Working on TIF from Apple to PC and then back to Apple?

Posted on 2002-03-18
Last Modified: 2011-04-14

Is it possible to work/edit with a PC on a TIF file that was scanned with an Apple computer system?

I have a photo that was scanned by someone setting up a print job for me. He was unable to satisfactorily do the proper photo retouching so he gave the photo to me to work on. The problem is, he has an Apple and I have a PC.

My questions are...

1) Is it possible to work on the photo on my system and have it look the same on his Apple system?

2) Will the photo print correctly at the printers after going cross platform like that, from Apple to PC to Apple?

I was told that whatever is done on an Apple will not look the same on my PC, due to monitor and video card differences. True or not?

I have noticed in the scans provided that any files that he edited with his Apple are a slightly different hue. Blue is more purple, etc. However,the straight scans he burned to CD for me that he has not touched up I can see just fine. The colors look perfect on my PC.

I am not sure what process to go about to ensure that what I edit will look good on his Apple when he does the final set-up for the printer.

First off, I don't think he saved in an IBM PC format for me. The files I got on CD had no extensions. I guessed and renamed them with a TIF extension and am able to read the files. Is this okay or should he have saved them in a specific IBM format for me?

When I open a file on the CD I get the following message:

Embedded Profile Mismatch
The document's embedded color profile does not match the current RGB working space.

Embedded:  Apple RGB
Working:   sRGB IEC61966-2.1

How do you want to proceed?

- Use the embedded profile (instead of the working space)
- Convert document's colors to the working space
- Discard the embedded profile (don't color manage)

[end of message]

The default that is highlighted is the last one about discarding the embedded profile.

Which is the correct way to pursue this editing? Is it possible, or is it one of those "Can't get there from here" type of deals?

I have noticed that if I select the first option instead, the photo looks fine, and when I save it back to disk the color profile in the Save As dialogue windows says ICC Profile: Apple RGB.

If I take the last option the color profile says, ICC Profile: sRGB IEC61966-2.1

I am assuming that this last profile is the one for my system. (?)

What is the correct way to edit these TIF photos on my PC so they look okay on his Apple and print correctly at the printers?

If this is too long and involved of a process, would it be easier to just do the scans myself and try to learn how to do the layout for the printer on my PC? It's just a photo card with a few lines of type and three color photos. The card is approximately 5x7.

Okay so that's my dilemma. Does anyone have a best solution for this?

I appreciate the help very much.

Best regards,

Tim Watts

Question by:timwatts041300
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LVL 30

Accepted Solution

weed earned 300 total points
ID: 6877752
TIF files are cross platform. They will open on Mac, PC, SGI, etc etc etc. The files you got dont have .tif extensions because Macs dont have to use file extensions in order to know what the file is. Yes, there will probably be some color differences between your system and his. This is partly due to the fact that Macs use a 1.8 gamma and windows uses a 2.2 gamma. There are also monitor and video card differences. Apple has put alot of work into color management which means that if a series of Macs are set up properly and have monitor color profiles, a document with an embedded profile will look the same on all of them. However, this is an area where windows is sorely lacking. As long as you keep the image in PS and dont change the profile the mac embedded, youll be fine but your colors will look different from his. When you get a profile mismatch, choose to use the embedded profile. In any case, shoot the file back to the Mac user before going to print to make sure they get the colors they want.
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Expert Comment

ID: 6883904
Or better yet, get an Iris or Matchprint from the image and let the client check that -- that will be much closer to the final print output than anything you'll see on screen.

While a well-calibrated monitor will show relatively correct color, most monitors (Mac or PC) are NOT calibrated.

I'll agree that Macs usually have better built-in controls for adjusting the color than PCs -- but more importantly, most Mac users are graphic designers, for whom color is more important than the average Office user. Therefore, they're more likely to adjust their color settings and/or their monitors. They're also more likely to be checking things for print output, and more likely to notice a difference between what they see onscreen and what they seen when it's printed (whether commercial or their desktop printer).

It's not just the hardware differences -- it's the user differences as well. ;-)

Author Comment

ID: 6883938
I was surprised to see no one else answer on this one. Maybe because it was too easy?

There was nothing in this answer I didn't already know, except the gamma difference between Apple and Windows. Thanks for that.

I guess the essence of the answer should have been the one line which simply stated...

"When you get a profile mismatch, choose to use the embedded profile."

While that appears to have worked, I will throw my own two-cents worth in by saying EITHER WAY worked just fine. There was no discernable difference.

I had already assumed that TIF was not proprietary to Mac nor Windows. It seems the most beneficial aspect was that we were both working with the exact same program, PhotoShop 6.0. That made the transition effortless.

The bottom line though is that BOTH ways worked. Either by "saving the embedded profile" or by "discarding the embedded profile." Those are the first and third options you get. (I didn't try the second option yet, "Convert colors to the working space." Not sure how that works.)

The other key is to make sure you SAVE with the same format you opened with. When you click the "SAVE AS" option, make sure the ICC Profile is the Same you opened with. In my case it was the Apple RGB. The next dialogue windows will be TIF options... IBM PC or Macintosh. My selection was of course Macintosh and everything worked just fine.

So all in all, it worked, but I'm curious to know why the image looked so go with BOTH formats, the embedded Apple and the Windows code. There seemed to be no difference in quality, pixels or size. The TIF file transferred between the two platforms just fine.

I argued from the beginning with the Mac guy that it shouldn't be a problem but he told me it couldn't be done without color mismatches. Maybe if you use different programs, I don't know. Apparently there are no problems the way we did it.

All in all, it was VERY EASY transferring a TIF from an Apple to a PC for editing and then back to the Mac for final layout before printing. Effortless to say the least. That must be why no one responded. (If I missed anything relevant, please feel free to add to this.)

Thanks for the help and the added gamma insight. :o)

EE rules!

Best regards,

Tim Watts

LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 6883969
Most windows users use the sRGB color space which is a poor representation of what your monitor can actually display. sRGB is a sort of catchall which is a HUGE gamut. Most monitors cant display any more than 3/4 of it. So when you converted from the Apple RGB to sRGB you wont lose anything except for the Mac users profile, which they put there for a reason. Secondly if you create or modify an image with sRGB youre more than likely goind to add color outside your monitors gamut, not to mention any printers gamut.

Author Comment

ID: 6884051
Thanks for the extra explanation weed. I appreciate it. I'm just happy to have this project almost done. Many thanks for your helpful insights.

Best regards, :o)

Tim Watts


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