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The DemoIccMAX project (formally known as RefIccMAX) provides an open source set of libraries and tools that allow for the interaction, manipulation, and application of iccMAX based color management profiles based on the iccMAX profile specification in addition to legacy ICC profiles defined by earlier ICC profile specifications.

iccMAX is not intended as a replacement for legacy ICC.1 based profiles, the existing architecture, but as an extension or alternative where requirements cannot be fully met by ICC.1. Some of the areas covered by iccMAX include: Multi-spectral, Medical Imaging, Image Capture/Digital Photography, Package Printing, Color Management on Internet, Fine Art, and Color Information Archiving. A more full description of capabilities and functionality can be found on the ICC web site,

Note: The code in DemoIccMAX was initially based on the SampleICC and IccXML open source projects, and therefore concepts, files and data structures within DemoIccMAX may have similarities (as well as various differences) to those in the SampleICC and IccXML projects.


Within the DemoIccMAX project are several libraries and tools as follows:

  • Libraries that allow applications to interact with iccMAX profiles

    • IccProfLib - The DemoIccMAX IccProfLib project represents an open source & cross platform reference implementation of a C++ library for reading, writing, applying, manipulating iccMAX color profiles defined by the iccMAX profile specification. Class and object interaction documentation for IccProfLib can be found at ().

      • There are no intentional discrepancies between the DemoIccMAX implementation and the iccMAX specification. If any should occur then this should be brought to the attention of and resolved by the DemoIccMAX project team within the Architecture Working Group of the ICC organization.

        Though SampleICC provides a sample implementation, it does NOT represent a reference implementation of ICC.1 color management.

    • IccLibXML - The DemoIccMAX IccLibXML project contains a parallel C++ extension library (IccLibXML) which provides the ability to interact with the objects defined by IccProfLib using an XML representation thus allowing iccMAX profiles to be expressed as or created from text based XML files. The IccLibXML project has a dependencies on the libxml project (which also has a dependency on iconv which must be separately installed on windows platforms).

  • Tools based upon these libraries

    For command line arguments running the application without any arguments will display help information about command line options.

    • IccToXML is a cross platform command line tool that allows both legacy ICC and iccMAX profiles to be expressed using an XML representation. This allows for profiles to be converted to a textual representation that can be directly edited using a text editor and then converted back to ICC/iccMAX profile formats using IccFromXML.

      • This tool is dependent upon the IccLibXML project (above) as well as libXML and iconv.
    • IccFromXML is a cross platform command line tool that allows both legacy ICC and iccMAX profiles to be created from the same XML representation provided by IccToXML. A schema for iccXML files is forthcoming but can be determined using the FromXML() and ToXML() member functions defined in IccLibXML. The IccFromXML tool provides a simple direct method to create and manipulate iccMAX based profiles.

      • This tool is dependent upon the IccLibXML project (above) as well as libXML2 and iconv.
    • IccApplyNamedCmm is a cross platform command line tool that allows a sequence of legacy ICC and/or iccMAX profiles to be applied to colors defined in a text based input profile outputting the results to the console, and can be redirected to a output text file. Example source text files can be found in Testing/ApplyDataFiles. The IccApplyNamedCmm application provides a basis for testing various features of iccMAX.

    • IccApplyProfiles is a cross platform command line tool that allows a sequence of legacy and/or iccMAX profiles to a source TIFF image resulting in a destination TIFF image. The final destination profile can optionally be embedded in the resulting TIFF image.

      • This tool has a dependency on the LibTIFF project.
    • IccDumpProfile is a cross platform command line tool that allows information from a legacy ICC and or iccMAX profile to be output to the console. Data with non-printable values are replaced with '?'. Output from this tool is not guaranteed to be ASCII or UTF-8, but line-endings are consistent for a given platform.

      Detailed validation messages start with either "Warning!", "Error!" or "NonCompliant!". The overall status of validation is reported 2 lines below the line starting "Validation Report" and can be located using the following simple grep:

      grep --text -A 3 "^Validation Report" out.txt
    • IccRoundTrip is a cross platform command line tool that allows round trip colorimetric processing characteristics of rendering intent of a profile to be evaluated. (Evaluation goes from device values to PCS to establish initial PCS values. These are then converted to device values and then PCS values for the first round trip. Second round trip comparison then converts the second PCS values to device values to PCS values for comparison to the second PCS values.

    • IccSpecSepToTiff is a cross platform command line tool that combines separate individual TIFF images associated with different spectral wavelengths into a single multi-sample per pixel TIFF image. An iccMAX based profile can optionally be embedded in the resulting TIFF image.

      • This tool has a dependency on the LibTIFF project.
    • IccTiffDump is a cross platform command line tool that outputs header and embedded ICC profile information about a TIFF image to the console. This tool has a dependency on the LibTIFF project.

      • This tool has a dependency on the LibTIFF project.
    • RefIccLabsCMM provides a MacOS-X based Color Management Module that can be used within the ColorSync environment.

      • Many features of iccMAX based profiles are not accessible due to the limitation in support for only legacy ICC concepts within ColorSync.
    • wxProfileDump provides a wxWidgets GUI based iccMAX and legacy ICC profile inspector tool. The code for this tool is based on wxWidgets 2.x, and is therefore dependent on this version of wxWidgets. At present only Windows based testing has been performed on this (though wxWidgets is a cross-platform development environment).

      A development effort to port this tool to the cross-platform QT development environment is greatly needed.

Example iccMAX Profiles

XML files are provided that can be used to create example iccMAX profiles. The CreateAllProfiles.bat file uses the iccFromXML tool to create ICC profiles for each of these XML files. The XML files can be found in the following folders:

This folder contains profiles that demonstrate color modeling using the Calculator MultiProcessElement. The srgbCalcTest profile exercises all specified calculator operations.

This folder contains profiles that demonstrate spectral modeling of display profiles allowing for late binding of the observer using MultiProcessElements that are transformed at startup to colorimetry for the desired observer.

This folder contains 3 channel encoding class profiles. Both "name only" profiles as well as fully specified profiles are present.

This folder contains named color profiles showcasing features such as tints, spectral reflectance, and fluorescence (with and with out sparse notation).

This folder contains various profiles that can be used to define Profile Connection Conditions (PCC). All profiles are abstract profiles that perform no operation to PCS values. However, all profiles contain fully defined PCC tags that provide information that can be used to define rendering for various observers and illuminants. Profiles that utilize both absolute colorimetry as well as Material Adjusted colorimetry are present.

This folder contains various profiles that convert data to/from/between a spectral reflectance PCS. The argbRef (AdobeRGB) and srgbRef (sRGB) convert RGB values to/from spectral reflectance. RefDecC, RefDecH, and RefIncW are abstract spectral reflectance profiles that modify "chroma", "hue", and "lightness" of spectral reflectance values in a spectral reflectance PCS. The argbRef, srgbRef, RefDecC, RefDecH, RefIncW profiles all estimate and/or manipulate spectral reflectance using Wpt based spectral estimation (see chapter 7 of Additionally, examples of 6 channel abridged spectral encoding is provided.

Project Build Considerations



The project solution files BuildAll.sln for various versions of the Microsoft Visual Studio development IDE can be found in the ./Build/MSVC folder. This references additional .vcproj files for the various libraries and applications provided by DemoIccMAX. Projects without any further dependencies should build and link correctly. Both 32 and 64 bit compile options are supported. Some of the projects have further dependencies on third party libraries requiring that the SDK libraries are installed, and some system environment variables need to be set to correctly reference the include files and libraries. (Note: Projects with additional dependencies may not correctly build if these libraries and environment variable are not set up before running Visual Studio).

The dependency on libxml2 and iconv by the IccLibXML library as well as the IccToXML and IccFromXML applications requires that these SDKs are accessible, and are referenced using the system environment variable VendorTreeDir with various sub-directories beneath. Macros for the location of each of these third party libraries is defined in [BuildDefs.props](Build/MSVC/BuildDefs.props). 64-bit versions of these SDKs can be found on the gnome website.

For example:


The dependency on libtiff by the IccApplyProfiles, IccSpecSepToTiff, and IccTiffDump tools requires that the libtiff SDK is accessible, and is referenced using the system environment variables LIBTIFF_DLIB (debug library to use), LIBTIFF_INCLUDE, LIBTIFF_LIB (release library to use), and LIBTIFF_LIBDIR.

For example:


The dependency on wxWidgets by the wxProfileDump tool requires that the wxWidgets SDK is accessible, and is reference using the system environment variables WXWIN and WXVER.

For example:


When the ICC_USE_EIGEN_SOLVER is defined in IccProfLibConf.h then the Calc element solv operator will be implemented using the Eigen math C++ template library, It must be referenced using the system environment variable EIGEN.

For example:



XCODE projects can be found in each of the library and project folders that are presently supported for building on the MacOS-X platform. The file Build/XCode/ contains a bash Terminal script that can be used to build all of the XCODE projects.

Header files and binaries for the libtiff and libxml libraries need to be manually installed before the script is executed. The libtiff header files need to be placed in the Build/XCode/libtiff folder (specified by the LibTifSetup.txt file in this folder). The libxml header files need to be placed in the Build/XCode/libxml folder (specified by the LibXmlSetup.txt file in this folder). (Note: Projects with additional dependencies may not correctly build if these folders not set up before running the script).

The script file will make a copy of the libIccProfLib.a and libIccXML.a library binaries into the Build/XCode/lib folder. The libraries in Build/XCode/lib are then referenced by the rest of the projects in DemoIccMAX. Executables for the various tools will be placed into the Testing folder after a successful run of


Cmake builds should work cross platform. The source archive contains a CMake build configuration, which can be used to build on the command line with make or ninja, or generate a project for a KDevelop or Eclipse or for the platform specific XCode and VC++ IDEs.

Note: for historic reasons, the CMake system still uses the name "RefIccMAX"


Typical create a out of source build directory and specify an install path:

mkdir build && cd build
make help
make install
Build Flags

Use -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Debug, -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release or one of the other CMake build types.

Typical cmake flags like CMAKE_CXX_FLAGS can be used to tune compilation. For development ... -DCMAKE_CXX_FLAGS="-Wextra -Wimplicit-fallthrough=0 -g" is recommended, but this will not be warning free!.

Note: -Wimplicit-fallthrough=0 disables case fall-through warnings on switch statements as this is actively used (e.g. in IccConvertUTF.cpp). There will also be many -Wsign-compare warnings and a few -Wenum-compare and -Wdeprecated-copy warnings.

  • ENABLE_TESTS - default is ON
  • ENABLE_TOOLS - default is ON
  • ENABLE_SHARED_LIBS - default is ON
  • ENABLE_STATIC_LIBS - default is ON
  • ENABLE_INSTALL_RIM - install no files if build as subproject
  • USE_SYSTEM_LIBXML2 - default is OFF

Linux Packages

  • Pre Release Binaries - Open Build Service OBS

Linux Issues and Solutions

You may also need to set LD_LIBRARY_PATH to CMAKE_INSTALLPREFIX/lib so that and shared libraries can be located at runtime.


When running iccDumpProfileGui under X-Windows the following error messages may be seen on the console:

libGL error: No matching fbConfigs or visuals This can be fixed with:


libGL error: failed to load driver: swrast This can be fixed with:

sudo apt-get install -y mesa-utils libgl1-mesa-glx
/usr/local/lib/ version `GNUTLS_3_6_3' not found (required by /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/gio/modules/
Failed to load module: /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/gio/modules/

The above error messages appear to be harmless, but running apt-cache policy libgnutls30 or gntls-cli -v will likely indicate a different (later) version of gnutls.


The ICC Software License


Demonstration Implementation for iccMAX color profiles







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