I print on various media using an Epson printer with aftermarket ink. I have ICC profiles for for my printer for various ink+medium combinations. Photoshop lets me pick an ICC profile to use on a per-print basis.

I am setting up a (Windows) computer dedicated to printing. I'd rather not license Photoshop just for printing if I can help it. Most prints are done from PDF files.

Is there any free/cheap software I can use to print PDFs that will let me choose the correct ICC profile on a per-print basis like I can do with Photoshop?

  • Good question! There might be. I hope there is. That said, one thing Adobe has done well, and has allowed them to keep such a tight grip on design software, is that they have put a lot of effort into color management--something most open source graphic design software hasn't been able to do.
    – DA01
    Jul 21, 2015 at 21:24
  • Does your printer support color management? Atleast all printers i have acess to have color managenent settings. But yes there are many apps that can do this.
    – joojaa
    Jul 22, 2015 at 6:29

3 Answers 3


You may wanna check GIMP. its free software very close to Photoshop. Also can read PSD files. ;)

Official documentation How to Add ICC Profiles In GIMP

  • I think Gimp can not handle cmyk files.
    – Rafael
    Jul 21, 2015 at 22:50
  • I did see GIMP might be able to do this. It's on my list of software to compare to Photoshop. I'll report back on the results.
    – user13497
    Jul 22, 2015 at 3:04
  • Rafael: what do you mean by handling? you mean support?
    – Mamdouh
    Jul 23, 2015 at 5:52
  • Tom I will be waiting your feed back :)
    – Mamdouh
    Jul 23, 2015 at 5:52

Interesting indeed. I think this will be a partial answer.

First of all, If you just need to print from a pdf you only need adobe reader.

The point is that if you need a specific color profile you need to give it to your clients before they send the file.

If you can not give it, then you need to convert the file to the required profile, so you do need photoshop not for printing, but for converting the file to the new color space.

Give a try at Scribus http://www.scribus.net/ Again you need to think that the program need to do some adjustments, so you probably can set up some templetes and inside import pdf files or raster images, then set up the output profile.

  • Thanks for your answer. I know you can print PDFs from Acrobat; that is obvious. What I need to do is print using ICC profiles specifically made for my paper+ink combination. My issue is not with the way images appear on my display as I control that very well. What I need is to make sure the colors transfer from my display to my paper accurately. I know the latest free version of Acrobat does not allow for printer ICC profiles as Photoshop does. I will try Scribus and will report back.
    – user13497
    Jul 22, 2015 at 3:01

If your printer does not support color management, consider using ghostscript as your RIP.

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