What is Monitor Calibration?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 October 2019
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Monitor calibration is the process of defining the settings for a computer monitor to allow the most efficient screen display. Effective calibrating involves adjusting the combination of white and black points so that the screen resolution is optimized for the environment where the computer resides. The screen calibration settings may be different in an office than in a home setting.

Most computer monitors are shipped from the factory with a monitor calibration that is ideal for an office setting, particularly a workstation located in a cubicle. This setting works very well for viewing documents, creating spreadsheets, and entering data onto a template. However, this predetermined setting may or may not provide the best color clarity that can be achieved with an adjusted calibration.

In order to adjust the black and white pixels that form the basic view of the screen, nothing more is required than to read the instructions that come with the monitor. Anyone can access the display settings and make any slight changes necessary to create a sharper image on the monitor and also change the basic calibration to retain these new settings. Some systems will also allow the factory settings to be archived, making it possible to default to the original settings at some future point if desired.


However, monitor calibration to accomplish more intensive adjustments is somewhat more complicated. When the adjustments to the monitor picture are mainly to enhance the natural appearance of the color resolution, it is often necessary to calibrate the computer screen by employing special software designed for the task. Most calibrating software is simple enough for just about anyone to use. However, computers used in commercial settings often leave this task up to information technology personnel, rather than allow individual users to manipulate the monitor calibration.

These same types of software packages can also be used for home computers. Choosing to alter the calibration may be especially helpful if the home system is used to watch videos or to purchase items from online retailers. By ensuring that the color resolution is as close to real as possible, the monitor calibration helps to eliminate the possibility of ordering a red sweater and receiving one that is more of a maroon shade.

Many of these monitor calibration software tools require that the monitor be set for at least 24-bit color resolution. Anything lower generally will not allow the software to function at full capacity and will result in less efficient adaptation of the displayed range of colors.


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