How to Use the Device Link Module

The Device Link module was introduced in, and is an optional feature of, ProfileMaker 5. It provides a way of connecting two profiles, a source and destination. The device link profile format is specified by the International Color Consortium (ICC, To purchase the Device Link module, contact your authorized X-Rite dealer or Customer Service.

Why Use It?

The Device Link module would be of interest to customers who have a software or hardware RIP that supports device-link profiles. The primary advantage of a device-link profile is that the two linked profiles are connected directly, without using the CIELAB profile connection space (PCS). This can avoid some of the problems of converting black and primary colors through the PCS.

Benefits of PM5 Device Link Module

In CMYK->CMYK connections the black separation behavior of the source profile can optionally be preserved. Additionally clean primaries and clean blacks of the source profile can be preserved, an individual Rendering Intent can be selected and optionally a new separation behavior can be defined (UCR, GCR. black start, total ink amount). For RGB->RGB and CMYK<->RGB connections an intelligent gamut mapping engine provides best possible transition results (e.g. black point compensation, clean primaries to clean secondaries: RGB=0,0,0 -> K=100).


Sample device-link workflows could include scanner to standard working space, digital camera to standard working space, digital camera to printer, standard working space to printer, or lithographic press to proofer. Device-links for CMYK->CMYK connections, e.g. for Offset->Newsprint or Offset->Proofer are very common.

What Are the Device Link Settings?

- Source Profile -- The source profile describes the current color space of an image or file. A source profile could be a scanner, digital camera, or standard working space. In case of a device-link connection for proofing, e.g. an Offset press profile can be the source profile.

- Destination Profile -- The destination profile describes the color space of the device or process where an image will be output. A destination profile could be a printer, a printing process such as a lithographic press, or a standard working space profile.

- Clean Primaries -- When Clean Primaries is checked, the profile is generated so that full-tone colors (RGBCMY) from the source profile do not contain amounts of other colors. For example, a 100% yellow from the source profile will stay almost 100% yellow and not have higher cyan, magenta, or black dots.

- Clean Black -- If Clean Black is checked, the device-link profile converts black in the source profile to clean black. There is no four-color black as with a PCS conversion. Any black with a color cast in the Destination profile is nevertheless intelligently neutralized.

- Rendering Intent -- The device-link profile can be created with any of the ICC-standard color rendering intents, including perceptual, relative colorimetric, absolute colorimetric, or saturation. For instance, for a device-link from a Newsprint press to a proofer the rendering intent 'Absolute' will be used.

- Separation -- The Device Link module allows to leave the separation behavior of the source profile Unchanged or to define a new separation (similar to the settings in ProfileMaker's Printer profiling module). Important hint: if the total ink amount of a CMYK source profile is higher than the one of the CMYK destination profile, it is recommended to define a new separation behavior (do not use 'Unchanged').

Please refer to the ProfileMaker Direct Help for more information on any of these settings.

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