Colour management in Photolab 5 w/multiple profiled monitors

I have two monitors, both calibrated and profiled individually, with the profiles installed and configured in Windows 11 for each monitor.

When Photolab starts, it’s configured to use the system profile, presumably using one of the Windows API functions that yield the ICM colour profile assigned to the monitor on which Photolab has started.

What happens when I move the main window (or the detached image browser window) to the other monitor?

Microsoft’s Windows API has an elaborate system of callbacks that allow programs to react to changes in window status items (size, visibility, etc.), of which one is the current colour transformation (or ICM profile) attached to a window, and there are others which do the same for the current screen on which a window may have been moved to.

As far as I know, Adobe applications all take into account on-the-fly changes in colour management when moving windows among monitors, and I believe most serious Windows photo editing software does the same thing.

Does Photolab 5 do anything about the current ICM profile when a window moves between screens?

In my particular case, one monitor covers 100% of the AdobeRGB gamut, while the other only manages 100% of the sRGB gamut, so the visual difference is readily observable in the more saturated colours.

One simple workaround would be the ability to change the ICM profile used by Photolab 5 on-the-fly to another ICM monitor profile enumerated among the profiles already active on connected monitors. There are standard Windows API functions to do this enumeration once at program start in order to add those profiles to the drop-down list of ICM profiles in the program’s “Display” options.

Can’t give a profound answer, just a few ideas.

  • yes, two monitors, both calibrated / profiled
    – but Win 10

  • PL5 is configured to automatically choose the current profile
    – so that’s what it does, when starting on one of them

  • moving the main window to the other monitor
    – that only works if PL would have an ‘autosensing’ feature, what I doubt

  • MS Windows API
    – no idea how that works

  • Adobe applications take into account on-the-fly-changes
    – I tried this with old LR 5.7 (main Window) and it looks like it does

    • apart from that I use different viewers
      IrfanView can be set to automatically choose the current profile (like PL),
      but not with moving the active window to the other screen
      FastPictureViewer has to be set manually to the correct screen profile,
      and of course does not change …
  • does PL5 do anything about the current ICM profile, when a window moves from A to B
    – I don’t know

  • one monitor covers 100% AdobeRGB – yes,
    the other manages 100% sRGB – yes (and suppose some more)
    – yes, the difference is visible ( otherwise nobody would care / spend money … )

My main monitor is hardware calibrated to AdobeRGB and sRGB colour space (built-in cal device, ColorNavigator7), each with different colour temperatures – and communicates with Win10 ‘on-the-fly’,
when changing presets.

The second monitor is very old and software calibrated to sRGB colour space (external sensor / different program). The resulting profile is registered by the OS – and also trimmed manually to better match the main monitor.

– They are not only different in size, resolution and colour gamut, but have different panels (different viewing angles) and different background illumination.
The main monitor is ‘colour graphic class compliant’, the second one was for office use.

Yes, I moved LightRoom’s main window around and it looks, that the monitor profile is recognized ‘on-the-fly’. Could be, that is also true with enabling the ‘secondary display’ (now fixed), but I’m not sure.

  • Well for me, moving the main window around doesn’t make sense anyway.

The same is with PhotoLab. I keep the main window on the colour graphic monitor to allow maximum control and use the secondary one for the palettes to have maximum overview.
– Well, I could undock the image browser and move it to the secondary screen for overview (tried that), but not to compare colours (much to small / any profile applied ?).

  • So for me, it doesn’t make sense to move anything around, neither the main window nor an undocked image browser. :frowning:

Thank you Wolfgang.

I’m in a slightly different situation: my “primary” laptop has the wider gamut 15.6" screen, and the second is a larger screen with the more limited gamut (same resolution, though), hence the interest in being able to move windows back and forth.

I use Displaycal to calbrate and profile both, and make sure the luminance & temperature parameters of the second (which has RGB controls) is as close as possible to the first. While both are IPS screens, the technologies are different enough that perfect agreement is never possible, but the Displaycal verifications show reasonably close results, except of course for the out-of-gamut colours. I am quite surprised by the visual match between the two screens for in-gamut colours in any case.

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Just curious: what happens if you change the primary display to the one that PhotoLab isn’t adjusting to? Does PhotoLab then conform to that display’s profile? I’m guessing PhotoLab’s using the default system profile (run Windows Color Management to see that setting) rather than the profile for the monitor its image viewer is located on. (As far as I know, DxO still considers multiple monitor configurations with PhotoLab unsupported.)

My own struggles: I was holding back from upgrading to Windows 11 from Windows 10 because of color management issues. The best known problems with color-managed applications not able to use the Windows API and with multiple monitors are supposed to have been fixed in late January this year. So I’ve upgraded to Windows 11. I had no problem profiling my main display (sRGB), but my second display is now a wide-gamut projector that I can get Windows to see as wide-gamut (HDR, 10-bit or 12-bit) but can’t get DisplayCal or HCFR to profile as such. I did a partial calibration using a USB stick with my Roku. But there’s no way for me to make the grayscale uniform without a PC and a LUT. So I’m stuck for now. I don’t think this worked with Win 10, either.

Sorry for the delay in responding.
I hope to be able to try what you have suggested in the next week or two, and I will report back to this discussion.

OK, I’ve finally adopted your strategy: I keep the main PL window on the large gamut screen, and put PL palettes, the FRV image browser, and all other programs on the second sRGB gamut limited monitor.

I do wish PL5 had exactly the same colour profile selection options as FRV to change the current colorimetry processing to load a particular ICC colour profile. It’s absurd that PL5 only offers the choices of monitor profile/AdobeRGB/sRGB, rather than enumerating the device profiles already installed by the operating system (Mac OSX or MS Windows) and then offering the user only those for display devices in some kind of drop-down list.

Anyway, a late thanks for your advice and ideas!