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I wrote a postscript file including a blue (0,0,255) RGB and a yellow (255,255,0) RGB shapes.

When viewed (in Preview) and according to the apple DigitalColor meter set to "native colours" mode, the colours are different: yellow becomes (252,255,54) blue becomes (43,0,251)

To be sure the problem does not come from a bad postscript conversion, I used imagemagick to convert the postscript file into a raster image (png, tiff, gif,...). The so converted rasters show the same colour changes when viewed in Preview/Photo/finder. On the other hand, when imported in inkscape (i.e. X terminal), the colours of any of them are correctly displayed --- again, according to the DigitalColor meter.

How come?

Should I change the setting of the color display to get it right? How? Should I use another colour picker? Which one?

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While I don't know the exact details, the Digital Color Meter that comes with macOS is affected by the color profile settings in System Preferences > Displays > Color. Changing the display's color profile from Color LCD to P3 to Adobe RGB to whatever causes a solid color to read differently under the same Digital Color Meter profile selection.

A photo editor with a dropper tool, specifically Photoshop, always selects the same color values, regardless of the display's color profile.

  • Thank you. In System Preferences > Displays > Color., I do not have alternative to Color LCD; I cannot write the profile I want. – Vinciane Lacroix May 7 '18 at 10:10
  • And, thank you again, indeed in photoshop, with the eyedropper, the color values are correct. – Vinciane Lacroix May 7 '18 at 10:12
  • In System Preferences > Displays > Color the box "display only the display profile" was on: removing it enables to access to other profile. – Vinciane Lacroix May 7 '18 at 10:28
  • In System Preferences > Displays > Color the box "display only the display profile" was on: removing it enables to choose other profiles. Nevertheless, with "Adobe RVB" profile, the apple DigitalColor meter set to "native colours" is still wrong: Blue is (0, 0, 254) and yellow is (255, 255,10). – Vinciane Lacroix May 7 '18 at 10:36

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