So – You’ve Calibrated AND Profiled Your Monitor Now What? Does Your Computer Know About It?

SummaryΒ – Calibrating and profiling your monitor as described in the two previous posts is important – BUT – you may not be done. Not if your computer isn’t aware of the profiles – and, thus, not using them. You need to make sure this doesn’t happen. It should be automatic, but don’t count on it.


My monitor is both calibrated & profiled

AND – You mean there’s still more to do??

Short answer – maybe yes (assume the worst πŸ˜‰ )

Depends on your computer & operating system

Read on….



Woodland Abstract

An in-camera multiple exposure; 9-shot vertical pan

I’ve been invited to do a program on abstract photography

March 2014 – plenty of time to prepare

Depending on your definition of abstract, this image may or may not qualify


After you’ve gone through the time & effort

To calibrate & profile your monitor

Your computer probably knows all about what you’ve done

AND – will might use it correctly

BUT – don’t count on it 😦

There are two separate questions to be answered –

1. Is the profile stored properly?

The likely answer here is YES, but

To check & be sure, look here

Mac OS X /Library/Colorsync/Profiles


2. Is the operating system using the correct profile??

You’d think if the profile is where it should be

That would be the end of it

NOT! always!!

The O/S sometimes uses the wrong profile

Not the one you just created

Which might be worse than not profiling at all

If you’re a Windows user open the Control Panel

Navigate to Color Management

Check this display on the Devices panel

The instructions (bottom left) are clear

8-12-2013 12-32-31 PM

Mac users – I apologize; unable to find corresponding info for you


Another bonus for Windows (no Mac counterpart that I could find)

X-Rite’s DisplayProfile.exe allows you to

Check which profile your PC is using

Note that the data below

Matches the Control Panel data above


Β 8-12-2013 11-58-33 AM

To download the utility, click this next image –

8-12-2013 1-25-56 PM


For some time after I began profiling my monitorS (plural)

I answered question 1 to my satisfaction and

Always assumed the answer to #2 was YES


It’s easy to get tripped up

Especially with a dual monitor system

Are you sure the O/S has things right?

Check it; don’t take it for granted.

Windows assigned the laptop’s profile to my 2nd monitor

This 2nd monitor is the one where

ALL of my image processing is done!



Don’t take anything for granted in this arena

Calibrate & profile your monitors regularly (they can drift)

After each new profile

Check to ensure that the computer has it as the default

Even in between calibration/profiling

RE-check it once in a while

Some O/S’s (Win Vista notably) have the bad habit of

Dropping or corrupting your profile

If you suddenly start seeing strange colors

Check this out

If you upgrade anything – especially your O/S

Re-check the profile settings

If you use Windows, the X-Rite utility is a life-saver

It runs instantly

If you have two monitors,

Just drag it from one to the other and

It instantly changes to match the monitor it’s on

Here’s an example – watch the profile switch

As DisplayProfile.exe is

Dragged between two monitors

Trust no one; trust nothing –

Especially your eyes when it comes to color πŸ˜‰


Are we having fun yet? Done yet?

You just know we’re not πŸ˜‰

Your monitor’s calibrated

And – it’s profiled

And – The operating system is on-board

What else could there possibly be?

Tune in tomorrow for our next thrilling episode of

Somewhere Over the Rainbow with ROY G. BIV


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5 thoughts on “So – You’ve Calibrated AND Profiled Your Monitor Now What? Does Your Computer Know About It?

  1. This was great. I had fun watching the display profiler window change profiles as I dragged the window from laptop to 2nd display and back. I am calibrated and profiled and confirmed.
    If you feel like doing a blog someday on what to look for in a monitor for post processing I would love it. (hint!)

    I love the colors in your abstract…it reminds me a something that just came into season around here in our wetland areas.


  2. Once I find some 2500USD under a pillow I’ll buy one of these HP wide gamut monitors. The ones that can even do PIP with different color spaces.

    Until then I’m bound to poor solutions. Your post is very very true — my Windows 7 installation does not “hold” a custom profile over a reboot. Every time I turn on the machine it’s back to the vendor default profile. Careful! Good thing is that the vendor profile is 5000K and my profile a warm 6600K. So by paying a bit attention to the cast of the white, one can see that it’s blueish instead of the wanted reddish.

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