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Know when to enable Black Point Compensation and when not to

Added on Wednesday 14th of December 2011 06:10 am EST

by Amy Palermo


Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3/CS4/CS5

Operating Systems:

Macintosh, Microsoft Windows


What is black point compensation? I read an article that mentioned it and how you should have it enabled when you convert images from RGB to CMYK. Is this true, and where do I even find this setting?


If you’re familiar with gamut, then you know that not every output device is capable of producing the same amount of colors. The same holds true with black; not every output device can achieve the same darkest level, so the Black Point Compensation setting in Photoshop compensates for that discrepancy upon image conversion.


Keep it on!

Yes, you should enable the Black Point Compensation setting when you convert your image from RGB to CMYK. By doing so, you’re ensuring that the conversion uses the entire dynamic range of the output profile.


To access the Black Point Compensation setting for color conversions:

1.       Choose Edit > Color Settings to display the Color Settings dialog box. (CS Mac users choose Photoshop > Color Settings.)

2.      Click the More Options button to display the Conversion Options, as shown in Figure A. (CS users select the Advance Mode check box at the top of the dialog box, as shown in Figure B.)

Depending on the Working Spaces option you choose, Black Point Compensation may be enabled by default, as shown in Figure A. Once you’ve made the settings appropriate for your project, click OK to close the dialog box.


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