I have a JPG file (produced in Illustrator, from the EXIF tag) which, when opened with GIMP, displays the colors differently from any other program I have (e.g. Firefox, eog, gThumb, etc.).

Here's an excerpt: the top part is what GIMP displays, the bottom one is the way I see it on any other program.

Color difference between GIMP and other programs

I tried disabling color management, but it did not help.

This happens immediately when opening the file, and persists when the file is saved: if I open the saved file in another program, it will display the same colors as GIMP.

Possibly relevant EXIF tags:

Color Space Data                : CMYK
Profile Connection Space        : Lab
Color Transform                 : Unknown (RGB or CMYK)
Creator Tool                    : Illustrator

My "File Open behaviour" is configured to "Ask me what to do", but GIMP never did ask for this specific file.

I would like to know how to make GIMP display the same colors as the other programs, without having to e.g. open it with another program and then capture the screen to paste the result in GIMP.

  • 1
    Most likely due to the conversion from CMYK to RGB; that is done by libjpeg itself already, IIRC. Commented Feb 11, 2015 at 21:30

1 Answer 1


@MichaelSchumacher's comment led me to do some tests with ImageMagick, and I managed to find a simple command to convert the colorspace so that GIMP will show the image with the expected colors:

convert input.jpg -colorspace RGB output.jpg

After the conversion, comparing the EXIF data leads to some other possibly relevant tags which I had previously missed:

APP14 Flags 0                   : Encoded with Blend=1 downsampling
Color Components                : 4

After the conversion, the APP14 tag is erased, and Color Components becomes 3 (the Color Space Data tag still shows CMYK).

On a side note, I expected that some of my other applications would also use libjpeg, so that they would display the image as GIMP did.

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