List Rules and Objectives

Dan Margulis

Applied Color Theory list
General Description and Rules
(This document is posted monthly)

In November 2019, this list moved from yahoogroups to The yahoo group will remain open due to the large number of links to it. All message and file archives have been moved to the new group.

The main changes:
*A member now has the ability to “mute” a thread or hashtag so that additions to it will no longer be received. Also, a member who uses Digest mode or does not normally receive e-mails can override the setting and receive a certain thread or hashtag.
*Attachments of images etc. within posts are now allowed.
*Although the archive of messages from yahoogroups has been transferred, the numbering system is no longer the same. Therefore, searching for a message based on a number found in another yahoogroups message won’t work. Search for an appropriate text stream, if there is one, instead.
*A more flexible suite of moderation tools enables us to allow many messages to get to the list immediately, without moderator intervention.
*Hashtags are now supported although we haven’t done anything to implement them.
*We are now an open group. The general public can read our messages. This was not the case at yahoogroups.
*Due to it becoming overcrowded, I have reorganized the Files section. All content from 2015 and previous is now in a subfolder. Furthermore, the many Actions that were uploaded in that timeframe have been put in their own sub-subfolder.

The objective of this list is to exchange information that may benefit those who have taken or are considering taking my Applied Color Theory courses, or who are interested in techniques covered in my books, plus related topics. This roughly comprises color correction and other methods that aim at creating satisfactory images, normally for print purposes, occasionally elsewhere.

Our tradition is that all messages to this group must be signed with the member's full name. First names only or "handles" are not acceptable, nor is quoting an anonymous third party. We request that you configure to include your full name automatically as the sender of any message. That will insure that each post will have your name at the top and make it unnecessary for you to sign the post. If you don’t do this, you risk having your posts rejected or having your moderation status changed if you forget to add your signature.

To implement this, find whatever your current name is in the upper right of the site, click/hold and choose your Account settings. Then, on the left side, click Identity. On the resulting screen choose Account Profile: Edit. On the next screen change Display Name to your own full name, followed by Update Account Profile.

Alternatively, if you are using other groups, you can create a group-specific signature line that will apply to everything you post.

There are certain valid reasons why a list member might wish to avoid signing his name. For example, the late Ralph Adam Fine was an appeals court judge. He had to be exceedingly cautious about anything he posted, therefore he normally went through me. Others have been granted anonymity because what they posted reflected badly on a boss or a client. 

In such cases, please forward the message to me and I will post it if appropriate with a note of explanation and I will, if appropriate, post it the name deleted. If a person has been granted anonymity, I always use “he” on second reference, regardless of the poster’s actual gender. Persons who have been granted anonymity will not be permitted to attack other list members by name. 

Many e-mail programs by default append a complete copy of the message being replied to. Unless that message is a short one, the practice is inappropriate for our group. It becomes a particular problem when the appended message itself appends another. Please be sure that the length of any message being appended is appropriate compared to your own original content.

Particularly, if you’re replying to a post that includes an image or other attachment, make sure it doesn’t get repeated in yours. We get charged by the space we use, and one image may take up the space of a thousand text messages.

It is a breach of etiquette for list members to post the same question to multiple on-line groups simultaneously. People who answer questions on these lists are often experts in the field who are donating generous amounts of their time to assisting those who need guidance. Nobody wants to waste time responding to a question that's already been satisfactorily answered elsewhere.

Instead, please post the question here or to whatever other group you think is most likely to be helpful. If you haven't gotten an answer you can live with in, say, 48 hours, by all means try a different list. In such a case, it's only courteous to say something like "I have tried the XXX list, and got no reply" or "I asked this on the YYY list, and was told ZZZ, I'm not sure I accept this, would anyone here care to comment?" 

If you need to refer us to an image, and do not wish to link to some other site, please put it (JPEG only, can be either RGB or CMYK) into the Photos section of the group, setting up a folder if need be.

If you need to post a PDF, an action, or any other type of file that is not an image, use the Files section. Unlike yahoogroups, will not permit you to post a JPEG or anything else that it identifies as an image there. In the event that you have to post some form of image in the Files section, you’ll need to zip it first.

If you only have one or two images to post, and they don’t belong in a specific folder, please put them into the Miscellaneous folder within the Photos section.

Some folders set up by the moderators are locked, i.e. you can look at, download, and comment on pictures, but not add or delete any. Other folders are open and anyone can post pictures to them.

The direct link to our Photos section is
The direct link to our Files section is

In the transfer process from yahoogroups, all the dates associated with the Photos archive were lost, but they have now been reinstated manually.

English is not the first language for many subscribers. If you are using acronyms, please be sure that everyone understands what they mean. Also, the preferred format for dates is 5 March; if you write 3/5/12 this means March 5 in the United States, but it means May 3 in most of the rest of the world.

Nobody wants this to become an advertising list, but in practice it is difficult to draw a fine line between a comment and a product plug. Members are requested to use restraint and to ask themselves whether what they are posting is something that a significant number of readers would be interested in. That said, brief plugs are permitted. Similarly, new product announcements are permitted, but the preferred form is to announce briefly and indicate to the list members where further information is available.

Repeated commercial posts are prohibited. Also, there will be little to no tolerance for commercial posts from persons who are not otherwise participating in the list. This includes "public service announcements" or posts promoting private websites.

Unnecessarily lengthy signature blocks that advertise services are discouraged.

Members are entitled to know if posters have commercial affiliations that might affect their views as to the products and topics they post about. If you have such an affiliation, you are expected to disclose it. This doesn't mean in every post, but often enough so that the readers will be in no doubt as to what your biases might be. For the purpose of this list, if you're writing about a certain product, and you've accepted more than $300 from that company within the last five years, that's something that should be disclosed. Similarly, if you have received freebies worth more than $300 during that time, it should be disclosed.

Furthermore, if you in the last five years have been a developer of or otherwise represented a certain product, and you are writing about a product that might reasonably said to compete with it, you are expected to disclose this.

These rules are not intended to stop you from posting on whatever you like, nor are they intended to force you to give any details at all about the payment. If your signature or company identification (e.g. an address) makes your affiliation obvious, there's no need for anything more. Otherwise, a "DISCLOSURE: I have received payments/freebies from this company in the recent past" will suffice.

Members who do not want a high volume of single messages may sign up for this list in digest mode. offers three choices:
1) Full-featured: you get a full copy of all messages sent, including links and attachments, once a day or after 12 new messages have been posted, whichever comes first.
2) Plain digest: same as above, no links or attachments.
3) Daily summary: once a day, shows topics being discussed only, no text.

You are not permitted to reply directly to a Digest file, because doesn’t want you to append the whole digest to your reply. Your own e-mail client may seem to allow it, but your attempt will be directed to a dead mailbox at Instead, within the Digest, click Reply below the specific message that you wish to reply to.

This list is moderated, currently by five persons. Traditionally, all posts had to be approved by one of us (Gerald Bakker, Darren Bernaerdt, Sterling Ledet, Dan Margulis, Stephen Marsh), before they were distributed to the group.  With we implement a more liberal policy: the first post from any member requires moderator approval (otherwise we might be subjected to spam) but once one message has been approved the user may post directly to the list without our intervention.

That said, we anticipate that certain users will remain subject to moderation due to having crossed the line on one of the items listed below. Additionally, certain threads will become subject to moderation if they threaten to get out of control.

If you are subject to moderation we will reject the following types of message without prior warning. If you are not currently subject to moderation, posting one of these is a good way to change that status. NOTE: If we reject a post, we send a message to the sender indicating why. If your post hasn't appeared, and you haven't gotten a rejection message, probably the message got lost in cyberspace.

1) Spam; press releases, product announcements or "classified advertising" from people who haven't participated in the list in at least six months or who are recent signups; form letters; posts from people who don't otherwise participate in the list referring us to private websites; and posts from anyone referring us to links without a reasonably full explanation of what is to be found there.

2) Messages in which a full name does not appear.

3) Messages that do not have an informative title, e.g. "No Subject" or "Digest #1234"

4) Messages responding to messages that are extremely dated or that the rest of the list has not seen at all. Typically, this occurs when Party B replies to Party A offline, and Party A responds to the list.

5) Messages that would subject the group to an unreasonable amount of quoted material, such as reposting lengthy, unedited material from other sources, the attachment of a complete message which itself attached additional messages, or simply appending an entire lengthy message rather than snipping the specific material that is of interest.

6) Technical questions that the moderator is aware are simultaneously crossposted to other group(s). The moderator will generally not approve other types of simultaneous crossposts but may use discretion in exceptional cases.

7) Messages that contain a copyright notice or may present legal problems if posted to the group. 

8) Messages that may be hoaxes.

9) Messages containing attempts at ethnic or sexual humor, whether or not there is other relevant content.

10) Other attempts at humor that the moderator doesn't think are funny and that contain no content relevant to an existing thread.

11) Messages that are derisive or dismissive of another member’s skills in photography or color correction. Constructive criticism is welcome but must be framed in a respectful fashion, even if the person being criticized is a beginner.

12) "Repeats" of recent posts hoping to get responses that the first ones did not.

13) Messages from persons who have been list members for less than six months or who have not posted to the list in the past six months, and which in the judgment of the moderator show a lack of understanding of what the list is about or which duplicate something that has been covered recently. Examples: questions like "how do I calibrate my monitor?"; messages of introduction to the list; questions on topics in which the list does not specialize, and questions on a topic about which a thread has just ended.

14) Messages that do not respond to an existing thread and have nothing to do with color or the purposes of this group, e.g. corrections of people's grammar, needless quibbling over terminology or political correctness, statements in support of some political cause, attempts to unsubscribe, virus warnings, or change of address notifications.

15) Today's web etiquette countenances certain acronyms (e.g. POS, FUBAR, SOL, BFD) where an off-color word is implied. As long as these words are not spelled out there is no objection. In the interest of decorum, however, we ask members to refrain from undisguised use of locutions found on the commonly available "Seven Filthy Words" list.

We do not wish to censor posts based on their content or to cause people to pull their punches in what they write. We are willing to have reasonably brief threads on almost any color-related topic. Intervention by a moderator to restrict discussion is rare. It will become even rarer in, since now members have the option of muting a thread that doesn’t interest them. However, it may take place under the following circumstances.

1. If in the judgment of the moderators, a thread is going on too long, we will post publicly to the list and to all participants a request to bring it to a close. Our criteria in doing this may include: limited interest of the thread to the vast majority of the group; repetition of the same points over and over; participation only by a few members; or that there was a closely similar recent thread. Unless the list is being deluged, the moderators try to consult with one another before locking a thread. Ordinarily we give the list 24 hours notice that a thread will be ending so that those interested may post their final thoughts on the subject. In the interim, all posts to the thread will require moderator approval. Afterward, the thread will be locked so that no further posts can be accepted. 

2. Occasionally a thread has become so acid that a moderator posts a warning about civility, or about bringing in irrelevancies such as discussion of political events. In such cases the thread continues, but all additions to the thread will require moderator approval, and the list is on notice that offending posts are subject to rejection at the discretion of the moderators.

3. We reserve the right to limit the sheer volume of posting allowed by any list member or by any interest group that is posting substantially the same type of material.

This group has existed since 2/99, but in late 12/00 it shifted servers to egroups, later yahoogroups. In 11/19, it moved to groups,io. All yahoogroups messages, files, and photos are accessible at Note, however, that the yahoogroups message numbering scheme did not carry over to Therefore, any archived message that refers to a different one by number will not link to the correct message. Search by text instead.

From time to time, we have post edited full threads, at
There are currently around 300 such threads available. The most recent update was August, 2013. 

My book Modern Photoshop Color Workflow was released in March, 2013. In conjunction with it, we opened, which has a variety of materials that might supplement the discussions of this list.

In today's information age, the assumption must be that comments posted to groups like this one are for public consumption, and may be freely quoted by others without further permission. Images referred to in group messages, whether posted to this group's photo section or posted on the web sites of others, are a different story. Such images are assumed to be copyrighted material, and no reuse is permissible without the consent of the owner.

If you auto-reply to e-mail (typically to inform people that you are on vacation), be sure that the list is excluded. Among other ways, you can do this by setting your auto-reply to ignore either messages containing [colortheory] in the title, or "Precedence: bulk" in the header. If you auto-reply more than once to list messages, your posting privileges will be suspended so that moderators will not have to delete each auto-reply manually. If you subsequently wish to post to the list and receive an automated reply that you are not permitted to post, please contact a moderator.

If you have doubts as to the propriety of posting something, please feel free to contact me or another moderator directly.

Every list message contains an Unsubscribe link at the bottom. If you have any difficulty in either unsubscribing or in posting to the group, consider the possibility that you are no longer posting or receiving under the exact address with which you subscribed. 

If you attempt to post and receive a message stating that, although you are a member, you are not permitted to post, it means that a moderator has manually disallowed your posting privileges. We do this to members who have sent spam (often the result of a virus) or who have set their mailbox to auto-reply to the group explaining that they are out of the office. If you get this message and wish your rights restored, contact a moderator offline.

To change your email address, log into Then look for the dropdown in the top right corner of the page, which will be either your name or email address. Click that and then click Account.

On the edit profile page, you can change your email address. Once you do so, you will receive a new confirmation email. Once you reply to that, you will be all set.

If the email address you wish to change to is already registered with, a page will come up explaining the account merge process and verifying that you would like to merge your accounts.

This list is sponsored by Ledet Graphics Training, which offers a variety of Internet and graphic arts courses, with company-owned facilities in the Atlanta, Chicago, and Washington, DC areas. For further information, visit or call 877-819-2665 (+1 770-414-5007 from outside U.S.)

Dan Margulis
Last revised 20 May 2020
Suggestions for revising this document are welcome.

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