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Windows Color System


The increased use of color content in all forms of digital communication necessitates the implementation of a color management scheme for Microsoft Windows operating systems.

The color management scheme that is used by Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003 is called Image Color Management (ICM) 2.0. The color management scheme that is used starting with Windows Vista is called Windows Color System (WCS) 1.0. The Windows Color System color management scheme is a superset of Image Color Management 2.0 APIs and functionality.

Where applicable

ICM can be used in all applications on Windows 2000 and later operating systems. WCS can be used in all applications on Windows Vista and later operating systems.

Developer audience

The Windows Color System API is designed for use by C/C++ programmers. Familiarity with the Windows graphical user interface, message-driven architecture, and a working knowledge of color management concepts are required.

Run-time requirements

Applications that use the ICM API require Windows 2000 or later. Applications that use the WCS API require Windows Vista or later. For specific run-time information on a function, see the Requirements section of the reference page for that function.

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Related topics

Windows Multimedia
Windows GDI



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