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Photoshop® CS4 Bible by Dan Moughamian, Simon Abrams, Stacy Cates

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23.2. Calibrating Devices, Such as Monitors and Printers

As mentioned, the first step toward achieving color-management nirvana is calibrating your monitor. If you're using a Mac, you can do this using Apple's Display Calibrator Assistant (see Figure 23.1), which is located in the Displays pane of System Preferences. Windows users have access to Adobe Gamma, which is a utility that's installed along with the Creative Suite.

For more accurate calibration, vendors such as Gretag-Macbeth and ColorVision sell hardware called a colorimeter that you place on your monitor to measure the color values produced by your actual hardware. The profiles generated using these devices are far more accurate than the calibration software provided by your computer's operating system, because they take into consideration your device and all its display characteristics, as well as other conditions such as ambient light.

If you were really, really, really after the most accurate results possible, you'd paint your walls neutral gray, and wear neutral gray overalls while you work in a room with no daylight-balanced lights (or no lights at all) — but personally, I think that's going a bit far, unless you're in a high-end facility doing work that's absolutely color-critical. You should try to calibrate your monitor in a darkened room, or if that's not practical (for instance, if you work in a wide open space with giant windows and lots of fluorescent lights, like I do), at least avoid having light shining ...

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