know this and will make its own choices.

The examples below show what happens when you take a file in Adobe98 and just assign a profile to it. One has the (wrong) sRGB profile attached, while the other does not.

Adobe 98 file assigned srgb profile and saved with profile Adobe 98 file assigned srgb profile and saved without profile
Adobe98 fileAssigned a sRGB profile Adobe98 fileAssigned sRGB, but saved w/o profile

Once again, the version without a profile is just shown as whatever the browser chooses, whilst the first one (with the wrong profile) will be shown honouring the profile in some browsers, but since we’ve used the wrong profile, it still shouldn’t look right.

Safari (1.2 and above) and IE5 on the Mac seem to get it right. I’m not aware of any PC browsers that do, but please do let me know if you are using one that works (all three images in the first set should look the same)

June 2008

PC users now have the availability of Safari (from Apple) or Firefox 3, both of which support colour management. Unfortunately Firefox 3 currently needs colour management enabling – see this article for instructions and download links.

There is also the problem of how untagged images are handled, which also seems pretty much a random choice of the browser writers.

And if you are someone who uses a big space like ProPhoto, be very careful with images that end up on the web.

ProPhoto image with icc profile ProPhoto image without icc profile Image converted to sRGB and saved without a profile
Image in ProPhoto with ICC profile Image in ProPhoto without profile Image converted to sRGB without profile

Note the distinct hue shift in the man’s shirt – this would happen to nice blue skies.

If you want to see whether your browser also supports the newer V4 icc profiles then try the test at

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More colour management and printing related information

For information about printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main printers and printing page, or use the search box at the top of any page.
All colour management articles and reviews are indexed on the main Colour Management page - please do let Keith know if you've any questions, either via the comments or just email us?

Some specific articles that may be of interest:  

  • Why don't my prints match my screen? A short article showing why there is more to getting your prints to match your screen, than just calibrating your monitor. It's the vital first step, but you do need to consider some other factors for best results.
  • Why are my prints too dark - some basic suggestions to this common problem.

Articles below by Keith (Google's picks for matching this page)


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