Why is there a second profile selection in the Print View?

Why is there a second profile selection in the Print View section (print settings)?

The printer/paper profile selection under the printer section at panel top is familiar from other apps and makes sense to me. It is used to transform the image from the working space to printer/paper space.

From manual Print View …

printer (section)


The printer’s ICC profile for the loaded paper. This is the profile specific to the printer and paper. This profile is the last color space transformation applied to the picture whose goal is to create a high quality print.

But the profile selection under the print settings section at panel bottom seems extraneous to me?

print settings (section)


The export profile to use. This profile is the entry point used for the next transformation using the printer’s ICC profile. Usually it is better to prefer a large gamut (e.g. Adobe RGB) rather than a smaller one (e.g. sRGB).

I have a reasonable understanding of color spaces, transforms, and the profile components and roughly how they work. From what I know the historical working spaces (sRGB, adobe RGB) gamuts do not fully encompass the printer/paper gamuts so reducing Rec 2020 to one of these seems unnecessary and destructive to me? Hoping someone can clarify. Thanks in advance.

Because usually you’d export a photo and assign it a profile. When I print on my Epson SC-P600, I export in Adobe RGB.

I then open that exported image in the app i use to print and select the ICC profile for the paper.

When printing from darktable, you won’t use the export module to produce a file, so it let’s you choose that profile.