How to Calibrate Your Monitor in Photoshop CS6 - dummies

How to Calibrate Your Monitor in Photoshop CS6

By Barbara Obermeier

Calibrating your monitor of your monitor ensures that when you are working in Photoshop CS6, your monitor doesn’t display any red, green, or blue colorcasts (traces of color) and it provides as neutral a gray screen as possible. Calibration makes sure that how you view your image today will be how you view your image tomorrow or next week.

If you really want to do a good calibration job, consider investing in a combination hardware/software calibration package. These products used to be really pricey, but you can get a starter package for as little as $119. You can choose from several manufacturers, including Datacolor and X-Rite.

If you’re a Windows 7 user, you can check out Display Color Calibration:

Choose Start→Control Panel and type calibrate display in the Search field. Click Calibrate Display Color. Click Next and follow the instructions. If you’re a Mac OS X user and on a budget, use the Display Calibrator Assistant. Choose Apple→System Preferences and click Displays in the System Preferences dialog box. Then click the Color tab and click the Calibrate button. Answer the questions in the Display Calibrator Assistant.


The Display Calibrator Assistant attempts to remove any colorcasts and get as neutral a gray background as it can. It also creates a profile of your monitor for Photoshop, Illustrator, and other programs so that those applications know how your monitor displays color.

When you calibrate your monitor, display an image for which you already know the color values. For example, use an image that you’ve worked with and for which you have a good print, and then use that image each and every time you calibrate.

Your goal is to match the digital image on your screen to the printed image. You should calibrate every so often because monitors can drift and degrade. Some experts say weekly is best; others are more liberal and say monthly is fine.

Not only is letting your monitor warm up a prerequisite before you calibrate, it’s also a good idea before you sit down to tackle any image-adjustment work.