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Chapter 7. Color Management > Creating a Monitor Profile

Creating a Monitor Profile

Let's start by making sure Photoshop knows how to display images correctly on your screen. We'll do that by measuring the exact colors of RGB that your monitor uses and also measuring how bright your monitor is. I wouldn't even think about using a canned profile for a monitor unless it's an LCD screen. Unlike standard CRT monitors, LCDs are much more consistent among batches and over time. It would be most ideal to use a hardware measurement device to profile your monitor, but since they cost money and each one comes with different software and most offer few options, I'll just show you how to profile your screen using your eyes and free software that comes with your machine. The method for creating visually measured profiles varies depending on which operating system you use. In Mac OS X, choose System Preferences from the Apple Menu, click the displays icon, then click the Color tab, and finally click the Calibrate button. In Windows, choose Start > Settings > Control Panel and then double-click on the Adobe Gamma icon. No matter which operating system you are using, the setting will be very similar to what you see later. You'll get different choices depending on what type of monitor you have (LCDs have fewer settings). Let's take a look at what you might expect when creating a profile in Mac OS X. Not every option that you see here will be available when you try it—it depends on the type of monitor you own and how much information your monitor can share with the calibration software. Since you'll find similar settings in Adobe Gamma on Windows, this information should apply to everyone, regardless of what type of computer you have.

Using Apple's Calibration Utility

It's most ideal to perform this calibration while you are working under the same lighting conditions that you'll use throughout the day. So, make sure you don't have radically different lighting conditions between the time you calibrate and the time you want to use your monitor for critical color judgments. It's also a good idea to let your monitor warm up for at least a half hour before you proceed.



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