How to calibrate monitor without installing software?
June 10, 2012 1:07 PM   Subscribe

Monitor Lizards Wizards: Is is possible to calibrate a monitor without installing software?

I do a lot of photo editing, and calibrating the monitors I'm using seems like a good idea. The Spyderco calibrators seem well-reviewed, and not too expensive. But there's a problem -- some of the computers I need to use are locked down, and IT policy does not allow software to be installed.

The monitors are Dell Ultrasharps, and also a MacBook Pro.

Is there a way to calibrate monitors without installing software?
posted by Alaska Jack to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
You could plug a different laptop into the monitor, calibrate it and then transfer the resultant ICC file to the work machine. Of course the IT lockdown might prevent you from installing the monitor profile as well, so you should probably check that first. If you're using Windows 7, the relevant page from the MS support website is here.
posted by pharm at 2:25 PM on June 10, 2012 [1 favorite]

You don't list your industry, but calibrating the monitor is usually only the first step in insuring quality output. If you are in printing you then need to take the images you are producing and output them on your press or printer. There really is an art form to this stuff.

If everything you send looks great to you, but your pressmen are having to adjust for the files they are getting that saves no one, since they are just going to dink with the ink until they have it looking good to them.

I could write an essay on this stuff and I am not even a image specialist.

This all said, I have never worked with an IT departments that would refuse to install this kind of software as long as it was authorized and legitimately purchased by the business or institution. If it's properly licensed, non-beta, and of legitimate workplace use any IT department that says no really sucks and is doing it wrong.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:48 PM on June 10, 2012

Seconding cjorgensen. If a profiled monitor is a job requirement, then IT (or whoever) needs to install appropriate software matching the profiling hardware to get it done properly. No bones about it: it's just as critical as Photoshop or InDesign or whatever you're using to prep your files. Seriously, this is not, like, optional. It's part of the standard load for every machine doing critical colour.

You didn't ask for a recommendation for profiling software, but I'll give you one anyway: ColorEyes Display Pro. You can get it with, or without (assuming you have one already), a sensor puck.
posted by seanmpuckett at 3:46 PM on June 10, 2012

FWIW, the MacBook Pro already has some rudimentary calibration software installed. Look under System Preferences...>Displays>Color>Calibrate...

But, I also agree with the above folks. If accurate color is a requirement in your job, then IT has to allow the new software and hardware.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:28 PM on June 10, 2012

Response by poster: Thank you! I will check with our IT folks. - aj
posted by Alaska Jack at 1:51 PM on June 23, 2012

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