It goes without saying that you don’t have to be a graphic designer, a web developer or a professional photographer to care about the quality of your image. A proper monitor calibration will allow you to see images the way they were meant to be seen and improve the look of videos, photos and games.
Although getting the colors right can seem a bit confusing, the standard calibration process is fairly easy. Here’s how you can calibrate your display for the best viewing experience.
Things to check before calibration
Before you get started, make sure your monitor has be turned on for at least 30 minutes so it can get to its normal operating temperature. Then, if you use your display to another resolution, set it back to its native one.
Ambient light reflecting from the monitor’s face can lighten and wash out colors. For this reason, make sure you calibrate your monitor in a room with moderate light – not too bright, not too dim – and with no direct light hitting the screen.
Calibrate using built-in tools
The quickest and easiest way to calibrate your monitor is by using the built-in calibration tools. If you never calibrated your display before and worry you’ll get lost in the process, both Windows and OS X have built-in utilities which will help you and guide you step by step. Don’t get discouraged by the terminology, you don’t really need to make sense out of the jargon in order to calibrate your monitor.
Go to Control Panel, select Appearance and Personalization, click on Display and then select the Calibrate display color option.
A new window will open, featuring the Display Color Calibration tool. All you have to do know is to follow the instructions and choose your monitor’s gamma, brightness and contrast and color balance settings. For each setting you will be shown a sample image of what the ideal level should look like. Just try to match your setting with the sample.
Once you’re done, don’t forget to select the current calibration to make sure Windows will remember your new settings. If you are not satisfied with the result, return to the previous calibration and adjust some more.
Mac OS X
Go to Go to System Preferences, select the Display tab, click on the Color tab and then on the Calibrate button. The Display Calibrator Assistant will now open. Make sure to check the Expert Mode box, otherwise you will be able to access just the target gamma and white point settings.
Now, just follow the instructions to set you monitor’s brightness, contrast, target gamma, native gamma and target white point.
Once you have finished, click on Continue and save the calibration profile.