RawTherapee output workflow


I have a question about the usage of the output profile, and output in general.
Let’s suppose I have to publish on the internet and also make a home print of the same image. Assuming that some processing steps (scaling, sharpening, NR) are output based, and RT doesn’t seem to have a direct printing tool, what would be a convenient output workflow? Thanks!

(Mica) #2
  1. Determine your output intent (print or web, generally)
  2. Determine your output size (what resolution does your printer need and what size you want to print or your web pixel resolution)
  3. Determine the output profile (sRGB for web, Adobe RBG for printing or a specific printer profile)
  4. Set output size/resolution
  5. Sharpen, denoise, and other output specific prep.
  6. Export from RT.
  7. Open in your print program of choice and print. Or post to the web.


If you have a “normal” cheap screen, use an sRGB profile. If you have a wide gamut screen and/or want to print, use a medium or large gamut profile.


Is there a way to store and recall these steps as an ‘output profile’? (maybe I am asking too much :blush:)

@betazoid The problem on the internet is not my screen, but all others :wink:


the “output profile” only concerns color management

it is not recommended to use a large gamut output profile if you do not have a wide gamut screen because you do not see what you are doing, i.e. how the photo really looks like. on the other hand, I think you can use a large gamut profile even for web, if you have a wide gamut screen. or at least a color space which is not significantly larger than your screen’s color space. most apps even on smartphones do usually have at least some rudimentary color management, they assume that the screen is sRGB. apps such as flickr for android make large gamut photos actually look ok. they do not show the additional colors but at least they do not show completely wrong colors either.


You are certainly right, but I have a good monitor (well, not so good actually but a wide-gamut one at least). Thanks to DisplayCal I even managed to get a good profile out of it, whereas previous software failed miserably. Nonetheless, what you see on your screen is often deceiving I think (we don’t even react to colors in the same way one another).

So I think we should use some caution when we talk about profiles (input, working, output ones), specifically when we base our decisions on what we see on the screen.

That said, I feel even more confused about ‘working/output/monitor’ profiles than when I started this same reply. I’m getting worse gradually. :grinning:

(Hermann-Josef) #7


I am also puzzled by the output profile. I load a JPG image with the AdobeRGB (1998) profile embedded. The image was created with Adobe RGB (1998) as the output profile.

If I now change the output profile in the colour management tab in RT, there are no changes to be seen in the preview window, regardless which crazy profile I load. This I do not understand. What do I do wrong or what do I not understand correctly?



@Jossie That’s because the preview doesn’t show you the output profile, unless you click the soft-proof button and you have no printer profile in the preferences. I think.

(Hermann-Josef) #10

@geldo But isn’t the purpose of the preview window to show me all the edits I perform to match the image created as output on disk??? This should include the output profile. E.g. in my case, if I switch from AdobeRGB to sRGB I should see colours change – at least a little bit (I am using a calibrated wide gamut monitor).



@Jossie The preview window only shows you the working profile corrected for your monitor profile, and this is without any doubt the best way to show you the real effects of your edits on the raw data before they are influenced by the output profile (provided you have a large gamut working profile and your monitor can represent it). On the other hand the soft-proof tool is designed to show you as those same edits act on the output profile, and the output profile can refer to a printer, or to your screen, depending whether a printer profile is indicated in the preferences or not.

Nothing prevents you from working constantly in soft-proof mode, if you wish.

(Glenn Butcher) #12

Actually no, that’s the point of a fully color-managed workflow, is that whatever you see on the display is “colorimetrically-consistent”, no matter what the internal image’s color space may be. Your display profile should insure that. If you want to see the difference between sRGB and AdobeRGB, you need to turn off the display colorspace transform and let the internal image make it to the display hardware. Even then, that difference will be in “display terms”…

(Hermann-Josef) #13

@geldo @ggbutcher

Thanks for the clarification.