Calibrating monitors on Windows: complete guide

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Lluís Enric Mayans
@lluisenricmayans

Using our monitor on the desktop PC or notebook do we notice unrealistic color tones, too dull or “yellowish” white and insufficient contrast? Maybe it's time to calibrate your monitor! In this guide we will show you how calibrate monitors using the procedure offered on modern Microsoft operating systems.

Preliminary information

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Calibrate monitor

Whatever version of Windows you are using (Windows 7, 8.1 or 10) the procedure is practically identical. We open the Start menu by clicking on the Win key on the keyboard and searching for "Calibrate" or "Run color calibration".

Alternatively we can find this item in the classic control panel under Control Panel Appearance and Personalization Screen.

While in the new control panel (8.1 and 10) we can also find this item in Advanced screen settings.


The wizard will start to adjust the color range and hue.


Click on the first screen NEXT to start.

Gamma

We will find the gamma value as the first parameter to configure.

As described in the image we have to adjust the gamma value so that the points in the center of the halos are not seen. With the center of the halos too light the gamma value is low, while if the points in the center of the halos are too dark the value is high.

In my case the gamma value was wrong: the image clearly shows the gamma value too high.

We use the slider on the left side to adjust the gamma value until the halos become uniform.

To adjust the parameters just follow these simple rules:

  • If the gamma value is too high, we lower the slider down (dark tones)
  • If the gamma value is too low, we raise the slider towards the other (light tones)

Once the configuration is finished, press on NEXT.

Brightness and contrast

After adjusting the gamma value, the wizard will ask us if we also want to adjust the brightness and contrast. We obviously click on NEXT I will continue.

We will be shown a new explanatory image of the settings that we are going to adjust: if the edges are too dark, we will lose detail; if the outlines are too clear, we will see the images with an unpleasant “glossy” effect.

The point of reference in this case is the X present in the image, which must "just" be seen with an attentive eye.


Click on Next to find ourselves in the two brightness and contrast configuration screens. The parameters in this case must be adjusted using the buttons on the monitor.

Color balance

Finally, to calibrate the monitor we will be asked by the wizard to adjust the primary colors (red, green, blue) in order to obtain an optimal gray scale.



In the configuration screen we can act on the three primary colors until a satisfactory gray scale is obtained.

Once you have finished the last configuration, just press on NEXT; in the final screen we will be able to see the difference between the old configuration and the new configuration. To confirm the new settings just press on end.

Calibrate monitor: TrueType fonts

The screen calibration will end, but we will be asked by the system to also adjust the TrueType fonts, for a correct display of the pages and texts.


We carry out the guided procedure by choosing the most readable example text on our monitor each time.

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