Figure 3.15 In Windows XP, the Adobe Gamma control
panel is buried inside the Calibration folder in your
To calibrate your monitor with Adobe
Start Adobe Gamma, which is located in
the Program Files/Common Files/Adobe/
Calibration folder (Figure 3.15).
The Adobe Gamma start screen appears.
If you’ve calibrated your monitor before,
you may be launched to the Gamma con-
trol panel directly. If so, go to step 3.
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Changing and Adjusting Colors
The History of Web-Safe Color
If you’re familiar with the creation of graphics or images specifically for the Web, you may
already know about Web-safe or browser-safe colors. For those of you new to this buzzword,
Web-safe colors are the 216 colors that can be accurately displayed on all color computer
monitors, regardless of age or platform. Here’s the background.
Back in the pioneer days of the Web—in the mid-1990s—a lot of computer systems still used
256-color cards (also known as 8-bit color). This meant that the monitors on these systems
could display only 256 colors at any given time. You (or your kids) may even still have a few
CD-ROM games designed around this limitation; you’ll know them because they ask you to
change the display to 256 colors—in other words, to use the Web-safe palette.
But even though the palette consists of 256 colors, only 216 of those colors are considered Web
safe. That’s because Windows and Macintosh computers share only 216 colors, each reserving
the remaining colors for system use. Thus, we’re left with 216 colors that are guaranteed to
appear with absolute accuracy, regardless of platform. Surprisingly, even using just these 216
colors, your images can come out looking pretty good.
Today, even the most basic PCs come out of the box with the ability to display thousands—or,
more often, millions—of colors, and there are very few 8-bit systems still in use. However,
because Windows and Macintosh computers display some colors a little bit differently, using
the Web-safe palette is the only way to ensure that your colors look completely accurate on
Bottom line? If you’re not concerned about folks running older computer systems, or the
slight color differences in PC and Macintosh systems, then use all of the colors your glorious
system came with. But if you want to make sure that absolutely all viewers can see your
images in the exact colors you intended, stick to the Web-safe color palette.