Many people stare at computer screens all day long – if you read this, chances are that you will. But how many people take the time to calibrate their computer screen? Correct calibration ensures that your colors and black levels are true and that your monitor produces the best results for editing and viewing images and videos. Plus, it will be easier for your eyes!
You can take your monitor to a professional to get it done, but doing it yourself is relatively fast, hassle-free, and will significantly improve image quality. Manufacturers continue to pump screens with new technologies such as 4K UHD resolution, high dynamic range (HDR) and curved monitors, which is a feast for the eyes ̵
Before you begin
- Turn on your monitor at least half an hour before calibration so that it can warm up to normal operating temperature and conditions.
- Set the resolution of your monitor to its standard standard screen resolution.
- Be sure to calibrate in a room with moderate ambient light. The room does not have to be pitch black, but you do not want sharp glances and color cast due to direct light.
- Familiarize yourself with the controls of your monitor. They can be on the monitor itself, on the keyboard or in the control panel of the operating system.
Calibrate with built-in Windows and Mac tools
Both MacOS and Windows have built-in calibration tools to help you through the process step by step, which is especially useful if you do not know the calibration yet. These free tools should be the first stop if you are just an informal junkie or work with a limited budget. However, keep in mind that the adjustments are limited by the display type and model.
The various terms – gamma, white point, etc. – may seem a little daunting at first glance, but each utility offers a relatively simple explanation of what they all mean. Realistically, you do not need to know the ins and outs of jargon to calibrate your monitor.
Windows 10 display calibration tool
In the latest version of Windows 10, the easiest way to find the color calibration tool is through the Windows search bar.
Step 1: Type Color calibration in the window search bar and click on the corresponding result.
In older versions of Windows, you can find the Color Calibration Utility in the Display section of the control panel, which is listed under Appearance and Personalization.
Step 2: Now that you are in the calibration tool, follow the on-screen instructions to adjust your screen's gamma, brightness, contrast, and color balance settings. select.
Many of the settings include an example image that you must match. Simply make adjustments to simulate the sample as closely as possible.
Step 3: After the calibration wizard is complete, choose the current calibration or return to the previous calibration if you are not satisfied with the results.
The new calibration is saved as an .ics file or color calibration file and is displayed as a new International Color Consortium (ICC) profile in the Color Management Settings app. The easiest way to open this app is to type color management into the search box and choose the first result. Once it is open, you can select your monitor in the device list and see which ICC profiles are available.
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends
In MacOS the Display Calibrator Assistant is in the system preferences on the Displays . If you are having trouble finding, try entering calibration in Spotlight to scan through the various folders and files on your computer. The result must show an option to open the utility in the panel System Preferences .
Mark Coppock / Digital Trends
Your Mac's step-by-step instructions will guide you through the calibration process once you find and open the software program. Simply follow the on-screen instructions to choose the brightness, contrast, original gamut, target range and white goal of your screen. Click on Continue through and save the calibration profile as soon as you are done with the adjustments.
Calibrate with online tools
There are a handful of web-based calibration tools that help you adjust your monitor settings manually. They can offer a more accurate or more customized calibration than the built-in tools.
- Photo Friday – Photo Friday is a simple web page designed to help you calibrate the brightness and contrast of your screen. Adjust the monitor settings until the transition from black to white tones is clearly distinguishable on the screen.
- W4zt Screen Color Test – this simple web page offers you various color gradients and grayscale color boxes that you can use for quick comparisons, along with a simple gamma test that you can perform. It's nice to have so many tests on one page, which makes this solution great for quick and dirty calibration so you can move on.
- The Lagom LCD monitor test page & # 39; s – Handy for both online and offline use, the Lagom LCD monitor test page & # 39; s [Youcannotonlyadjustdifferentthingssuchascontrastresponsetimebutalsodownloadifyouhaveazipfilefrom120Kifyoucancheckthatyouareabout65thatyoucanseethatyouareabout65thatyoucancheckthequalityofyourchoicethannativecalibrationoptionswerecommendthatyoudownloadCalibrize20Itisanexcellentfreewizardthatcarefullyguidesyouthroughwell-explainedstepstohelpyoucalibratecolorgrayscalegammaandsimilarsettingsonyourcomputer
Calibration with colorimeter hardware
The built-in calibration tools & # 39; s and web-based software is great for a quick fix, but they are inherently defective due to one thing – u. These calibration processes are based on the perception of color by an individual and are therefore open to subjectivity based on how you see different colors.
The purchase of a calibration device is a way to bypass this dilemma and ensure that your monitor is calibrated to its true potential. [Youshouldseriouslyinvestinmoneywhenyouaresearchingformoreprecisionandcontrolbuttherearestillanumberofaffordablealternativesthatworkwellwithgettingagoodchanceofgettingcolorconsistencyonyourmonitors
X-Rite & # 39; s ColorMunki series ($ 85 and higher) is also a good alternative. Just like the Spyder series, all three devices are delivered with automated calibration software, with the more expensive versions offering more functions and more customization. See products such as ColorMunki Display for more information.