Color management application settings

Color management is an ArcGIS Pro application setting used to ensure consistent color appearance across display and output devices. You can enable it from the application Settings page. Color management is disabled by default, meaning that no color management takes place.

Enable color management

To enable color management in ArcGIS Pro, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Project tab to open the application settings.
  2. Click Options to open the Options dialog box.
  3. Under the Application heading, click the Color Management tab.
  4. On the Color Management tab, click the Enable color management toggle button to turn it on.

Once enabled, you can specify color management settings for the following project items in ArcGIS Pro:

  • Maps
  • Scenes
  • Layouts
  • Reports
  • Styles

The color management application settings specify the default color space and color profiles of new color-managed project items and dictate the color conversion policy that is used when colors move from one of these project items to another.

Color model

Specify the default color model, either RGB or CMYK, to be assigned to all new color-managed project items. You can change the color model of each project item as necessary.

Color profiles

Color profiles are files that correspond to how a device can capture, render, or otherwise understand color values and put those values into context for that device.

For example, an input device such as a scanner has an associated color profile that describes the exact visual red color that corresponds to the RGB value 200,100,100 according to the device. Display devices, such as monitors, or output devices, such as printers, similarly have profiles that explain their interpretation of these same color values. Documents, such as photographs, or in this case, ArcGIS Pro project items, can similarly be tagged with a color profile to put the color values within them into context.

When a color is displayed on a color-calibrated monitor, moved from one project item to another, or output to a PDF file or a printer, the color management system uses the profiles and the color conversion rules to translate the color values to new values (through a device-neutral color space such as Lab) in such a way that the color is visually unchanged.

You set the default color profiles for newly created project items in the application settings. You can choose different color profiles associated with each project item as necessary.

The color profiles available to the ArcGIS Pro application are as follows:

  • sRGB IEC61966-2-1 noBPC
  • U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2
  • Any color profiles stored in the Windows operating system

To add additional color profiles to Windows, open the Control Panel search for Color Management. On the Color Management dialog box, on the Color Profiles tab, click Add.

Color conversion

In addition to specifying the default color profiles, the color management application settings include color conversion rules. These rules guide the color management system when colors are translated from one color profile to another.

There are three components of color conversion:

  • Color conversion rule—Specifies how colors are transformed as they move from one color profile to another. Choose from these options:

    • Preserve color appearance. In most cases, use this option, as this is the fundamental purpose of color management: to ensure that colors remain visually consistent regardless of where they are displayed. Color values will be modified.

    • Preserve color values. This setting effectively ignores the color profiles and passes colors through from device to device unchanged. The visual appearance of colors is unlikely to be consistent. Use in cases where retaining specific color values is mandatory.

  • Rendering intent—Specifies how colors are transformed when there is no equivalent color in the destination color space. The color is out of gamut, or outside the domain, of all possible colors that can be portrayed in the destination color model. Choose from the following strategies:

    • Relative colorimetric. Out-of-gamut colors are transformed to their nearest in-gamut match and an adjustment is made to the white point of the destination color space. In-gamut colors are largely unaffected. In most cases, this is the preferred intent, and therefore the default.

    • Perceptual. The entire gamut of colors from the source color space is compressed to fit within the gamut of the target color space. The hue and saturation of all colors are affected, but the visual differences in tone between colors are preserved.

    • Saturation. This transforms out-of-gamut colors just enough so that they are within the destination gamut. Instead of compressing and impacting the entire color space, the source color space is truncated to fit within the target color space. Saturation is preserved at the expense of hue and lightness.

    • Absolute colorimetric. Like the Relative colorimetric intent, this strategy transforms out-of-gamut colors to their nearest in-gamut match, without adjusting the white point of the source color space. Choose this intent when spot colors are used to ensure they remain accurately portrayed.

  • Black point compensation—Ensures that when colors are transformed, the black point of the source profile corresponds to the black point of the destination profile and all other colors are adjusted relatively. The black point is the darkest, densest color that can be rendered within the profile. Use the black point algorithm when your map or layout contains a lot of small black type.

Working with existing or imported items

When you import items such as maps, scenes, layouts, and styles from ArcGIS Desktop or an older ArcGIS Pro project, the color model is set to RGB and the color profiles sRGB IEC61966-2-1 noBPC and U.S. Web Coated (SWOP) v2 are applied to the item.

When a project references a color profile that is not installed on the machine, a warning appears. Either install the missing color profile or choose an available, suitable color profile as a replacement.

Related topics

In this topic
  1. Enable color management