Can’t find your soft-proofing ICC profiles

This is a vexing problem that a lot of people encounter. You get ICC profiles from your lab to use for soft-proofing, you install them in the correct folder exactly as instructed, you restart Photoshop, you open a photo then open the Custom proofing window, and … the profiles aren’t in the list!!

This is exactly what happened to Anne today. She was sent three profiles from Prolab, and when she downloaded them and saved them into the correct folder, they looked like this:

external profile names

But when she tried to apply them in Photoshop, no Prolab profiles showed up in the list!

no names

See? No Prolab profiles there.

Anne assumed she must have done something wrong with the installation, but no – this was not Anne’s fault at all. She’d done everything right.

The problem is this: For some reason, ICC profiles have two names – an "external" and "internal" name, so to speak. The name you see in the folder in your computer is the external name, but the name that Photoshop reads is the internal one, and sometimes they’re different!

These are Anne’s three Prolab profiles:

internal profile names

Confusing, right?

I’m afraid I don’t know enough about profile creation to tell you why this happens. All I can tell you is to look carefully for your new profiles, because they might not be what you expect.


If you have a question about this article, please feel free to post it in Ask Damien.