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Author Topic: Browser colour issues: IE9 bad, FF avoid ICCv4 calibration profile  (Read 1830 times)


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Well, I was just about to submit a lengthy post about a problem that's had me scratching my head when I managed (partially) to solve the issue on my own. Many calibration programs offer the option to store your monitor profile in either ICCv2 or ICCv4 format. It seems that ICCv2 is still the safest route to take. It's been known for some time that Firefox 3 can't handle images tagged with ICCv4 profiles, but it seems that it also gets confused when the monitor profile is ICCv4, something which I hadn't realised.

When I last calibrated my screen I made two profiles, one ICCv4 and one ICCv2, and for some reason I selected the ICCv4 one as the default profile in Windows' CM panel, and have been merrily using that for a couple of months (Photoshop and other CM applications can handle an ICCv4 monitor profile just fine). Having just installed IE9, I decided to check that it handles colour management correctly. It passed all the tagged-image tests (and passes the ICCv4 tag test linked above), but I noticed that the saturation was increased compared to what I saw in Photoshop and other colour-managed applications, and I realised that I was seeing an identical increase in saturation in Firefox. I twiddled numerous settings to see if I could fix this, but the only thing that worked (for Firefox at least) was to set my monitor profile to use the ICCv2 version and reboot.

System info: Windows 7SP1, Wide-Gamut HP monitor that has been calibrated with the profile set in Windows' CM panel. Photoshop Colour Settings set to Europe Prepress 3 for the purposes of this test (I normally use the ProPhoto RGB space). Firefox gfx.color_management.mode set to 1 (Full colour management). Irfanview colour management turned on with the LCMS plugin installed (just used as a sanity-check, other colour-managed image viewers displayed the same results).

Using the test image from photodisc, this is what I was seeing:

When I changed the monitor profile to the ICCv2 version Firefox showed the correct colours, but IE9 was still too red:

[Edit: just realised I uploaded this 2nd image without an embedded tag, it should be sRGB]

Interestingly, if I loaded the sRGB version of the test image into photoshop and set soft-proof to 'Monitor Color' the display in Photoshop matched what I saw in Firefox using the v4 profile and in IE9. The answer to all this is clear in hindsight, but I suffered a few moments worrying that I'd screwed up the way I was managing colour. I did a search and found that others have found the same thing: IE9 will respect embedded profiles, but it assumes that the monitor is standard sRGB (which makes it worthless). If your calibrated monitor profile is in ICCv4 format then Firefox 3 will display the same behaviour, but works properly if it's ICCv2.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 12:18:21 pm by charleski »
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