Inkjet FAQ002: Finding Output (Paper) Profiles in Mac OSX

Inkjet FAQ 002: I can’t find my Canon, Epson or HP profiles in my Profiles folder, but I see them in the Photoshop Profiles dropdown list under File>Print, and when I choose “Other” in the Color Management section in Lightroom’s Print Module. Why oh why???

When you install a printer driver from a CD, or by downloading it from the printer manufacturer’s website to make sure it is a current version (recommended), printer profiles are generally a part of the install. For Mac users using OSX, the profiles will usually be placed in one of three places:

1. /Library/ColorSync/Profiles (visible and usable by all users).

2. In your User folder (next to the house icon)/Library/ColorSync/Profiles (visible and usable by just the current User).

or here:

3. Main Hard Drive with your OSX system files/Library/Printers

What’s interesting is that OSX Spotlight searches for the profiles in Number 3 above don’t appear to work (at least they didn’t for me). Files in that section may be considered special files, and I’m sure a Unix/OSX systems expert will know exactly why that’s happening.

Also note that you will need to restart Photoshop (or any other color management aware application from which you are printing) if Photoshop is open when you add profiles to your Profiles folder. That will allow the profile list in Photoshop to refresh.

A more efficient way to find all the profiles on your system is by using a great application that comes free with your Mac. It is called “ColorSync Utility” and can be found in your Applications/Utilities folder.

One section of the Apple ColorSync Utility with the “Profiles” icon selected.

After launching the application, choose “Profiles” from the icons at the top of the screen, and then look down the list on the left of the screen. If you look inside the item named “Other” you will see the path to the “hidden profiles” that I mentioned in Number 3 above. You can also take a look at the profile in 3D color space.

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Andrew Darlow
 

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