How to Calibrate Your Monitor

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Calibrate With Windows 7 Tools

The tools built into Windows 7 for monitor calibration are simpler versions of those that shipped with the original Windows Media Center. You can use them to adjust the contrast, brightness, color balance, and gray levels. Since the HP ZR30w I calibrated doesn’t offer on-screen controls, I need to use my graphics card control panel to adjust contrast (the display has a brightness control).

Above is the AMD graphics control panel for adjusting color, brightness, and other calibration settings. Nvidia and Intel offer similar panels with their graphics hardware.

When you start up Windows 7 calibration, you get a simple gray screen, with a 'Next' button and a link to a help file. All you need to do is walk through the steps, reading the instructions as you go along. What you see with each step is a basic instruction screen, with examples of good and bad images. You want to try to replicate the 'good' image as closely as possible.

First up are your gamma settings.

Then you move on to brightness.

After brightness comes contrast.

The last actual calibration setting is color balance, which turns out to be more of a grayscale adjustment.

Once you finish calibrating, Windows (if you wish) will walk you through ClearType setup, an optional antialiasing technique that makes on-screen text easier to read.

Next page: Some useful tools

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