Preparing Color Images for Booksmart Using Adobe® Photoshop®

  • Updated

Once you’ve profiled your monitor and installed the Blurb ICC Profile, you can prepare your images for BookSmart following these steps in Adobe® Photoshop®:

1. Check the existing color profile of your image.

2. Convert images to sRGB if necessary.

3. Soft proof to preview how your image will print. 

4. Save images as high-resolution files and import into BookSmart.


1. Check the current color profile of an image in Photoshop

BookSmart currently accepts grayscale and RGB images, with sRGB being the preferred color space. (Don't place CMYK images into BookSmart).

To check your image's existing color profile follow these steps.

  • Open the image in Photoshop.
  • Expand the menu option in the bottom left of your image window and select Document Profile.
  • If the image is sRGB, you do NOT need to do a conversion. If the file is not sRGB, convert it to sRGB now, as below. 

2. Convert images to sRGB

If your images are not sRGB, follow these steps to convert them in Photoshop. Always work on a copy of your image to preserve your originals for other uses.

  • Select Edit > Convert to Profile (you may also need to select Show All Menu Items if the Convert to Profile item is not available).
  • Select sRGB as the Destination Space.
  • Select Adobe ACE as the Engine and Perceptual as the Intent to achieve the best possible match between Adobe RGB and sRGB without losing subtle gradations and transitions.
  • Select Use Black Point Compensation to preserve shadow detail. 
  • Select dither if you want to add a small amount of digital noise to break up gradients that are banding. You should always use dither if your image contains large areas of subtle gradations.
  • Click OK
  • Once converted, choose File > Save As… to save a copy of your image that is now in sRGB.

3. Soft proof your image

Once the image has been converted to sRGB you can preview how it will look in print by using the soft-proof option in Photoshop. Soft proofing lets you see if you need to make adjustments to your image in order to compensate for the printing process.

You may wish to adjust the contrast and brightness, or even adjust the color so any out of gamut colors are within gamut, which will minimize any color shifts.

Follow these steps to soft-proof your images in Photoshop:

  • Select View > Proof Setup > Custom
  • Select Blurb ICC Profile as the Device to Simulate.
  • Select Perceptual as the rendering intent in order to preserve subtle gradients.
  • Select Black Point Compensation to preserve shadow details.
  • Leave Simulate Paper Color unchecked (recommended).
    • Checking the Simulate Paper Color option can result in milky or hazy soft-proof previews if your monitor is too bright (as most are). We recommend leaving this option unchecked
    • If you still want to use the Simulate Paper Color Option, then reduce your brightness to a more print-friendly level (between 90-120 cd/m2) when calibrating your monitor. However, this may make your monitor undesirably dim for other uses.

When soft-proof is on, your image title bar will indicate “RGB/8/Blurb ICC Profile.” You can toggle the soft-proof on/off by using View > Proof Colors.

4. Save your image file for BookSmart

Once you’ve made your edits, save your files and import them into BookSmart.
  • We recommend that you save a copy of your image to preserve the originals.
  • If your images contain line art, text, blueprints, or scanned content, save them as PNG files. Otherwise JPEG (with Embed Profile checked) is best.
  • Import your images into BookSmart to begin building your book.
Adobe®, Photoshop®, and InDesign® are registered trademarks of Adobe Systems Incorporated in the United States and/or other countries.

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