Soft-proof images

Soft-proofing is the capability to preview in how onscreen photos appear when printed, and optimize them for a particular output device. Soft-proofing in the Lightroom lets you evaluate how images appear when printed, and adjust them so that you can reduce surprising tone and color shifts.

  1. With an image open in the Develop module, select the Soft Proofing box in the toolbar.

    The preview background turns white, a Proof Preview label appears in the upper-right corner of the preview area, and the Soft Proofing panel opens.

    Soft-proofing options in the Develop module
  2. Use the options in the Soft Proofing panel to see if your colors are in gamut, or range, for your display or output device.

    Show/Hide Monitor Gamut Warning 
    Colors that are outside your display’s color capabilities appear blue in the image preview area.

    Show/Hide Destination Gamut Warning 
    Colors that are outside your printer’s rendering capabilities appear red in the image preview area.
    Note: Colors that are outside the gamut of both the monitor and destination device appear pink in the image preview area.

    A profile is a mathematical description of a device’s color space. By default, the Lightroom Develop module displays images using your monitor profile. You can simulate a different output color space by choosing it from the Profile menu.

    The rendering intent determines how colors are converted from one color space to another.

    Perceptual aims to preserve the visual relationship between colors so they are perceived as natural to the human eye, even though the color values may change. Perceptual is suitable for images with lots of saturated, out-of-gamut colors.

    Relative compares the extreme highlight of the source color space to that of the destination color space and shifts all colors accordingly. Out-of-gamut colors shift to the closest reproducible colors in the destination space. Relative preserves more of the original colors in an image than Perceptual.

    Simulate Paper & Ink
    Simulates the dingy white of real paper and the dark gray of real black ink. Not available for all profiles.

  3. To edit your photo to bring it within a desired color space, click Create Proof Copy. Lightroom creates a virtual copy that you can adjust to print as you desire. Then, make your adjustments.

    Note: If you start adjusting photos and forget to click Create Proof Copy, Lightroom asks if you want to create a virtual copy for soft proofing. Click Create Proof Copy to preserve your original image and work on a copy. Click Make This A Proof to edit the original image. Remember that all editing in Lightroom is non-destructive. If you choose to edit the original image, you can still change your mind or undo your changes later.

Adobe recommends

Soft Proofing in Lightroom 4

Julieanne Kost
Learn how Lightroom 4 enables you to soft proof your images and take complete control over a photograph’s color when publishing it to a variety of devices.

Have a tutorial you would like to share?