Updating Printer Profiles

Printer profiles need to be updated when colors change in order to ensure a consistent color reproduction. A printer profile can be updated in just a few steps:

  1. Print and measure a small reprofiler test chart on the printer to be updated.
  2. Select the reference profile to be updated and the desired profile settings.
  3. Calculation of the optimized printer profile.
  4. Optional: Create a correction DeviceLink profile based on the reference and the updated profile to adjust print data to the color changes.
    Note: Creation of DeviceLinks requires the tool Devicelink Profiling which is included in the packages CoPrA 4 L, XL and XXL.

The Procedure in Detail

  1. Print a reprofiler test chart on the printer to be updated. Please use the included reprofiler test charts located in the folder Reprofiling (menu Tools > Open Testcharts folder > Reprofiling). Even though reprofiler test charts contain relatively few color patches they are able to produce very accurate profiles.
    Note: When printing the test chart please make sure to deactivate all color management conversions and use the same calibration, CtP or printer driver settings as those of the existing profile (Reference profile).
  2. Alternatively create a custom reprofiler test chart in ColorAnt (using the tools Custom Chart and Export Chart). Please note the recommendations below.
    Recommended Number of Patches for the Creation of Test Charts
    The following table shows the recommended number of patches for different color spaces and applications.
    Examples: To create a high quality multicolor printer profile with six colors your test chart should have at least 2,800 patches. A reprofiler test chart for CMYK should have at least 100 patches.
    Note: ColorAnt is included in the packages CoPrA 4 M and higher.
  3. Select the tool Update Profile from the sidebar. Here you can Measure the selected test chart or Load a test chart which has previously been measured and optimized using ColorAnt. When the measurement values are displayed in the window, click Next.
  4. Select the printer profile to be updated from the drop-down menu Reference. The Match between the measurement values and the gamut of the reference profile is specified in percent for all profiles of the drop-down menu. Automatic will select the profile which best fits the measurement data of the reference profile. The Match for the selected profile is shown below the drop-down menu.
    Note: Based on the selected measurement data only profiles with matching color space are displayed (RGB, CMYK, Multicolor). Please note that the best matching profile may not be the correct profile!
  5. The 2D view of the gamut shows the measurement points of the reprofiler test chart and the gamut border of the selected reference profile. If there is a very high match of about 90 to 100%, the measurement values are in good agreement with the gamut of the reference profile.
    Note: If you are unsure whether you require a new printer profile, simply print out a reprofiler test chart, measure it and check the Match between your printer profile and the measurement values. If there is a match of 90% or more a new printer profile is usually not required.
  6. Select a Setting for the updated profile from the drop-down menu. This will affect the gamut mapping, separation, total area coverage (TAC), black point (Black-TAC) and the Max.Black value (among others). The values for the last three profile parameters are shown below the drop-down menu.
    Note: We recommend using the setting Default | Use settings from reference profile for standard printing applications and the setting Digital Printer for digital printing.
    Package CoPrA Basic allows the selection of your desired preset from the drop-down menu Setting. Packages CoPrA M and higher provide access to all parameters of the profile which can than freely be changed. To adjust these profile parameters select Customize. The tab General allows to configure settings for Perceptual Rendering, Measurement Processing, Viewing Condition and Highlights. In the tab Black Generation you can adjust the settings for Black Generation, total area coverage (TAC), black point (Black-TAC) and the Max.Black value.
  7. Click Next after the correct reference profile and the desired profile settings have been selected.
  8. There are several Options for Profile Calculations which can be determined in the appearing window, like the Name, the Format, the Size and Further processing. The identifier ‘updated’ is added to the name to mark the updated profile as reprofiler profile.
  9. A Profile Comparison Report can be created in addition to or as an alternative to a Profile Report. It provides information about the extent to which the reference and updated profiles reflect the measurement data and the improvements that can be achieved using the updated profile.
  10. By activating the checkbox Calculate DeviceLink a correction DeviceLink profile can be created for the updated printer profile at the same time. This allows to customize your print data to compensate for color variations and to achieve a color reproduction which truly reflects the reference profile before the color changes. Using this correction DeviceLink profile therefore ensures a consistent color reproduction.
    Note: The correction DeviceLink profile will be created automatically assigning the name automatically as well. The assigned profile name consists of the source and target profile and the name of the default setting (for example, Digital Printer, InkJet, etc.). If you prefer a different name or would like to check or edit settings you should create the correction DeviceLink profile manually (using the tool Devicelink Profiling).  The reprofiler DeviceLink can then be selected in the color server ZePrA under Configurations in the tab Document / Target as (correction) DeviceLink profile.
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