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Calibrating Monitor

If you are interested in photography and processing the images on your computer then you will benefit from having a calibrated Monitor.

You can calibrate a Monitor using software or preferably by using a hardware device such as ColorVision's Spyder.

Preparation before Monitor calibration using software or a hardware device:

Before calibrating a Monitor you should verify that your display color depth is set to a minimum of 24-bit color or preferably 32-bit color.

It is also important that there is no sunlight or desk lights shining on the screen. Ideally you want to have consistent low ambient lighting when calibrating a Monitor.

For best results you should set the screen resolution to the Native Resolution of your LCD Monitor. See your Monitor manual to find its Native Resolution.

Set your Monitor to default settings which may be called 'Reset' or 'Memory Recall' etc. See your Monitor manual for details.

The Monitor should be switched on and allowed to warm up for about 30 minutes before calibration.

Software Monitor Calibration:

You can calibrate a Monitor using software such as the 'advanced Color Management' in Windows 7, or the 'Monitor Calibration' found in Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro, or a Monitor Calibration program.

To use software Monitor calibration you will be presented with a series of graphics and you will move a slider or sliders to correct for 'Gamma Correction', 'Brightness', 'Contrast', and 'Color Balance' etc. Once you have adjusted these settings then they will be saved as an ICC (International Color Consortium) profile. The ICC file will automatically be loaded every time you boot up your computer and will be used by all ICC aware programs.

Windows 7 Calibration software:

Windows 7 Calibration software.

There are also websites such as which contain test pages to see how well your Monitor has been calibrated.

Hardware Monitor Calibration:

A more accurate way to calibrate your Monitor is by using a hardware calibration device such as ColorVision's Spyder. Unlike software calibration it does not rely on you using your eyes only, but it is a more expensive option.

ColorVision Spyder Calibration hardware device:

ColorVision Spyder Calibration hardware device.

The Spyder Calibration hardware consists of the actual Spyder which is placed on the screen, a counterweight which goes at the top-back of the screen to hold the Spyder in place, and a USB connector to plug into the computer. You will also receive a disk containing the driver and some software.

You will need to connect the hardware device via a USB port and install a driver from the included disk which also includes the software. Just follow the on-screen instructions and the calibration will take about 5 to 10 minutes. At the end of the calibration it will show a before and after screen to show how well your Monitor has been calibrated. An ICC file is created which is automatically loaded each time you boot up your computer and is used by all ICC aware programs.

MENU (Monitor):
1. Monitor 2. Multiple Monitors 3. Calibrating Monitor