Getting and installing ICC profiles

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This article is part of the Tips & Tricks series.
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System Requirements

You'll need LittleCMS installed on your system. Our releases for Windows and Mac OS X always include it. On Linux it depends on the packagers, but our experience shows that in most -- if not all -- cases it will be automatically installed.

Enabling color management

In File > Document settings... > Color Management you can Activate color management for the current document (in the same section of File > Preferences... you can set the defaults for all future documents).

If you have Scribus 1.4 or newer, you can activate it and use the current settings by clicking on the small monitor in the lower right corner of the Scribus main window:

ICC enable.png

With a long click on the button, you will able to directly go to the color management settings for the current document.


If you're wondering if Scribus supports LittleCMS on your system go to the Help menu and select About Scribus. The splash screen will display some infos about how and when Scribus has been built. The Build ID' will has a code where the first letter can be a C if LittleCMS is available or a * if it it's not the case. If Littlecms is missing, you can install together with its development libraries.

Getting and installing additional ICC profiles

Scribus contains a few standard ICC profiles which are necessary to use the color management. However, you can add and use your own ICC profiles.

To install additional ICC profiles

  • On Linux/Unix put your personal profiles into $home/.color/icc or system profiles for all users into /usr/share/color/icc.
  • On Windows Vista or 7, go to the Windows Control panel > Color management > All Profiles > Add
  • On Windows 2000, the correct location is C:\WINNT\System32\spool\drivers\color, and on Windows XP or later C:\WINDOWS\System32\spool\drivers\color.
  • On Mac OS X copy profiles to /Library/ColorSync/Profiles for all users or Library/ColorSync/Profiles in your home directory.

Adobe has released under very liberal licensing terms a group of CMYK press icm profiles. These would be a good beginning default set of press profiles for Scribus if you are planning to send Scribus files (PS or PDF) to a commercial printer. These profiles include US, European and Japanese press defaults.

From the European Color Initiative (ECI) you can get some brand new ISO 12647-2 compliant ICC profiles for offset printing output on. They should reflect the capabilities of modern printing processes, but you have to check with your print shop. ECI Offset Color Standards

An alternative source for reliable profiles is, a non-profit cooperation of color management experts.