Workflow Soft proofing / exporting / QimageOne printing and Profiles (?)

Whoops! I forgot the bit about whether the printer or DxO controls the output. In my case the printer controls the output using the necessary ICM file. When I try to use DxO to control the printer. The colours do not turn out right, using the necessary ICM file.

I have just been through a few weeks of printing and soft proofing hell.

Since my mention of only using ColorSync Utility or Preview on a Mac, having a Canon Pro-1000 printer, I also started using Canon’s own Professional Print & Layout utility.

Then a couple of months ago, things started to go horribly wrong and, especially on images with OOG colours, prints made through the PPL app started to look weird. If I used a generic profile for my paper, colours came out pale but using the custom profile I had created, they started appearing too saturated, especially with OOG colours.

After wasting a not inconsiderable amount of paper and inks, I found that the PPL app was the cause, not interpreting profiles correctly.

So, just a heads up to any in the same situation - don’t use the Canon PPL app.

Now, a request. Does anyone know of a decent print layout app for Mac? I downloaded QImageOne and just cannot get on with it. Does anyone else know of another app that will work with my Canon printer?

@Joanna , I suppose that you have tried different rendering intents. When I used Canon’s non-pro print utility, the manual said to use absolute colorimetric (if I remember correctly) and this produced good results incl. the selected layout in a workflow with Canon DPP.

I know you use Nikon gear (and 4x5) and I wonder why you left the proven printing path with ColorSync.

Unfortunately, you don’t get much choice in PPL…

Also, PL only provides the same two options for rendering intent when soft proofing

Because we had a “presentation” project at our club and some wanted to place multiple images on a single sheet of A2. With the images submitted, I didn’t have any problems.

Then Bruno submitted the boat image for our exhibition and that is when the problem started.

Okay, I suppose you tested Relative Colorimetric… and after all - it’s Bruno’s fault :innocent:

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Short answer, no.

Long answer, Qimage is the big time printing application for pros and there may not be any real competition. Another approach might be to print from your pixel editor of choice (Affinity Photo?). It might be well enough behaved to do the right thing with ICC profiles in a color managed workflow.


I’m not sure whether I can help here or not, as I am on Windows and my printer is an Epson.

I also found using Epson’s print layout it also gave me problems similar to yours. as I still have Adobe rental system I went back to using lightroom and setting Photolab back to controlled by printer. since then, I have had no further problems. . Whether that helps or not. I don’t know.

@Joanna. Further to my comments, my printer is calibrated with the three types of paper that I use. So all I need to do in the printer settings is to remember to set the correct paper type. Needless to say…

Hi All.

Just to let you know, after ensuring that the only driver for my Canon Pro-1000 had nothing to do with AirPrint, by deleting all Canon printer drivers and installing the Canon original.

I completely re-profiled my Fotospeed PF Lustre 275 paper and am now absolutely astounded at just how easy it now is to get everything in gamut when soft proofing in PhotoLab.

The problem may well have been that, at some point in time, the printer driver showed a prompt about upgrading the AirPrint driver and I foolishly agreed - which meant that the profiling targets were printed with a profile instead of being printed neutral, so I was, effectively, getting double profiling.

So, a big warning to anyone else in the same position. The AirPrint drivers for some Canon printers seem to cause more problems than they solve. If in doubt, delete them so that the profiling software doesn’t pick them by accident.


Thanks, Joanna - same deal with Epson printers as Keith Cooper discusses (Windows too) …


Big thank to @Joanna and @eriepa for this important tip.

On my MacBook Pro and Mac mini I had the AirPrint ty version of my Epson printer.
The prints were not so bad but usually I made some corrections before printing to “correct” some colors that I found not really aligned to what was expected.

I have deleted the installed driver, resintall from Epson site, and while installing I chose manually the driver as by default it install the AirPrint one.
That’s done, I made a test print without changing anything in the image, and the print is now good, and much better than previously.

Again, thanks to you.


I first have to say that I would never have reacted on quite a few things I have seen during the last weeks if it wasn´t for my new monitor that makes it very easy to simulate various conditions that I normally wouldn´t see at all.

I have absolutely no problems at all processing my RAW-files in Photolab whether I am using Classic or WG as a “Working Color Space” but the semantics. “Working” here disturbs me since the choice of WG (with just one exception for me) is totally indifferent to the looks of a RAW in my Photolab. It is the “Rendering” that affects the look (when I select a profile or use the generic by choice). For me my “working color space” is the one I happen to have selected on my monitor.

Regardless of which monitor setting I choose (kalibrated versions og sRGB, Adobe RGB and P3) everything works fine if I develop my RAW according to the bias my monitor is set to. So if I choose P3 as my calibrated colorspace for my monitor, develop my RAW as looks best for me on my “P3 monitor” or do the same with sRGB or Adobe RGB will be fine as long as i export the JPEG-files with a P3 profile when using P3 bias on my monitor and export with sRGB-ICC when using sRGB as a monitor setting or exporting files with Adobe RGB-ICC when using the monitor with my Adobe RGB calibration bias. As DXO clearly has stated there is no conversion at all going on in Photolab until the files are exported.

(Quote: Working Color Space - TuTo DxO
" Exporting the image

When exporting, the image is definitely converted. The default color space assigned to the file is “original”. PhotoLab takes this indication “as (requested) when shooting“.
The conversion can explicitly be in sRGB, Adobe RGB or any other color space defined by an ICC Color Profile usually provided by the hardware manufacturer’s ( printer, printing media, monitor, projector, VR eyeglass, etc.).
DxO tries not to create a color shift when converting the image. In spirit, this is similar to the “Protect Saturated Colors” slider in PhotoLab 5.

For post-processing the image in a third-party image editor (Affinity Photo, Adobe Photoshop), it is recommended to export in the color space expected by the host software.

For an RGB image (usually JPEG), depending on the color space selected in the camera, the input colors spaces are sRGB or Adobe RGB. PhotoLab uses this space as its working color space.
When exporting, the option “original” means no conversion."

I really tried to export a clean RAW from my Sony A7 IV but it was not all that simple with RAW+JPEG set in the camera. Just RAW gave a clean EXIF without an sRGB-label … BUT when I pasted it into Epson Print Layout I found that EPL had done like XnView can be set to do - adding sRGB to files lacking ICC. So there is a lot of different things going on all sorts of applications affecting color anagement.

This image was taken just in RAW without a profile BUT despite that it was displayed in Epson Print Layout as it was shot in SRGB. This isn´t uncommon at all that quite a few softwares add at least an “ICC-label” for sRGB in EXIF if an ICC is missing.

From my horizon there are two different approaches to handle these workflows:

1. The classic which means a consistent print workflow with the monitor set to for example Adobe RGB. The work in Photolab carried on with using the Adobe RGB monitor and exporting the JPEG-files with an Adobe RGB ICC. The file will be processed to the users liking in a consistent Adobe RGB-flow. If this is done properly the print will synk pretty well with what can be seen on the calibrated monitor with Photolab Profile Handling set to Managed by Photolab and the printerdriver set to “Off”. That is depending also on the characteristics of your chosen paper and the manufacturers or your own tailormade ICC-profile for the printer of yours.

2. …and then to the other school who advocates they want to take advantage of all the possibilities the monitor and the printer can give which is in best case a wider color space than the standardized ones like sRGB, Adobe RGB or Display P3 can offer. The monitor calibrated “Native” and exporting files with ProPhoto.

I must say I have really hard to understand the second approach and I wonder if that isn´t to ask for unnessessary problems and confusion. The second approach might be OK if you live in your own little bubble but these color space standards are the of a reason. They are there to secure that the images made for a certain color space will have a consistent look on any calibrated device it is made for.

An sRGB-image will look the same on any sRGB-calibrated device. Every properly processed Adobe RGB-image that have been processed with a monitor calibrated for Adobe RGB will come out at least with the bias of the ICC-profile that corresponds with the paper it will be printed on and the printer int will be printed on if the print manager software is handled properly. This is especially important for those who use on-line printservices for their prints.

I just wonder where we end up if we abandon these standards and let everybody invent their own wheels. Isn´t strictly color space consistent workflows what we have to start with when analysing all these various problems we might see here?

I see quite a few strange things when it comes to color management still in version 6.9 despite it is improved a lot compared to version 5.x and I haven´t still got an answer to why different applications handle images so differently with different profiles both on screen and in print.

I think a tread like this might go on forever if we can´t agree on a few basic things around the workflows. There are so many parameters here and it is simply hopeless to try to throw them all up in the air at the same time. To be able to analyse these things i think that we have to do like the economists do when the use “Pareto” optimal analyzes where they look into how different parameters might affect to whole system. Without any reasonably “fixed points” most of these discussions will just end up in even more severe confusion.

Practically seen this isn´t all that complicated at all - as long as we stick to consistent workflows and have our files well organized so we don´t use files with unsuitable profiles for the usage we plan for them. An Adobe RGB-file will give unwanted color casts in skin tones and too saturated colors on the webb for example. Since I often see these oversaturated newspapper colored portraits I often wonder if they have been sent by someone who forgot that the camera was set for Adobe RGB.

Hello Stenis. I understand your reasoning and it sounds solid enough.
But…I see what I see…and I see better results when exporting from PL as 16-bit TIFF in ProPhoto to QimageOne for printing…than exporting as TIFF/AdobeRGB for printing.
In this case “better” = more accurate to screen (VERY accurate in fact).
Not about inventing wheels, but simply what I see.
So, I’ ll stick to this workflow.
Can I explain it 100%? No, but I know it works.
Working with PL6/DXO Wide Gamut for editing/QimageOne/Eizo CG2700S monitor/Canon Pro1000 printer/Hahnemühle fine art papers.

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Hi Stenis,
no question - you work the way you get along best and the calibrated monitor helps you.

“Working Color Space” describes the internal colour space of the software. With PL6, DxO has added their “DxO Wide Gamut” colour space to the previous bottleneck “AdobeRGB”.

If you set the monitor to the maximum colour space, an image that you have exported as a JPEG / TIFF in the sRGB colour space, for example, will be displayed without restriction.
If the monitor is set to sRGB, you will only see this colour space, even if you have e.g. opened an image in the ProPhoto colour space.

To get an idea of what the printer papers render in each case, you use the soft proof (with the appropriate paper profile and rendering intent).
However, the current monitor profile has no influence on the colour space of the printout → see here …

The following screenshot shows the typical monitor colour spaces AdobeRGB, P3 and sRGB.

my monitor is calibrated to sRGB, AdobeRGB and Native (= AdobeRGB + P3 combined)

Here you can see quite well, the colour spaces of 2 different printer papers match better with AdobeRGB colour space than with P3, but in the case of the CPFR goes beyond it … which means, this paper can display highly saturated colors in the green / blue range, that my monitor does not show.

CPFR = Canson Platine Fibre Rag (semigloss paper)
PCR = Tecco Premium Cotton Rag 310 (matte paper)

To wrap this up a bit…

  • the job of colour management is to ensure, that all devices “get along as well as possible”

  • yes - images exported for the web (and also for most online print providers) should be in the sRGB colour space, profile attached

  • when printing, the colour space of the monitor should cover the intended colour space of the image, but not necessarily be the same

  • assuming you have exported images as JPEG/TIFF for printing
    I did NOT check what happens colour-wise when printing processed raw files directly from PL

Well, that is fair enough if it works for you and you don´t have any plans letting anyone else print for you than yourselves.

I just have hard to understand that anything else than an image processed using a calibrated monitor with almost 100% Adobe RGB sync and exported with an Adobe RGB ICC-profile from Photolab would sync better display to print than that very JPEG.

How do you know what to do with your RAW in Photolab unless you process it with a monitor with a calibration based on Adobe RGB in this case??

Wolfgang wrote:

  • when printing, the colour space of the monitor should cover the intended colour space of the image, but not necessarily be the same

Well everybody here knows things are happening when we try to squeeze a wider gamut into a smaller and vice versa. ProPhoto is so wide that part of it can´t even be seen. That is almost the definition of out of control.

Even Wolfgang look at it your way Mujabad but I don´t, of just the “control issue” when developing RAW-files in Photolab. There is no way to export in DXO Wide Gamut - just in Prophoto if you want another wider gamut than Adobe RGB in Photolab and I can´t calibrate my monitor to support either DXO WG or ProPhoto of well-known reasons, because ProPhoto and even DXO WG is far out of both sRGB, Adobe RGB and P3. Everything out of gamut regardless if I use an Adobe RGB- or P3-calibrated monitor will just be out of my control exporting i ProPhoto.

Frankly I´m not at all interested even of “a better print” than the ones I get with a consistent P3 or Adobe RGB-workflow. I just want a workflow I can control from screen to print. I don´t consider these conditions are met with anything else then sticking strictly to the standards whether they will be the Adobe RGB- or P3-standards in my case.

Wolfgang wrote:

  • assuming you have exported images as JPEG/TIFF for printing
    I did NOT check what happens colour-wise when printing processed raw files directly from PL

Yes, I use to export JPEG but rarely TIFF (never liked that file format - I prefer RAW or DNG). I don´t like to print directly from RAW since I´m not sure of how Photolab is handling the ICC-profiles unless I set it to “Managed by Printer” and let Windows Image Color Management (ICM) take care of the printing.

In the days before the tech with hardware calibrated monitors came all Windows applications just had one source of monitor ICM-profiles in Windows but not so today. In my case my hardware calibrated Benq-monitor uses it´s LUT (Look Up Table) to accommodate the choice of monitor settings I happen to make and the thing is that it also of compatibility reasons saves the latest calibration I have made for the Windows Color Management, as seen below BUT as you can see this Windows profile is the Benq-profile for P3 and it will be regardless if my monitor would be set to sRGB or Adobe RGB. In fact, it never changes!

Here you can see all the ICM-files that Benq Palette Master Element has saved to Windows after every calibration I have done so far. So I can change it manually if I like - but I don´t and I don´really need to normally unless I don´t want a certain pofile to be used by LEGACY APPLICATIONS.

Lets say (I´m not at all convinced) that this doesn´t affect printing DIRECTLY in my system but it for sure affects how certain files are displayed in both XnView and Epson Print Layout (they look the same in these applications and there are other file viewers too that gives the same look.

Left to right Adobe RGB, P3, ProPhoto and sRGB - and guess, if I change my monitor settings ald alter between sRGB, Adone RGB and P3 these images changes a lot and so severe that with sRGB monitor bias the sRGB-file look here almost turn to the one the ProPhoto-file have in this example. If I print these with Windows ICM they will also print from Photolab exactly as you see these images on your screen.

So my point is that these applications ways of displaying these images affects both INDIRECTLY and also directly (depending on how you print) how these images might be displayed and print.

As you can see here if you look very carefully, I have configured XnView to use the current system profile in Windows Color Management and it is the same file regardless if I set my monitor in sRGB, Adobe RGB or P3 and the present ICM-file happens to be the latest made for P3. If that file kicks in after restart in XnView all images will look the same and will be displayed in P3 by the application but if my monitor is set to sRGB in reality that will also affect what I see too and on top of that the files lacking an ICC-profile will be assigned an sRGB-ICC instead of the P3 system ICM - if there are files lacking ICC!

The same images displayed with my Benq-profile for P3.

BUT 1: the Epson Print Layout-application doesn´t seem to care about the present Windows system ICM-file when displaying the same images. It goes strictly on the profiles in the files when setting the application to “Printer Manages the Colors”

BUT 2: If we instead select “Use ICC Profile” - in this case the profile for my Canson Etching Rag paper all four images will print an image that matches that profile.

BUT 3: What would have happened to “BUT 2 case” if I instead had developed the Adobe-file with the Adobe RGB monitor profile, the P3-file with the P3 monitor profile and the sRGB-file with the monitor in sRGB-mode? In that case all of them would have got a slight unique look despite they all were printed with the same Canson-profile since I would have compensated them individually for what I would have considered necessary adjustments. So it is very important to understand what we are looking at when making our conclusions.

If you look carefully on the first row of images above (XnView) and compare it to the last (Epson Print Layout) you will see that they look slightly different. Both are using the ICC-profiles in the files but why do they differ slightly??? In the XnView image row the P3-file is the most reddish BUT in the last image row from EPL it´s the sRGB that is most reddish. That difference is one of the things that really disturbs me. What is the reason for that??

it is things like these no one have been able to really explain to me and why I stick strictly to the standards and my consistent workflows based on them when I print and as you see different applications in these examples handles these images in very different ways sometimes and that calls for caution and accuracy when handling both applications and files. There is a lot of room for making mistakes in color management both in Photolab and in general. If we are not on top of these issues and also have deep knowledge not just about Photolab but even about other applications we use too, we will soon enough experience that these issues are too complex to discuss in many other forums then here.

It really takes very experienced and disciplined Photolab-users to drill down into these issues in order to get somewhere, so thank you Wolfgang and all others who have participated for your patience with my long texts and for contributing so far in order to give us all a deeper understanding of this even if there still is things we don´t really understand full out yet - at least not I but that doesn´t prevent me from being very content with my present workflows.

I love both my monitor and my P900-printer and what I am able to get out of them together with Photolab. So in general I am really pleased with my prints and there is really nothing that can match the technical image quality we can get out of Photolab today. So, these problems i have shared here doesn´t stop me at all from getting the results I want but they do disturb me because I want to understand and I still don´t to 100% :slight_smile: … and I might have to live with that.

Hi Stenis,
regardless of how you like to work (!), I noticed a few more things

The P3 profile shows up as your current system profile … that is, if it doesn’t change, as you said,
all applications dealing with color management (e.g. PhotoLab) would rely on this profile …

The color management UI looks similar between Win11 and 10, so I can show you, how it works here.

currently set to sRGB / 6500K as standard …
and the Advanced tab

which is this calibration

To change the system (standard) color space I select the monitor profile

  • in Eizo’s ColorNavigator (calibration app)
  • or most comfortably with monitor soft keys

Native (AdobeRGB + P3 combined) / 6500K

This change immediately determines the system (standard) color space – just refresh / restart the application (e.g. PhotoLab) to ‘pick up’ the current system profile.

Having said so … I had a glance at the manuals for your monitor, the hotkey puck and the calibration software, but didn’t notice if it was mentioned …

The system (standard) profile mirrors your chosen monitor profile.

Refresh the Windows Color System windows if still visible, otherwise you might need to reboot your machine (and check again). Changing the profile in WCS instead, will most likely produce unpredictable results.

Something else …
From your screenshot it looks like you have your monitor set to “L120”. This is very bright (and usually recommended for working in really bright environments). Otherwise, experiment and reduce the brightness of the monitor to 100 cd/m² (or better 80 cd/m²) … to avoid prints that are too dark.

In addition, I reduced the contrast of the monitor to around 500:1 to better match the contrast of the papers … often not much difference to my “best” paper.

You mentioned Canson Etching Rag 310 … I checked for the canned profile.

It’s quite wide and matches far better with AdobeRGB than with P3.

BTW – I understand you very well. The ability to see & control on the screen, what awaits you when printing, was the reason for getting a quality monitor years ago. And I worked in AdobeRGB the whole time.

Since DxO introduced the (internal) Wide Gamut working color space, I checked images stored in the ProPhoto color space. If the photo contains highly saturated colors, I can see some differences both on screen and paper, but I have to look very closely.


Testing the use of the monitor profile in the application program

When I came across this article “Anwendung des Monitorprofils im Anwendungsprogramm testen
by Andreas Beitinger

I thought, that’s a given … until I read on and tried myself …

Extra-false profile → CM-Test_sRGB.icc

This profile is a modification of the sRGB profile with twisted color channels. If it is used as a monitor profile, images will be displayed in completely wrong colors. Install it and set it as default for the specific monitor - exactly as described in the previous section “Test loading the calibration data”.
By the way, the profile “CM-Test_sRGB.icc” does not contain any calibration data, but only pure profile data. Now it’s no longer about the calibration, but about the actual profile.

( translated by DeepL )

So, what does it do?

Installing & setting up this test profile as Standard monitor profile

then shows in the application, if color management is workingcolors looking strange
and where there is NO color management → colors untouched.


is fully color managed

(needs refresh / restart)


the preview is color managed – but not the ‘thumbnails’

(needs restart)

Epson Print Layout

the preview is color managed – but not the ‘thumbnails’

(needs restart)

checked a few more

  • Fast Stone Image Viewer
    preview color managed / can follow the current monitor profile
    thumbnails not color managed

  • Fast Raw Viewer
    preview color managed / can follow the current monitor profile
    thumbnails not color managed / set up manually

  • IrfanView
    preview color managed / can follow the current monitor profile

  • Fast Picture Viewer
    preview color managed / set up manually

above, I used this test picture (allow download or see → here … )


just seen this topic and maybe this two videos by Robin Whalley are interesting for some of you. What You Need to Know About Printing Photos in DxO PhotoLab What You Should Know About Soft Proofing in DxO PhotoLab

It was made for PL6 but I hope it doesn’t matter



Thank you for sharing this valuable information – just as helpful for PL7.
( recommend to watch the one about Soft Proofing first )

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Thank you very much!