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I have a website which consistently displays differently when opened in two windows of the same browser. With “differently” I mean that one version of the website uses different colours. Here’s a screenshot with a vertical cut between the two versions:


Now, I know about gamma correction of PNGs but this difference affects not only embedded images but also the text colour. Furthermore, this is the same website, displayed in the same version of the same browser (Google Chrome), only in two different windows. Putting the tabs into the same window makes the differences vanish. Pulling the tab away makes the differences reappear.

I’m seriously confused by the difference in display – the data of the websites is bit for bit identical. The address is identical. There should be absolutely no difference in memory between the two instances (except for running JavaScript, none of which is supposed to affect the display of any of those components). Yet they display differently. Closing the browser and re-opening doesn’t change this.

What could cause these differences?

I still suspect that it’s got something to do with gamma correction which Chrome maybe does internally. What I don’t understand is why it does it differently for different windows.

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

There is a bug reported for Chrome here; which might illustrate your image behavior. Basically, the bug is about color profiles in images and handling them properly.

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Nice, this seems to be the reason. Almost disappointed that this is a simple bug rather than something more interesting. – Konrad Rudolph Sep 10 '12 at 20:46
Agreed. Thanks for the upvote – Fergus Sep 11 '12 at 0:42

Would it be possible that this is a function of display technology?

Here is a quote from Wikipedia

Several other variations and modifications have been used in order to improve performance in certain applications. In-Plane Switching displays (IPS and S-IPS) offer wider viewing angles and better color reproduction, but are more difficult to construct and have slightly slower response times. IPS displays are used primarily for computer monitors. Vertical Alignment (VA, S-PVA and MVA) offer higher contrast ratios and good response times, but suffer from color shifting when viewed from the side. In general, all of these displays work in a similar fashion by controlling the polarization of the light source.

From my experience evaluating LCD for color work, TN and S-PVA would cause slight color variations when viewing same two images on different part of the display even when you eyes are in fixed location.

Have you try using image viewer application instead of your browser? If the image looks different, most likely your monitor is causing some color shift. If not, sounds like chrome bug is causing your issue.

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Since he was able to take a screenshot of the color difference, and it is visible on other monitors, then this would not be a case where the display technology is causing it. But even if it was, no matter what program he opened it in, it wouldn't change the color shifting at different viewing angles. It was the bug that was the issue. – Ben Richards Sep 17 '12 at 22:51

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