How to use the macOS ColorSync Utility

Maintain color consistency between applications and devices and when printing can be challenging. If you are not familiar with color matching in macOS, learn how to use the ColorSync Utility.


Image: EMIL IMARIETLI / Getty Images

Some Mac users, especially those who work in the marketing, graphics and image production industries, must ensure that colors replicate correctly between applications, on various devices and when printing. The macOS ColorSync utility allows you to create profiles that, when applied, modify images to match the corresponding default values ​​and maintain color consistency.

SEE: 10 essential applications and utilities for your Mac (Free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Access the MacOS ColorSync utility by opening Finder, selecting Applications, double-clicking on Utilities and double-clicking on ColorSync Utility. Then, open an image by clicking File, selecting Open and locating the image you want to use, then click the Open button. The image will open inside the ColorSync Utility ( Figure A ).

Figure A

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The ColorSync utility allows you to configure color profiles to maintain color matching on multiple devices, applications and It prints.

Erik Eckel

Using the drop-down menu (the menu shows the option Match profile by default), select Match profile, Assign profile or Apply profile. The Match To Profile setting adjusts the colors of the image to match the ColorSync profile, modifies the image and assigns the new ColorSync profile to that image. Assign profile applies the ColorSync profile to the image but does not modify the image. Apply profile adjusts the pixels of the image so that the colors match the new model and the ColorSync profile and assigns the original ColorSync profile to the image.

Then, click on the middle drop-down menu (the default menu is None) to select a specific profile. The options here vary depending on the hardware connected to the Mac and the configuration of the Mac. The options include Summary, Color Space, Display, Input, Named Color and Output, each of which has its own sub-selections; For example, Display offers countless options, including connected external displays, Adobe and Nikon configurations, and generic profiles.

Using the third and last drop-down menu, specify the intention of the color profile, as if the color profile is being applied to help generate a photograph or logo; There are five options: Automatic, Perceptual, Relative Colorimetric, Saturation and Absolute. Each option associates different treatments with a profile. Automatic uses the default intention, while Perceptual corrects the actual colors. Relative colorimetric reinforces color accuracy, and Saturation allows more vivid colors. Absolute, the last of the five options, adjusts the color according to the variations of the white dots. As a result, Perceptual is often used for photographs, while the relative Colorimetric setting is used with logos.

Once you enter all three parameters, click Apply to save the changes. Note: Additional adjustments can still be made to an image. Click on the Image Correction icon in the upper right menu bar of the ColorSync Utility (the icon consists of a wrench placed diagonally on a hammer). Among the elements, the Image Correction settings, using slider bars, are Exposure, Gamma, Saturation, Contrast, Brightness, Sharpness and Sepia. Icons are also present to adjust the black and white dots of an image.

If you need to confirm the color value of a pixel within an image, the ColorSync utility can also help you there. Open ColorSync Utility, then click on the Calculator tab of the ColorSync Utility System Preferences window ( Figure B ).

Figure B

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The ColorSync utility calculator helps identify specific pixel colors.

Erik Eckel

After clicking on the magnifying glass icon, wherever you place your cursor, pixel color values corresponding ones are displayed inside ColorSync Utility Calculator Window. To suspend the pixel color mode, press the Escape key or click anywhere on the screen. The ColorSync Utility Calculator will freeze, displaying the pixel information for the last highlighted color.

See also

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