Having trouble with dark prints? The most common cause of this all-too-familiar printing error is designing on a screen that is not calibrated. Try the below basic monitor calibrations using the tools included with your operating system. Calibrating your monitor every 2-4 weeks is recommended. This is especially true for those who often work with graphics
This quick trick will help you avoid the dreaded over-dark print.
Here’s How to Calibrate:
Mac OSX -
The Display Calibrator Assistant tool is in System Preferences.
- Open System Preferences
- Click the Displays icon. Selecting “Show profiles for this display only” is recommended.
- Click the “Calibrate…” button. Selecting Expert Mode on the Calibrator’s first page is recommended. Setting Gamma values to 2.2 will best-match the eSigns.com Windows-based environment.
Windows Vista, 7, and 8 -
The Calibrate Display Color tool is in the Control Panel.
- Click the “Start” button
- Type “calibrate”
- Select the calibration tool located at (or near) the top of the list.
Windows XP -
This is a bit trickier, as XP doesn’t have a built-in tool. There are a number of websites that may be used to help calibrate. Here are a few:
Photo Friday — DisplayCalibration.com — Lagom LCD Monitor Test Pages — Online Monitor Test
The notes for XP can also work for even older version of Windows. These sites can also be good references for those running other operating systems.
A few general tips that will help with any system:
- Set the monitor to the Native/Recommended resolution. While monitors can work at a variety of screen resolutions, each will have one particular setting it is meant for. The one I’m using right now has a Recommended resolution of 1920×1080, for example.
- Make sure the monitor’s color setting is the highest it will support. With most hardware today, that will be “True Color (32 bit)”.
- Allow the monitor to warm up for 15-30 minutes before calibrating.
- Make sure that there isn’t any glare, reflections, or strong light/direct light on the screen. Lights should not be aimed at a monitor