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Is it possible to switch the display mode under Windows to monochrome somehow? You know, like when you select 'Turn off' in Windows XP and it makes it all grayed out - so I need this but for life.

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The Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP is a free add-on from Microsoft (requires a WGA check) that can be used to take advantage of color technology built into Windows XP known as Image Color Management (ICM) 2.0. Once the applet is installed, you can use it to perform the following tasks:

  • Install and uninstall color profiles
  • Inspect, rename, and compare two different color profiles
  • View a 3D graphics plot of color profile gamuts
  • Associate color profiles with devices such as printers, monitors, and scanners
  • Apply custom color gamut adjustments to one or more displays "on the fly"
  • Set up display calibration reminders at intervals you specify

And here's a little tutorial:

Manage color on Windows XP with the Color Control Panel Applet

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I have to add though, that after doing this (and updating the links in the answer) I couldn't actually get it to preview in monochrome. I'm sure it should be possible to find a colour profile to fake this, but I failed. – Chris H Dec 5 '13 at 9:42

I've seen a toy that can grey-scale or sepia (or other duo-tone) a Linux desktop (I think it was part of a compbiz demo, bit it was long enough ago for the memory to be hazy) by applying a global filter to the output, so you might be able to find one for Windows too.

As another option, see if your monitor has a colour saturation control - that should do the trick.

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