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MeasureColor color reference structure

This article explains how color references are stored and used within Measurecolor.

Color books

No matter what substrate, measuring device or color reference you use, ultimately MeasureColor measures color samples to compare with reference targets. In MeasureColor those targets are arranged in Color Books. Targets may hold data like CIELAB, spectral data and densities.

This example shows two colorbooks, a few patch exmaples and a target data example of one patch

In MeasureColor there are several ways to generate Color books with a collection of target patches:

  • Generate reference targets from an ICC profile, like for instance 'ISO coated V2 eci'
  • Import digital color books, for instance a Pantone library or a file with specific brand colors
  • Measuring printed matter like a physical color guide or patches of a color bar into a new color book

Color books can be assigned to printing conditions so your production samples will be compared with the correct targets always.

MeasureColor ships with a number of Color books pre-installed that can be used out of the box.

Printing condition

A printing condition describes a print process, such as “ISO gloss coated”, which is offset printing of gloss substrates according to ISO standard.

  • One or more Substrates must be assigned to a printing condition. Of course only one can be selected for a specific job
  • One or more Color books can be assigned to a printing condition. Please note that it is possible to use targets from several Color books in the same Job.

Printing conditions greatly simplify the setup of new jobs by limiting choices that way.


  • Substrates are assigned to printing conditions.
  • After creating a substrate the paperwhite can be linked to a paperwhite reference in a color book of choice.

Color bars

Color bars are templates within MeasureColor that closely describe a physical color bar with measures, patches and ink zones. In the Job setup the targets from one or more Color books get linked to the patches.

Color mapping

In Color bars there is place for different inks, but what specific inks and the sequence is defined in the Color mapping.

Measuring condition

A patch can only match the target when it is measured in the same way as the target was defined. Measuring conditions define how a patch should be measured.

Tolerance set

Tolerance sets describe whether or not a sample matches the target close enough. Within MeasureColor you can specify for each patch type how deviations are calculated and what differences are allowed. Some standard tolerance sets are already included for your convenience.

Job Setup

All these things, Color books, Printing condition, Substrate, Colorbar, Measuring condition and Tolerance set get combined in a Job Setup and can be used with the other Job parameters such as client name and remarks to create a job.

After a job is created and measured for the first time you can save it as a job preset. After that, just selecting the job preset will set all color related parameters of your new job.