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FWIW: Simply assigning a profile would be outright "dangerous".
If you are doing color management on false assumptions the wrong CMYK color will be printed.
Are you really sure that all your placed image data is done with "Adobe RGB (1998)" ?
And that exactly this profile is not embedded with the images ?
I would always use the embedded profile before doing anything.
Loop the images and check for value "Embedded" of property profile first.
Also look for value "None".
If the value is "None",
1. Apply value "Adobe RGB (1998)" to property profile.
But only if you are absolutely sure that the image data is constructed with exactly that profile.
2. Or apply Profile.USE_DOCUMENT if the document's RGB profile is indeed: "Adobe RGB (1998)".
If the document's RGB profile is not "Adobe RGB (1998)":
Only then I would try to assign "Adobe RGB (1998)" if no profile is embedded AND you are absolutely sure the image data is made with exactly that profile.
If you are unsure about the profile the image is made with, all bets are on what the original data was made of.
You could ask the creator or the customer then.
No. That's not pretty straightforward.
I would only correct you if the client is wrong ;-)
And in good earnest I cannot tell that…
So just a couple of questions:
If you loop all your placed images, what are the values for property profile?
Are they all "None" ? Are they all Profile.USE_DOCUMENT ?
Check that first before doing anything.
Please report back what different values for property profile you have found.
If you see "Embedded" just open the image in PhotoShop and check the profile that is saved with the image. Here lies the truth. If it is saved with "Adobe RGB (1998)" you need not much to do but to assign "Embedded" to the image.
If you will not find "Adobe RGB (1998)"—but a different profile saved with an image—it gets complicated:
If you assign "Adobe RGB (1998)" to such an image you'll do all wrong in the sense of ICC color management and encourage "fraudelt labeling". That will lead to "wrong" CMYK colors if separations are made later in the workflow. If the customer wants this, go ahead and do what you are told.
If no profile is saved with a placed image your customer should be absolutely sure, that the image is done with "Adobe RGB (1998)". And not saving the creation profiles with the images is indeed a dangerous sport… then go on and assign "Adobe RGB (1998)". Nothing's wrong with an override then…
How can you check if no profile is saved with a placed image?
Just try to assign "Embedded". That will throw an error in this case.
In short and best practice:
Assign profile"Adobe RGB (1998)" only for images where no profile is saved with.
Your customer implicitly is suggesting this.
I cannot know. You cannot know.
I hope, the cutomer knows…
In any other case assign "Embedded".
Because that will not break the "rules" of color management.
But maybe there are good reasons to assign "Adobe RGB (1998)" to all images?
Regardless if their saved profiles differ from that?
Discuss that with the customer.
Can I see the Color Settings of your PhotoShop?
The three "Ask"-options are ticked. Very good. "Profile Mismatch" and "Missing Profiles" should be reported. At least I hope so. And the Description should be wrong when it says "Profile warnings are disabled". That's the comment I scratch my head about…
What happened after opening the image in PhotoShop?
Did PhotoShop ask to assign a profile after open?
And what did you do?
I guess that the suggestion of your Save As dialog in PhotoShop to embed "Adobe RGB (1998)" comes from PhotoShop's Color Settings and that the profile is not embedded with the image. If the profile would have been embedded with the image and you did not assign a profile while opening the image the dialog would show the option ticked.
// IMPORTANT EDIT: not => not