Sync Photoshop color settings with all Creative Cloud apps

Sync Photoshop’s Color Settings With All Creative Cloud Apps

Using Photoshop as part of the larger Creative Cloud or Creative Suite? Learn how to synchronize Photoshop’s color settings with your other Adobe apps, like Illustrator and InDesign, to keep the colors in your images accurate and consistent.

Written by Steve Patterson.

In the previous tutorial in this Getting Started series, we looked at Photoshop's Color Settings. We learned about color spaces and how they determine the range of colors we have to work with. And we learned that by default, Photoshop sets its working color space to sRGB. We explored the reasons why Adobe chose sRGB as the default color space, and why sRGB is not the best choice for editing images because of its relatively small color gamut. A better choice is Adobe RGB with its greatly expanded range of colors. We learned how to change Photoshop's working space from sRGB to Adobe RGB. And finally, we saved our custom settings as a new preset so we can quickly choose them again when needed.

If Photoshop is the only app you use in the Adobe Creative Cloud or Creative Suite, then changing Photoshop's color settings is all you need to do. But if you use other Adobe apps as well, like Illustrator and InDesign, then maintaining accurate colors between apps becomes very important. As we'll learn in this tutorial, Adobe made it easy to synchronize Photoshop's color settings with the entire Creative Cloud or Creative Suite. But you won't find the option to do so anywhere in Photoshop. Instead, we synchronize our color settings using Adobe Bridge.

Before we begin...

If you're a Creative Cloud subscriber, you'll want to make sure that you've downloaded and installed Adobe Bridge CC before you continue. In Photoshop CS6 and earlier, Adobe Bridge installs automatically with Photoshop so there's no need to install Bridge separately. Also, if you have not done so already, be sure to read through the previous Essential Photoshop Color Settings tutorial. That's where we changed Photoshop's color settings and saved them as a new preset. This tutorial uses the preset we created.

Viewing Your Custom Photoshop Color Settings

Opening The Color Settings Dialog Box

Let's quickly recap the color settings we changed in the previous tutorial. To access Photoshop's color settings, go up to the Edit menu at the the top of the screen and choose Color Settings:

Opening the Photoshop Color Settings from under the Edit menu.
Going to Edit > Color Settings.

Choosing Your Custom Preset

The Color Settings dialog box will open. If you followed along with the previous tutorial, your Settings option at the top should already be set to your custom preset. In my case, I named my preset "My Color Settings":

Photoshop is using the custom color settings preset we created.
Your custom color settings preset should already be selected.

If, for some reason, your custom preset is not already selected, click on the name of the current preset. Then choose your custom preset from the list:

Choosing the new color settings I previously saved.
Selecting "My Color Settings" from the list of presets.

The RGB Working Space

With the custom preset active, we see that our RGB working space has been changed from sRGB to Adobe RGB:

The Color Settings dialog box showing Adobe RGB as the RGB working space.
Our custom preset uses Adobe RGB as the RGB working space.

The Color Management Policies

And in the Color Management Policies section, we've made sure that the RGB option (along with CMYK and Gray) is set to Preserve Embedded Profiles. Also, the Profile Mismatches and Missing Profiles checkboxes are all unchecked. We learned about these options in the previous tutorial:

The Color Management Policies options.
The Color Management Policies options.

Notice that the Color Settings dialog box is telling us that, at the moment, our custom settings only apply to Photoshop. They have not yet been synchronized with our other Creative Cloud or Creative Suite apps:

Your Creatuve Cloud applications are not synchronized for consistent color.
The custom setting has not yet been synchronized with the other apps.

Closing The Color Settings Dialog Box

To close Photoshop's Color Settings dialog box, click OK:

Closing the Color Settings dialog box in Photoshop.
Clicking OK to close the Color Settings dialog box.

How To Sync Your Color Settings

Step 1: Open Adobe Bridge

Let's synch our custom Photoshop color settings with the rest of the Creative Cloud or Creative Suite. To do that, we'll need Adobe Bridge. To open Adobe Bridge from within Photoshop, go up to the File menu at the top of the screen and choose Browse in Bridge:

Opening Adobe Bridge from Photoshop.
In Photoshop, go to File > Browse in Bridge.

Step 2: Open The Color Settings Dialog Box

Then in Bridge CC, go up to the Edit menu and choose Color Settings. In Bridge CS6, go up to the Edit menu and choose Creative Suite Color Settings. This opens the Color Settings dialog box:

Opening the Color Settings in Adobe Bridge.
In Bridge, go to Edit > Color Settings (CC) or Creative Suite Color Settings (CS6).

Step 3: Choose Your Custom Color Settings Preset

Notice that the Color Settings dialog box in Bridge looks different from the one we saw back in Photoshop. Rather than choosing individual color settings, here we choose a color settings preset. The preset will then be synchronized across every app in the Creative Cloud or Creative Suite. By default, the North America General Purpose 2 preset is selected. This is the same preset Photoshop was using before we changed it. At the top of the dialog box, we see another message telling us that our color settings are not yet synchronized:

The Color Settings dialog box in Adobe Bridge.
The Color Settings dialog box in Adobe Bridge.

Choose your custom preset (the one you created in Photoshop) from the list. I'll choose the "My Color Settings" preset. Notice that the description we added for the preset back in Photoshop appears below the preset's name:

Selecting the custom preset created in Photoshop.
Selecting my custom "My Color Settings" preset.

Step 4: Click "Apply"

To sync your preset across every app in the Creative Cloud or Creative Suite, click Apply at the bottom of the dialog box:

Clicking the Apply button to sync the color settings.
Clicking "Apply" to sync the color settings.

Bridge closes the Color Settings dialog box after you click the "Apply" button. To see what has actually happened, let's quickly re-open it. Go up to the Edit menu and choose Color Settings (CC) or Creative Suite Color Settings (CS6). This time, the Color Settings dialog box opens with our custom preset already selected. And, the message at the top of the dialog box now tells us that we've successfully synced the preset will every app in the Creative Cloud / Creative Suite:

My custom color settings have been synchronized with the entire Creative Suite.
Every app in the Creative Cloud / Creative Suite is now using your custom color settings.

Where to go next...

And there we have it! In the next tutorial in this Getting Started with Photoshop series, we'll learn how to improve Photoshop's performance, customize the interface, save backups of your work, and more with some essential options in Photoshop's Preferences! This series is part of our Photoshop Basics training.