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Lesson 1. Getting to Know the Work Area > Calibrating your monitor

Calibrating your monitor

Whether preparing artwork for print or online use, you should begin by calibrating your monitor. This will ensure the closest possible match between your colors on-screen and those produced by a printer, a video display, or a different computer monitor, and also between your colors in Adobe Illustrator and in other software applications. If your monitor isn't calibrated, the resulting colors may not even be close to what you originally saw on it.

Creating an ICC monitor profile

Your monitor will display color more reliably if you use color management and accurate ICC profiles. The Adobe Gamma ™ utility, which is automatically installed into your Control Panels folder, lets you calibrate and characterize your monitor to a standard and then save the settings as an ICC-compliant profile available to any program that uses your color management system. This calibration helps you eliminate any color cast in your monitor, make your monitor grays as neutral as possible, and standardize image display across different monitors.

Although Adobe Gamma is an effective calibration and profiling utility, hardware-based utilities are more precise. If you have a hardware-based utility that can generate an ICC-compliant profile, you should use that instead of Adobe Gamma.

Depending on your workflow scenario, an ICC monitor profile can be either a source profile, a destination profile, or both.

Note: Adobe Gamma can characterize, but not calibrate, monitors used with Windows NT®. In addition, the ICC profile you create with Adobe Gamma can be used as the system-level profile in Windows NT. Its ability to calibrate settings in Windows 98 depends on the video card and video driver software. In such cases, some calibration options documented here may not be available.

– From the Adobe Illustrator User Guide, Chapter 7



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