ColorThink Pro - Profile Inspector and Renamer

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CTP overview.jpg


Profile Inspector and Renamer

Profile Inspector opens all ICC-compliant profiles and displays their contents graphically as well as allowing browsing of header and tag table information. Using the same technology as the Profile Medic, Profile Inspector performs a comprehensive 16-point integrity check on the profile’s structure and internal information. Any errors or warnings are summarized in a list and can be repaired with Profile Medic.

CTP overview.jpg

Opening Profiles into the Profile Inspector

Profile Inspector Window

Button Bar
Icon renamer.jpg
Click to open the Renamer and change the internal or external names.
Icon install.jpg
Click to move the profile into the “ColorSync Profiles” folder. (Disabled if profile is already installed.)
Icon medic.jpg
Profile Medic
Click to run Profile Medic on the profile and step through the repair process. This is the same process as running Profile Medic from the main menu bar except fixes are performed only on the open profile. (Disabled if no warnings or errors are found in the profile.)
Icon 2D.jpg
2D Graphing 
Click to graph profile in 2D in the Grapher. To add profile to an existing graph, drag profile icon onto open graph window.
Icon 3D2.jpg
3D Graphing 
Click to graph profile in 3D in the Grapher. To add profile to an existing graph, drag profile icon onto open graph window.

Overview tab

ColorSync Check

Profile is okay.
ColorSync failed

(Mac OS X only) This indicator displays whether or not ColorSync’s validation procedure found the profile to be sound. ColorSync uses different validation checks for profiles than the Profile Inspector. This information is shown to confirm that ColorSync likes it too. If the profile fails ColorSync's validation procedure it will display ->

Center Area

The arrows and the colored block represent a summary of the type of profile (matrix vs. look up table – LUT vs. NCP), the accuracy (8 or 16 bit), the grid size of a LUT-based profile, and the number of custom colors in a Named Color Profile (NCP).

Look Up Table A Look Up Table (LUT) - based profile.
Matrix profile A Matrix - based profile.

Color Tabs

For device profiles, the color tabs in the overview represent the colors of the primaries of the device as they were read when the profile was made.

For device link profiles the tabs show a representation of how colors will be modified by the profile. As no colorimetric information is contained in device link profiles, default RGB and CMYK profiles are used to display colors to screen. If the link profiles refer to color spaces other than CMYK, RGB, Lab or XYZ, there are no standard profiles available via ColorSync and color tabs will not be displayed. When available, the tabs will open to show device settings. Please refer to the Tutorials section of this manual for an example of evaluating a device link profile.

The Lab and XYZ tabs represent the Profile Connection Space (PCS) and are for illustration only. They cannot be dragged for graphing or other purposes.

Refer to the section near the beginning of this manual for a full description of color tab features and behavior.

Device and Profile Connection Colorspace

The box area on the left of the Overview Tab summarizes the information regarding the device colorspace of the profile.

The box on the right summarizes the information regarding the Profile Connection Space (PSC) of the profile.

Device Link Profiles

Device Link Profiles are used exclusively to convert from one set of device colors to another and as a result, contain no colorimetric information. To display CMYK or RGB colors on screen, the default RGB and CMYK profiles set in the ColorSync control panel are used.

Named Color Profiles

(NCP’s) are properly opened and the number of colors in the profile is displayed. An “Export Color List” button is available and allows the export to the worksheet of the NCP’s list of colors for further analysis and graphing.

Monitor Profiles

Monitor profiles will display the measured white point in Kelvin.

Gamut volume calculation

Gamut Volume

The gamut volume number here represents cubic Lab values. This provides a reasonable approximation of the number of uniquely perceptible colors contained in a device's color gamut. This is intended for relative comparison purposes only.

Header Fields tab

Profile Inspector Header Fields

The header fields in an ICC profile contain information and settings that apply to all ICC profile types. Most of these fields are for information purposes only but some can be edited:

Preferred CMM

This setting is typically used in applications or printer drivers that do not allow the setting of the desired CMM (Color Management Module). CMM selection and arbitration is a complex issue that takes into consideration the available CMM’s, the ability of the selected CMM to perform the desired operation and other factors. Change the setting with the popup menu and then save the profile using “FileSave” for the change to take effect.

The CMM used in ColorThink Pro is "LCMS" (littleCMS). This is a highly respected color management module and is used in a number of other commercially-available products including the software products made by Apago, inc.

This CMM also enables ColorThink Pro to offer the same module for both Windows and Mac platforms. For those who need consistency between operating systems, this ensures that you will get the same numbers on both systems (for example, when calculating profile gamut volume.)

Default Rendering Intent

This setting is typically used in applications or printer drivers that do not allow the setting of the desired rendering intent. Change the setting with the popup menu and then save the profile using “FileSave” for the change to take effect.

A diamond will appear next to the profile icon showing the profile has been altered and the change has not been saved.

Device Information

Device Information represents data bits that are available as part of the ICC specification. In practical usage, these bits have been very rarely even used in the industry, either from the profile creation side, or from the software that would use profiles. Most profiles will show these bits at 0.

For more information, refer to the ICC specification. A link to the ICC website is available in the ColorThink About Box and the “Web” menu.

ICC website:

Tag Table tab

Profile Inspector Tag Table

The tag table in an ICC profile contains a series of data fields that are variable length and contain many different types of information. Text, color, device settings, descriptions and other information are contained in tags. The ICC profile specification requires some tags to be supplied in each type of profile. Additional “private” tags can be supplied by profile making or editing applications and may be used by CMM’s to render color differently.

ColorThink recognizes all ICC-approved tags and a descriptive explanation is given for each of these tag types.

Tag List

The Tag List displays each tag in the profile including its data type and a description field.


The name (also known as the tag signature) is the official name as specified in the ICC specification.


The type describes the different functions of the tag as defined by the ICC.

Columns in this table can be re-ordered according to alphabetical order by clicking on the column heading. Once re-ordered, the Profile Inspector must be reopened in order to return to the original sort order. It is not possible to save a profile with a customized sort order of its tag table.

Italicized tags

If a tag name is italicized that means that it is sharing data with another tag. Comparing the offset numbers of the different tags will show which tags are pointing to the same data.

Private Tags

Private tags are unique to the profile creator or editor. Some private tags can be recognized by ColorThink Pro. Private, unrecognized tags are marked as such. If a profile manufacturer is willing to make their private tag information available to CHROMiX, we will consider writing tag interpreters for their tags into future versions of ColorThink. Please contact us for more information.

ColorSmarts Guide
Try out the "Compare Profile Structures" procedure in the ColorSmarts Guide to compare the tag list of two different profiles.

Altering Profile Tags

Warning! The following procedures can render a profile useless if used incorrectly. Always save a backup copy of your profiles before making any changes.
Deleting tags

A tag can be deleted from the tag table by highlighting the tag and clicking the Backspace key (Delete on some keyboards).

Possible purposes for deleting tags:

It is possible to delete tags that are required by the ICC specification and therefore render the profile useless. Be careful! See ICC Specifications at for more information.

Copying tags from profile to profile

Tags can be swapped from one profile to another by clicking and dragging a tag from one open profile inspector window to another.

In most cases, the profile must be saved (File > Save As...) in order for the changes to be updated when altering tags.

Curves Tab

Profile Inspector Curves tab (As of version 3.0.1beta13.

This screen gives a 2D graph of the either the neutral rendering curves or dot gain curves.

Neutral Rendering Curves

The Curves indicate what the profile needs to do, all along the spectrum of white to black, in order to produce neutral gray.


When viewing a CMYK profile, you will see four thin colored lines running from bottom left to top right. These represent the process colors which would closely resemble the actual "curves" that are used to adjust color on a press or other CMYK device.

Profile Inspector with an RGB profile


Since an RGB profile represents additive primary colors, the Curves tab will represent three thin lines of Red, Green and Blue running from upper left to bottom right. In other words, the upper left corner will start out white, with all of the RGB values combining to make white.

Gray density line

The thick gray line running from top left to bottom right represents the gray level reproduced by the profile. This line is color-accurate, so if the profile produces off-color neutrals, this tint will be reflected in this gray line.

The number scale on the left of the graph indicates RGB values from 0 to 255. So, at the upper left starting point, the paper is white. The line represents how much density is presented in relation to how much ink of any color is being laid down.

Chroma Window

The Chroma window identifies at what point (in Lab space) is the neutral axis of the profile, for any given L (lightness) value. It is as if you were looking down the center of the profile and seeing where the grays differ from the center of Lab. The numbers on top of the Chroma bullseye window are the "a" and "b" values. The Chroma value below the windows tells you how many Chroma values away from Lab neutral that point is. The concentric rings in the Chroma window are one delta E apart.

So, in this illustration: at an L value of 5.6, the a value would be -.2 and the b value would be .8. This is a slightly green point approximately 1 delta E away from neutral.

This window is not necessarily an indication of how accurate your profile is, but is a good gauge of how much work your profile is doing to get your color into shape.

Example of dot gain curves

Dot Gain Curves

These dot gain curves are calculated using the XYZ method of dot gain calculation. To see an explanation of this calculation, check the Bruce Lindbloom website:

One of the advantages of this method is that it allows ColorThink to calculate dot gains from profiles even when there is no measurement data available (for example, when the measurement data is not embedded in the profile.) Other means of calculating dot gain depend on using original measurement data.

Calculation of dot gain is only relevant to CMYK profiles. The dot gain option is not available for RGB profiles.

The XYZ method of dot gain calculation is only applicable to cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks, and may not give accurate results for multicolor profiles using other inks.

ColorSmarts Guide
Try out the "Evaluate Device Dot Gain" procedure in the ColorSmarts Guide to see this function in practice.

Statistics Tab

Profile Inspector Statistics tab.

Gamut Volume

The gamut volume number here represents cubic Lab values. This provides a reasonable approximation of the number of uniquely perceptible colors contained in a device's color gamut. This is intended for relative comparison purposes only. This is the same number shown on the Overview tab. Gamut Volume

example of how Training Data is used by the ColorSmarts Guide

Characterization / Training Data Availability

ColorThink Pro will recognize if the data used to create the profile is embedded in the profile. That is, if the reference and measurement information exists in the tag table, Training Data Available: will return a "Yes."

In some cases, the ColorSmarts Guide can automatically extract this data for some tests.

For example, when running the "Evaluate Profile Proofing" procedure in the ColorSmartsGuide, if you have "training data available", then the measurement and reference data will be populated automatically by merely clicking and dragging your profile into place in the Guide.

Inking Statistics

This is a summary of the ink information found in the Curves tab. You can use this information to confirm that your profile is using ink the way you expect. For example, a CMYK profile, built using 350% total ink limit, would not expect to be using more than 350% total ink here. The total ink limit shown here may fall below that requested when building the profile, but if it exceeds the TIL of the profile then it is an indication that the profiling software made a poor profile.

The black start numbers listed here are taken from the cyan percentage for that rendering intent.

Ink Color / ISO 12647-2 Compliance

This represents a quick comparison of this profile to the popular offset lithography standard. (The numbers are taken from ISO 12647-2 page 7, and assume a white backing when measuring.)

Errors / Warnings tab

Profile Inspector Warnings/Errors tab.

If any errors or warnings are discovered as the profile is opened, a caution (Icon caution.jpg) or stop (Icon stop.jpg) icon will appear in the “Errors and Warnings” tab to alert you of the problem. All errors and warnings will be summarized in this tab. Click the Profile Medic button to perform the necessary fixes on the profile.

Drag and Drop Options

Drag and Drop the profile icon...

Profile Renamer

Internal vs External Names

ICC profiles contain an internal name in addition to their file name. The intention of the internal name is to allow the profile creator or user to give the profile a better description than that which could be made using only a filename. Unfortunately, most applications (including Photoshop) use this internal name while the user sees the filename. Many users change the filename and expect the name displayed in application menus to change. This is rarely the case and can cause confusion. This tool allows you to rename a profile's filename, internal ("desc") name, or both.

Invoking the Profile Renamer

The Profile Renamer window

You can access Renamer from Profile Manager, Profile Inspector, or Profile Medic. When in the Profile Manager, select a profile and choose “ProfileRename”. When a profile is open in the Profile Inspector, select “ProfileRename” or click the Renamer button. Icon renamer.jpg You can also Option-drag a profile onto the application for a quick rename.

Renaming a profile


Click "Rename" and any changes made to either name will be carried out.

Drag & Drop & Quick Tricks to get into the Renamer

Drag a profile onto the application icon or onto the menu bar while holding the Option key to open the Renamer rather than the Profile Inspector.

Go on to the next chapter - "Profile Medic"

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