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Fix your Mac display issues with Display Calibrator Assistant

Follow this simple step-by-step guide to make sure that what you see on your screen matches what you get when you print or scan a picture using OS X's own app.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - 15-minute beginner's tutorial
OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant
Calibrating a new computer screen for your laptop or desktop computer might not be at the top of your to-do list and may well appear to be something more suited to graphic designers and photographers.
Think twice, because this is actually a very important task. Whether you are installing a new display or extending your workspace to operate with multiple displays, once you realise that what you see is not what comes out of the printer, or that picture colours appear different depending on which display you are looking at, you have to look into calibrating your displays. Thankfully, Mac OS X comes fully stocked with a set of system preferences and software, which enable you to take control over this very important aspect of setting up your digital workspace. Let’s see how these preferences work and how to best use them to your advantage.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step-By-Step

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 1

Step 1: Open System Preferences
In System Preferences click the Displays icon. A preference pane opens that is named after your currently-active display, Color LCD in this tutorial.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 2

Step 2: Navigate to the Display section
In the Displays preference pane, the Display tab is not relevant here, therefore select the Color tab to access the calibration facility.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 3

Step 3: Check everything is in order
Ensure everything is plugged in, turned on and that you have installed all relevant software as per the display’s manufacturer requirements.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 4

Step 4: Detect your new display
If your display does not appear in the profiles list, click the Detect Displays button. Select the profile named after your display once it appears.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 5

Step 5: Display Calibrator Assistant
Click the Calibrate button and new software appears in the Dock. It is called the Display Calibrator Assistant and will help you create a valid ICC profile.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 6

Step 6: Expert mode
In the first Display Calibrator Assistant window, you can make the calibration more thorough by selecting the Expert Mode tick box. Click Continue.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 7

Step 7: Select a target gamma
In this window, adjust the degree of difference between tones, known as contrast. The default value of 2.2 suits most displays. Click Continue.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 8

Step 8: Select a target white point
White point selection lets you define the location of the white point from the visible colours range. Native and D65 are preferred in most cases. Click Continue.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Step 9

Step 9: Name your profile
Finally, enter a relevant profile name and click the Continue button to terminate the process. Click Done to close the Calibrator Assistant.

Click on the image below to zoom in and view the annotations.

OSX Tutorial - Display Calibrator Assistant - Annotated

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