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Updated on August 25, 2017

Your computer is kitted out and just waiting for that nudge of the mouse. Wait! Have you forgotten something?

Calibrating our monitors What Is Monitor Calibration, and How Will It Make Your Photos Look Better? What Is Monitor Calibration, and How Will It Make Your Photos Look Better? Calibrating a monitor ensures that colors are displayed accurately, as well as consistently across every display, even when printed. Read More is one of the basic steps most of us forget or ignore. Pixel perfect monitor calibration is a cardinal rule for photographers and graphic artists. If you are either of those, you know all about monitor calibration.

A good monitor can be expensive. But it’s impact will be lost if you don’t take the pain to carefully (and intermittently) calibrate your monitor. The colors on screen may not be the exact match of what they actually are.

Just imagine that you took a beautiful panoramic snap and downloaded it to your computer. Only to find out that the blue of the sky or the green of the grass doesn’t resemble the one you saw through the viewfinder.

Today, it’s a lot about watching online movies, snapping digital photos and sharing image files. Color calibrating monitors Editing Digital Photos? Pick The Right Monitor & Configure It Properly Editing Digital Photos? Pick The Right Monitor & Configure It Properly Have you ever taken what you thought was a great photograph, only to find it looks dull when you view it on your PC? If so, your monitor may be letting you down. Read More is important to get as close to the real thing as possible. Graphic professionals will pick up serious apps for the job. Some of you will go with the default utility. But we can also take some online help from these simple monitor calibration websites.

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1. Photo Friday

Photo Friday is a photography site. Think of the challenges involved in adjusting the brightness and contrast of a shot 5 Easy Ways to Lighten Dark Underexposed Photos in Photoshop 5 Easy Ways to Lighten Dark Underexposed Photos in Photoshop We all shoot underexposed photos from time to time. If you're shooting in low-light or high-contrast conditions it can be unavoidable. Fortunately, it's easy to fix in Photoshop. Read More and you get the reason why you should calibrate your monitor. So, drop down to the link for their monitor calibration tool at the foot of the homepage or hit the link above.

The site offers this simple one-page monitor calibration tool to adjust the brightness and contrast of your screen with the help of the grayscale tones. The idea is to tweak the monitor settings (or buttons), so that you can clearly distinguish the transition of tones from true black to true white. After calibration, the blacks should look black and without any hint of grey.

The instructions start off by telling you to dim the lights and hit F11 for viewing the grayscale chart in full screen mode. Observe your monitor from your normal viewing distance.

2. The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages

The Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages are a far more comprehensive set of tools than Photo Friday. The site includes a series of test patterns that start from checking contrast to checking for response times of your monitor. It is recommended to go through the tests in the order they are placed.

Lagom LCD

For instance, use the first few images to check brightness, contrast, and sharpness. With those set, use a latter test like the “Viewing Angle” to see if the display changes brightness or colors in the corners.

For a beginner, it might seem overwhelming. But, the test patterns come with helpful explanations. The developer also states that you can put the images on a USB drive and try them in the computer store when shopping for a LCD monitor 5 Things You Should Know When Shopping For A Monitor 5 Things You Should Know When Shopping For A Monitor Computer monitors are an often underestimated part of the computing experience. Geeks who don’t flinch at spending $500 on a tablet or $1,000 on a computer will often buy a monitor based exclusively on price.... Read More . A 120KB ZIP file download is included.

3. Online Monitor Test

The Online Monitor Test website has a range of interactive tests to fix your screen colors. The menu appears when you move your mouse to the top. Start off with a test checks brightness and contrast across the B/W tonal spectrum. It is similar to the test we covered on the Photo Friday website.

Next, the Color Range test checks if your monitor can smoothly produce color gradients. From the menu, you can pick different color charts.

Online Monitor Test

Look for “ghost images” or image trails in the Trailing test. Move the box across the screen and check if any trails are produced. The controls and options to change the color and shape of the box are placed at the bottom.

The Homogeneity test helps to pinpoint damaged pixels and faulty monitors with backlight bleeding. 1:1 Pixel mapping and testing for a blurring of Text are the last two tests on the lineup. While the former is not so much an issue with LCD computer monitors, the latter is worth a tryout if you feel that screen text is not crisp enough.

If you have a dual monitor set up How to Be More Productive with Dual Monitors How to Be More Productive with Dual Monitors You need space for several documents, to get an overview and swiftly shift between tasks. What's true for your desk also applies to your virtual workspace. We show you how it matters. Read More , try the Text Reproduction test across the connected displays and test for input lag.

4. The Monitor Calibration and Gamma Assessment Page

Remember, we were talking about Gamma values just a while back? Well, this whole page and the test associated with it is devoted to it. The importance and process are clearly laid out and it’s helpful for any tyro. The most important takeaway is that color saturation and hue change with the gamma values.

Gamma assessment page

These things come to the fore when you are trying to correct common color problems in Photoshop How to Correct Common Color Problems in Photoshop How to Correct Common Color Problems in Photoshop Having to fix color problems is one of the most common edits you'll need to do in photography. Digital images just don't look good straight out of a camera. Read More .

The author also provides a series of “Gamagic” test patterns you can use to calibrate your monitor. Fall back on your eyes and adjust the gamma setting with the monitor controls until all the squares match up with their backgrounds as closely as possible.

5. W4ZT

This single page calibration chart has few of the test images we have already covered in the earlier tools. Go through the color, greyscale and gamma adjustments.

W4ZT

The one feature going for it is that it is easy to understand. Just follow the instructions and you will be able to tune your monitor for optimum viewing.

How Is Your Own Color Perception?

All you need is a good eye. But, how is your own color perception? Take this quick (but fun) color challenge test to find out.

Also, before you start off fine-tuning your monitor, follow these three rules first:

  1. Turn on your monitor and allow it to warm up for 30 minutes or so.
  2. Set your monitor at the highest native screen resolution it supports.
  3. Get familiar with the display controls for your monitor.

You monitor also might have a calibration software in your computer.

Windows 10 comes with the Windows Calibrate Display Color. You can access it from Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Display. Or, simply search from the Cortana search box with a keyword like “calibrate”.

On the macOS Sierra, use the Display Calibrator Assistant. You can access it from Apple menu > System Preferences > Displays > Color > Calibrate. Or, you can also use Spotlight.

Most users don’t need to browbeat themselves over the steps or depend on third-party tools. Unless, ou are a professional photographer or a graphic designer who need high-fidelity colors, these basic tools should be enough. So, tell us…

Do you regularly calibrate your monitor? Which is your favored method?

Image Credit: By Claudio Divizia via Shutterstock

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  1. Harry
    October 25, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Oops. Forgot to say thanks...

    Thanks.

  2. HARRY
    October 25, 2010 at 11:08 am

    I have two systems connected to one monitor, which has been a real problem with consistency.
    Yesterday I calibrated one with a spyder 2 and the other with Calibrize.

    Both are now so close to each other that I can finally trust what I am seeing is correct.

  3. HARRY
    October 25, 2010 at 9:08 am

    I have two systems connected to one monitor, which has been a real problem with consistency.
    Yesterday I calibrated one with a spyder 2 and the other with Calibrize.

    Both are now so close to each other that I can finally trust what I am seeing is correct.

    • Harry
      October 25, 2010 at 9:13 am

      Oops. Forgot to say thanks...

      Thanks.

  4. Ollie
    October 5, 2010 at 10:25 am

    Very helpful, thanks for sharing.

    Ollie

    http://www.youngcalibration.co...

  5. Marcus
    October 2, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    thank you for the article. I needed this.

  6. Zzmirkhan
    September 28, 2010 at 6:37 am

    Some of my friend on http://www.RentAFriend.com
    told me about this.

    I think this is best

  7. Thoman
    September 28, 2010 at 2:06 am

    Thanks