Custom printer profiling - fix your colour management issues with a profile from Pure Profiles

8. Adobe Colour Printing Utility (ACPU)

Up to the end of 2010, you could only use software that was compatible with our profiling process to print the profiling charts. Some software - such as Lightroom and Aperture - were not compatible even though they were able to use the final profile.

Thanks to the removal of the "No Colour Option" in the printing options for Photoshop CS5 (which caused quite a few problems for the profiling community), Adobe have lived up to their promise and released an application (Windows and Mac) that can be used just to print profiling charts. This is known as ACPU (Adobe Colour Printing Utility), and is free to download from :

By using this application, the charts are loaded correctly, and printed correctly with no colour management. This not only helps CS5 users, but also helps all users of software that weren't compatible previously.

Due to the simplicity of the program, we recommend all customers use this application rather than using their usual software. We'll still have the guides for the individual software applications for both those who prefer using these for printing the charts, and for those who have problems with ACPU (please note that this utility is compatible with Mac OS 10.6 but is not compatible with Mac OS 10.5) - but we would prefer customers to use this application if possible.

This utility can also be used to print out the Density Charts for finding the optimum Paper Type setting for the printer driver - just select the density chart instead of the profiling chart in step 10 below.

Please note that these instructions, plus details about the printer driver settings and using the profile, can be found in our step-by-step guide for ACPU which can be downloaded from our Downloads page. We have guides for both Windows and Mac OS X operating systems. You will also find tutorial videos about downloading and using this utility on our Videos page.

Printing the charts using the Adobe Colour Printer Utility on a Mac

For more tutorial videos showing the profiling process broken down into the 5 steps, please go to our Videos page.

Step 1

  • Choose the charts you want from our downloads section based on the size of paper you use, and whether you want a Standard or an Enhanced profile.

  • Click the download button and then choose to save them to your computer. Please note : depending on your browser, this screen may look different.

Step 2

  • The charts will be downloaded as one ZIP file. The charts need to be extracted before you can use them.

  • For Windows, highlight the file and press the right mouse button to bring up the file menu, and select the Extract All... option.

Step 3

  • Windows only : Select a folder where you would like the charts extracted to, and then press the Extract button.

Step 4

  • You should now have a folder which contains all the charts for the set that you've downloaded (the number of charts varies depending on which set was chosen).

Step 5

  • If you haven't already done this, download the ACPU utility from Adobe.

  • Click on the version you need for your operating system.

Step 6

  • Again, you should get a download box pop up (browser-dependant) - choose the option to save the file to your computer.

Step 7

  • As with the set of profiling charts, you now need to extract the files for the ACPU application.

  • For Windows, highlight the file and press the right mouse button to bring up the file menu, and select the Extract All... option.

Step 8

  • Windows only : Select a folder where you would like the application files extracted to, and then press the Extract button.

Step 9

  • From the folder where the application files have been extracted to, click on the Adobe Color Printer Utility file to run it.

Step 10

  • A dialog box will appear asking you to select a TIFF file to print. Go to the folder from Step 4 and select the first chart.

Step 11

  • The chart should display as shown (the chart may look different dependant on what set was selected).

  • Choose the Print Setup... option.

Step 12

  • Set the Paper Size to the correct size.

  • Set the Orientation to Landscape (this should work for most drivers, but this can be set to Portrait if needed).

  • Leave the Margins as they are unless you get problems fitting the chart on the page - you may need to change these values.

  • Press the OK button.

Step 13

  • Press the Print... button.

Step 14

  • The Print dialog box should appear. Make sure the printer is the correct one, and click the Properties... button.

Step 15

  • The driver needs to be set up so that no colour management is used, and that the Paper Type is set to the optimum setting (Please see the section on Density Charts for more information on this.

  • Our ACPU Step-by-Step guide on our Downloads page covers this in detail with examples of a number of old and new drivers.

  • Click the OK button to go back to the Print dialog box.

Step 16

  • Click the OK button to print the chart. The chart should now be printed. Please check it for any positioning issues and any obvious printing issues (please note that due to colour management being switched off, it is not a problem if the colours look different to what you see on screen).

  • Close down the ACPU utility - you can only load a new chart when it is initially run.

  • Repeat Steps 9-16 for every chart in the set of profiling charts that you have downloaded.

Reported Issues

As useful as this utility is, it’s a little rough around the edges compared to your usual Adobe product (but… it’s free!). It seems to work well for the vast majority, but there have been a few issues for some.

One issue is the utility resizing the charts for some users. If the charts are printed a little smaller than expected, then that is not a problem and you can send the charts in. If the charts are printed too large (on A4 paper only), or they are printed very small, then that is an issue – if that happens then please get in touch with us.

There’s also an issue with the Canon IPF range of printers and the Mac OS X. In order for the utility to work, the AppColorMatchingInfo.xml file needs to be updated for the driver – please take a look at this link for instructions and a copy of the new file -