Mozilla releases Extended Color Management add-on for Firefox


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Aug 17, 2014
" Mozilla released the Extended Color Management in collaboration with the visual effects studio Industrial Light & Magic for the Firefox web browser. "
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Designed to provide a simple on-off toggle for using the operating system's color management in the Firefox web browser, it is giving Firefox users an option to disable the use of the operating system's color management capabilities in the browser.

Web browsers like Firefox use the color management options of the operating system by default to "optimize and render colors and images" according to Mozilla. While that is usually wanted, it may cause issues in areas that require colors to be identical across devices and operating systems.

The Extended Color Management add-on was created to add this capability to the Firefox web browser. It installs in a matter of seconds and displays a single button in its interface when its icon is activated. A click on the icon toggles the use of the operating system's color management functionality on or off.

Since it is on by default, clicking the button for the first time will set it to off. A restart is required before the changes take affect. Once disabled, Firefox will display "the colors of graphics and videos consistent", even across different device types and operating systems.

With the extension, creators and their vendors can now disable color management, then simply restart the Firefox browser so that the colors of graphics or videos are consistent, even across different operating units. This allows media engineers to make consistent and reliable assumptions about the color pipeline between the content shown in a browser and the actual pixel values sent to the computer’s display.

Color management can be turned off in most applications, e.g., in Adobe Photoshop, but some content may only be viewed in a browser, and the extension ensures that this content is displayed as color-accurate as possible.

Mozilla describes one use case that the new extension provides for Industrial Light & Magic, best known for its work on various Star Wars and Marvel movies and shows:
With this extension, Firefox offers creators a turnkey solution to simply turn off in-browser color management when sharing content between color-calibrated and matched displays, so that both Lucasfilm and remote partners can see the intended colors and view ‘dailies’ more easily than before.

In short: the browser extension helps ensure that content is as color accurate as possible, regardless of how and where it is viewed.
Firefox users can check out Mozilla's blog post on the matter or head over to Mozilla's add-ons repository to install the extension directly.