Calibrating and Profiling Your Display

To color calibrate your display, you must use a third-party color management system. Calibrating and profiling your display with a color management system is fairly easy. Today, color management systems do most of the work for you. Color calibration systems often come with an optical device that you place over the screen to read the display’s output.

To calibrate and profile your display
  1. Install the software that came with your color management system.

  2. Open the color calibration software application.

  3. Attach the optical device to your display, and follow the instructions that came with your color management system.

    Figure. Color calibration device placed over the screen of an Apple Cinema Display.

When the application has finished calibrating your display, it asks you to save the custom ICC profile created during the calibration process. This profile is saved at /Users/username/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/. Now your display is calibrated.

If you have a second display, you can calibrate it as well.

To calibrate and profile your second display
  1. Drag the application to the second display, then attach the optical device.

    Figure. Illustration depicting color calibration on a dual-display system.
  2. Follow the previous calibration steps.

Now your second display is calibrated.

Important: Your display’s profile is a snapshot of the device’s behavior. If the behavior of the display changes, the profile is no longer valid. Therefore, it’s important to profile your display as frequently as possible. Some color adjustment professionals profile their displays daily.