First, I am still struggling to fully understand color profiles, but I feel like I have most of the basic concepts. I welcome any corrections to any misunderstandings revealed by what I am asking, particularly when I make an assertion about what I understand Photoshop to be doing.

I have a number of TIFF images that were embedded with a custom color profile by the scanner that produced them. Some of the images were subsequently edited & saved in a program without any sort of color management enabled, and the profile from scanning was lost. As a result they are clearly "miscolored" when opening them in Photoshop, which I believe just assumes they are in the working color space sRGB because it doesn't have any better information.

When I open some of the images that were left "untouched" after scanning, Photoshop says the source space is the custom profile. If I paste the pixels of the edited images into one of these untouched images, they look much more correct. Assuming for the moment that the untouched images do in fact have the same profile that the edited images are supposed to have, how can I assign that profile to the edited images? I would like to get the edited images back to their original colors, or as close as I can get to that as is possible. The custom profile from the scanner isn't one of the options in the drop-down, and "Other" is greyed out. I tried to find a way to export the profile from the untouched images so that it can appear as one of the "Other" options, but couldn't figure out a way to do that. If it's relevant, the custom profile is "input-only."

In short: How can I save a custom color profile from an existing image to use in the Assign Profile function? Or alternately, how can I apply the color profile of one image to another image without using Assign Profile? I assume that pasting the pixels into one of the images with the correct profile is an option, but that seems like a hassle and is probably fraught with other issues. Thank you!

Edit: As requested, I have attached images with the sort of custom profiles I'm referring to. For simplicity in the question I just referred to a single profile, but I come across all sorts of different ones all the time. I also am working with TIFFs, but it would not let me upload them so these snippets were converted to JPEGs.

Custom profile #1- LRORG Custom profile #1- "LRORG" Custom profile #2- Cruse/ArgyllCMS Big Cruse Custom profile #2- "Cruse/ArgyllCMS Big Cruse" Custom profile #3- LRSPEED Custom profile #3- "LRSPEED"


3 Answers 3


Answer for Mac Users

There's a way to extract the image profile and save it in your ColorSync profiles.

  • Go to HD > Library > Scripts > ColorSync and drag one of the image with the assigned profile to the script Extract


At the Save profile as window go to

  • HD > Users > Your User > Library > ColorSync > Profiles > Save

Restart Photoshop and the new Color Profile will be in the list

  • Thanks, that looks easy enough, but unfortunately I have a PC- Windows 10.
    – user127047
    Sep 14, 2018 at 13:54

There are many ways to extract ICC profiles.

The most common is ImageMagick:

convert scan.jpg profile.icc

Seemingly too complex answers given or for wrong system (=nothing accepted).

What's going on: The questioner has saved his image without a color profile or with a wrong color profile after making some edits. He believes the RGB numbers in the image file are still good, but without the right color profile Windows and application programs cannot interpret the RGB numbers right.

The lost original color profile should be copied from another image and embedded to the edited image to re-enable the color management.

The already given tricks are clear, but let's give only one choice to make the path even more clear:

  1. Get and install GIMP
  2. Find a not yet smudged image file which contains the wanted icc profile, say LRORG.
  3. Open the image in GIMP, use opening option "Keep the assigned color profile", do not let GIMP convert it to sRGB or other profile.
  4. Apply Image > Color Management > Save Color Profile to file ; GIMP offers file name LRORG.icc and saving it to the folder where Windows keeps other color profiles. Accept them and now you have profile LRORG available also for Photoshop.

I guess you want to use Photoshop to assign LRORG.icc to an image which has somehow lost its color profile, so

  1. Open Photoshop. Goto Edit > Color settings. Set Color Management Policy > RGB to OFF. This prevents Photoshop making a color conversion when you open the next RGB image.

  2. Open the image which should stay otherwise as is, but get embedded color profile LRORG.

  3. Apply Edit > Assign Profile > LRORG

  4. Save your image. Be sure that the option Color Profile =LRORG is enabled in the save dialog

Do not forget to restore Edit > Color settings > Color Management Policy >RGB to the option you see as a good default. I have there "Preserve current profile" and all mismatch Asks checked.

BTW. Some image file formats (not JPG) allow color mode CIELAB (=Lab in Photoshop) Using it prevents color profile problems because CIELAB is based on modelling human color sight, not what electronic devices do so no device profiles are needed. Unfortunately most programs do not understand CIELAB colors.

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