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I use a dual monitor.

The colors appear entirely different on the new monitor than they do on my laptop.

When you are selecting colors etc, to be included in a website design, it totally freaks me out.

Is there no software solution that finds how the settings of one of the monitor is and puts that to the second one?

Otherwise what all settings do I need to change manually on the second monitor to make it appear as it does on the laptop?

Thanks in advance.

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6 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Check this out Color Calibration 101 (codinghorror), it should help ! But I would recommand you to buy a dislpay calibration device (absolutely useful when using dual display) ! The good ones are pretty expensive, you can share it with friends to afford the price.

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A large part of the problem will be that the LCD panels for external displays and laptops won't be manufactured in the same way in the same factory so there will always be differences in the colour profile of the screens.

You can get devices that help you to match the colour profiles of monitors so that what you see on one is the same as on the other, but they tend to cost a bit.

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Try adjusting the colour settings on your monitor (not in your computer). If it doesn't help, then you probably need a new monitor. Some LCD monitors have really bad colours, I had one too.

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When choosing colors, you must realize that the users who will see those colors will have even more diverse monitors. Therefore,calibrating your monitors to be the same will only hide the problem for you.

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Usually monitors have a color 'temperature' adjustment, much the way a temperature Kelvin given on light bulbs typically refers to their color, not how hot they get. e.g. soft white is usually in the 2700K to 3000K range; bright white 3300K to 4500K; daylight bulbs usually run from 5400K to 6500K.

Most monitors have different presets in their menus for different temperatures Kelvin, too. The NEC CRT I'm using right now has presets for 9300K, 7500K, 6500K, 5000K and 3900K. The NEC LCD next to it has presets for 9300K, 8200K and 7500K. Having them both on 7500K gets them close to begin with, then I tweaked the red-blue-green and contrast/brightness settings to make them match... rather than comparing them to each other, though, I would recommend tweaking them both to match the same picture or calibration chart. That can be an ongoing process until you get them matched up, especially if you're also calibrating a good printer to print the same colors they are displaying (ICC Profiles should get you close, then you can tweak to match your paper).

If you do a web search for color calibration charts you should find sites that cater to both monitor AND printer calibration. e.g. http://www.normankoren.com/makingfineprints1A.html and http://www.normankoren.com/printer_calibration.html

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It looks like Chrome (and Firefox) doesn't support dual profiles... when I look on my Macbook Pro screen, the colours are fine - then drag to external monitor and it keeps the same profile from the MBP, which isn't right for my monitor.

I also have the latest Spyder calibration btw.

Best solution: if on Mac, use Safari :) (can't report on PC)

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What do browsers have to do with it? The question seems to be about system colors in general. –  Synetech Oct 19 '12 at 22:16
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