Calibrating versus characterizing a monitor

You can use profiling software such as Adobe Gamma (Windows) or the Apple calibration utility (Mac OS) to both characterize and calibrate your monitor. When you characterize your monitor, you create a profile that describes how the monitor is currently reproducing color. When you calibrate your monitor, you bring it into compliance with a predefined standard, for example, the graphics arts standard white point color temperature of 5000 Kelvin.

Determine in advance the standard to which you are calibrating so that you can enter the set of values for that standard. Coordinate calibration with your workgroup and prepress service provider to make sure you're all calibrating to the same standard. However, if you have implemented a good color management workflow, you need not calibrate all monitors to the same standard; you simply need to characterize each monitor to produce accurate profiles.

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