Color Management without the Jargon video: now available!

[Note: I now have a newer video, Color Management for Photographers and Designers (2014), that updates what I covered in Color Management without the Jargon (2009). Color Management for Photographers and Designers includes more current information about color-managing Photoshop, Lightroom, and Adobe Creative Suite applications as well as demonstrations of profiling a display, a printer, and a camera.]

Are you a photographer or designer and still not quite sure how color management works? Confused about how to use color profiles? Have you tried to read books and articles about color management, but are overwhelmed by the terminology?

Color Management without the Jargon cover

Now you can better understand color management with my DVD and online video, Color Management without the Jargon: A Simple Approach for Designers and Photographers Using the Adobe Creative Suite. I created this video as an approachable introduction to the ideas behind color management and the basics of a good color management workflow. While there’s a lot of good material about color management out there, I feel that much of it jumps into jargon and abstract concepts too quickly. I saw an opportunity to explain color management in the simplest possible terms. I intend Color Management without the Jargon to prepare you for and to complement the deeper, more comprehensive, but also far more challenging material out there.

What you’ll learn

This 1½ hour training video helps beginning and intermediate Photoshop, Bridge, InDesign, and Illustrator users understand the basics of color management, including how to profile monitors and create consistent color in a production workflow. This video provides technical background without being overwhelming, and presents concepts and steps that are easy to follow.

How to watch

You can order Color Management without the Jargon as a DVD from your favorite bookseller or store, or you can watch it online as a streaming video from Peachpit Video. Here are some links to get you started:
DVD on
DVD on
Watch online at

More info

Below is the publisher’s marketing copy if you want to learn a bit more…

Every digital photographer or graphic designer knows that color management is important, but many still do not calibrate their computer monitors or understand how color works in different spaces. This 90-minute DVD will help beginning and intermediate Photoshop, Bridge, InDesign, and Illustrator users understand the basics of color management and how to create consistent color in their workflow.

Highlights of this accessible and easy-to-follow DVD video include:

  • Calibrating your monitor and digital SLR camera
  • Tackling color profile detective work in Photoshop and InDesign
  • Assigning, converting, and embedding profiles
  • Managing color output for print and the Web
  • Integrating raw files and Lightroom into your workflow
  • Handling color conversions between video-editing software and Photoshop

The supporting 48-page printed reference guide provides additional links and content.

Open Raw files in Adobe Camera Raw by default

If you use Adobe Camera Raw as your raw converter for digital camera raw files, you might want to be able to open your raw files in Camera Raw when you double-click them. For most files, you would do this in your operating system by changing which application opens the camera raw file type.

But with Camera Raw, there’s a catch. Camera Raw is not a standalone application, so you can’t associate it directly with a file type. It turns out that this is not a big deal, because Adobe Photoshop must open camera raw files in Camera Raw anyway. So the solution is to associate camera raw files with Photoshop. I show the steps below for Mac OS X; the steps for Windows are similar.

1. On the desktop, select a raw file of the type you want to open in Photoshop. I’ve selected a CR2 file from a Canon digital SLR.

Select a raw file

2. Choose File > Get Info (Command+I).

Open the Get Info window

3. From the Open With pop-up menu in the Get Info window, choose the version of Photoshop that you want to use to open your raw files.

Assign Photoshop to the file type

4. The file icon updates to indicate that Photoshop will now open it.

Icon indicates new association

5. Click “Change All” so that your change applies to all files of the same type. Other file icons may not update immediately, but the change has taken effect. From now on, when you double-click that type of a raw file, it will open in Photoshop, which will then open it in Adobe Camera Raw.

Set this association as the default

Because the file association is tied to a specific file type, making this change affects only the file type you’ve changed. You’ll need to associate each different raw file type separately. For example, if you made this change for NEF (Nikon) raw files and then you later work with some CR2 (Canon) raw files, you’ll have to associate the CR2 files with Photoshop too.

(If you’re having trouble getting Camera Raw to see your raw files in the first place, try updating Camera Raw. Support for new cameras is added several times a year. Either download the latest version from, or run the Adobe Updater utility that came with Photoshop. Note that the current version of Camera Raw may not work with older versions of Photoshop. If you are trying to edit a new camera’s raw files in a version of Photoshop that’s too old for the current version of Camera Raw, you should either upgrade Photoshop or use the free Adobe DNG converter to convert raw files to the DNG format, which older versions of Camera Raw can edit.)

Thanks to Céline C. for asking this question!