How to make 2 monitors render the same colour ?

Posted on 2003-03-25
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
I have 2 monitors showing dark blue entirely differently, yet the cell in dreamweaver is a web safe colour.
How do I make them the same?
Else what are web safe colurs for ?
Question by:astoller

Expert Comment

ID: 8205141
To your question on the purpose of socalled 'websafe' colours:

Websafe colours are pretty useless, the only thing they prevent is dithering when viewed with 256 colours, but dithering is the last problem on a person who runns 256 colours mind, they obviously don't care about colours since they are still living in the stone age, numbers of colours on screen wise. It was one of those politicially correct standards which set out to make your designes look the same across different screens on different platforms (pc/mac), totally oblivious of the fact that different monitor types show colours very very very differently, so in reality, the only thing it does is to make life for a web designer more difficult than it already is by limiting it to 216 pretty basic colours.

I am sure, by posting this, some "but-we-have-to-enable-our-site-to-everybody-even-blind-people" over the top "i-learned-web-design-from-this-dummies-book" supposedly purist "i-only-code-in-notepad" designers will claim otherwise, but take my advise, put a finger in each ear and run for your life!


Accepted Solution

cl888 earned 200 total points
ID: 8205822
The colors are not showing up the same hue and tint because of your monitor's brightness/contrast/color temperature settings.

If your monitor is capable of changing the color temperature, make sure that they're both set to the same temperature.  Also make sure that both monitors have the same brightness and contrast settings.  This is the least expensive and hassle-free way to do it.  The results for this will still vary, however, as different manufacturers use different tubes, resulting in different colors.  If you need the exact color matched then it may be worth looking into color matching software/hardware combinations that include a color thermometer to make sure that they're correctly matched.

Websafe colors are something different altogether.  Websafe colors are the 216 or so basic colors that all 256+ color computers running on either Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer will have in common in their pallette.

White will show up for me as true white on my monitor, but if you have a really bad LCD or CRT monitor, then it may show up as light gray.  It all varies among monitors.
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Expert Comment

ID: 8212480
>>I have 2 monitors showing dark blue entirely differently, yet the cell in dreamweaver is a web safe colour.
How do I make them the same?

Look at them on the same monitor. That's the ONLY place they'll be the same. ;-)

You won't even see two TVs, from the SAME manufacturer, getting the SAME signal, in the SAME room, give you the same color. What makes you think your monitor is any different?

Color matching is for PRINT, not web. You don't control the color to that extent for any projection/display device.

Expert Comment

ID: 8254214
There are three big calibration variables: gamma, white point temperature, and phosphor color. You already affected phosphor color by purchasing a specific monitor. It's a hardware thing.

You can change the white point temp through a hardware control on the front of the monitor (if it's newer) and sometimes through software, depending on your OS. The higher the temp, the bluer white will appear (as opposed to red or green). This has the effect of appearing more "white".

Gamma is the most noticeable. You can affect this using a freeware utility such as Adobe's Gamma. The thing to remember is that Windoze systems are set to a default gamma of 2.20. Macs are defaulted to 1.80, SGIs are 1.70. You should also note that the sRGB standard, which web-safe colors are based around, calls for a gamma of 2.20.

To make these adjustments, you should create a "target" image. One comes with Photoshop but you can build your own. It should have an image that includes skin tones and other bright colors like red, blue, green and yellow. It should also have areas of a variety of solid colors, including white and black. bring this image up, in the same program, on both monitors at the same time.

Once you've done this, make your gamma and white point adjustments. You can usually safe these adjustments as a "profile" of some sort so that you can come back to the exact settings if needed.

Keep in mind, as others stated above, this is all relative. It only applies to your system. It may go right out the window on another machine.
LVL 19

Expert Comment

ID: 8255373
It WILL go right out the window on any other monitor.

You can NEVER know what a color will look like on any monitor but YOURS.

If you're doing web work, going through all that hassle and expense is a complete waste. It's crucial for PRINT though. But USELESS for WEB.

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