Where display profiles are stored, and how to load them
Installing a display profile for your monitor is very operating
dependent, which is why dispin -I is a
good way of taking care of all these details. On some systems it is
the operating system itself that
supports display profiles, but individual applications, or helper
Please choose from the detailed instructions below that suite your
Apple OS X
On Microsoft Windows, display
profiles are typically in one of the
MS Windows Me and 98: C:\Windows\System\Color
MS Windows NT:
MS Window 2000, XP, Vista and 7:
An alternative to using dispwin
to install your display profiles,
is to use the Display
Property dialog, advanced settings, Color management tab, and
the profile and install it there. This in
itself does not cause the profile to be made use of anywhere in
If you are using Adobe Photoshop on your system, then you can
it to use your monitor profile by editing the appropriate registry
contain the name of the display profile, and then restart
This is the simplest way of ensuring that the Adobe calibration
tool Adobe Gamma loads the video hardware lookup tables from the
vcgt tag, and
uses the profile as its display profile.
The adobe gamma tool can be told to use your profile, but the
procedure is slightly tricky: Open adobe gamma from photoshop (in
Help->Color Management... menu item), select "Open Adobe
select the "Load.." button. Select your profile and "Open". Select
in the Adobe Gamma, it will then ask you to save it's modified
of your profile under a different name. Chose a name for the
profile, and save it. Exit from Photoshop. Copy the profile you
use, over the modified profile that you saved in Adobe Gamma. (If
don't do the last step, the profile Photoshop will be using will
been modified in strange ways from what you intended.)
Installing a profile on Microsoft Windows generally doesn't mean
that the profiles calibration will be automatically loaded into a
display on startup. A separated tool is usually needed to achiev
Some Microsoft Windows applications may come with
loader tools, consult their documentation and check your Start
Startup folders. If you don't want to use any of these 3rd party
tools, you can also use the dispwin
tool to do this for you, as it takes either a .cal or ICC
as an argument. The xcalib
tool could also be used.
To add a startup item that will load a profiles calibration into
display using dispwin,
On the task bar, right click and
"Properties", then select the "Advanced" tab, then click "Add..".
browse till you locate dispwin.exe. In the box containing the path
dispwin.exe, add a space
the option -L, eg:
If you don't want to use the default
installed profile, you could explicitly set the calibration file
as an argument:
Click "Next >", select the
folder, then name the item (ie.
"Argyll Calibration Loader"), then press "Finish".
Microsoft Windows XP has an
optional Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP
Microsoft, which handles installation and registering of the a
profile, and will also automatically set the display calibration on
system startup. The applet is started from the control panel, and
you have to "Install..." the profile in the Profiles tab, then associate it
the display in the Devices
tab, but NOTE that it seems
have a bug, in that it
sometimes associates the profiles with the wrong monitor entry!
You can test it out by simply navigating the "Start" menu to the
"Startup" folder and selecting the item you've just created. If
want to alter any of the details, navigate to the item again and
click it, and select "Properties". More than one startup item can
created to set the calibration for more than one display. You may
to cut and paste the "Target" line to a normal Command Prompt
check that it works as expected, as it is impossible to catch
messages in the startup.
Microsoft Vista you can set
the display profile in
Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound
-> Color Management, as an alternative to dispwin -I. In Devices
you select "Use my settings for this
device", and then add the profile you've created.
though, it doesn't use the 'vcgt'
calibration curves on system startup, so a tool such as dispwin will still have to be
to do this. Note that currently Vista also has a bug that causes the calibration
curves to be reset whenever the User Account Dialog (and similar) is
displayed. This problem can only be worked around manually, by
re-running the startup item whenever this happens. Note that due to
details of this bug it is necessary to actually reset the
to something else before re-setting it. This can be done quite
conveniently in dispwin by adding the -c
flag: e.g.: c:\bin\argyll\dispwin
Microsoft Windows 7 you can
the display profile by opening the Color
Management control by clicking the Start
button and then clicking Control Panel.
In the search box, type color management,
and then click Color Management.
Make sure the correct display device is selected in "Device:", and
then tick the "Use my settings for this device" box. Select "Add..."
and then "Browse..." to locate and load the profile. (Alternately
you can use the normal file browser to locate the profile, and then
right click on it and select "Install Profile". In the Color Manager
"Add..." dialog you can then select it.). Make sure that the new
profile has been marked "(default)" if you want it to be
automatically used for your display.
By default Windows 7 seems to automatically load the default display
profiles calibration on startup, but needs to be told to do this at
all other times by changing the system defaults, or if some 3rd
party tool to load display calibration has been installed. This can
be done by logging on with a user account that has administrative
privileges, then opening the Color Management
(see above), and then select the "Advanced"
tab, and then "Change system defaults...", then
select the "Advanced"
tab, and select/un-select the "Use Windows display calibration"
check box. (You could use dispwin
-I as an alternative to this if you really wanted.)
On Apple OSX, the display
profile are in one of the following
Note though that /System/Library/Colorsync/Profiles is only
profiles supplied by Apple. You can use dispwin
-S to select the appropriate scope when installing a
using dispwin -I. You can use the
Preferences->Displays->Color" tool to check that the profile
has been installed correctly. Note that the contents of
the description tag (the argument to the -D
flag used with the colprof
tool) will be used to identify the profile.
On Linux and other Unix style systems, there is no
universally agreed location for ICC profiles yet,
although the following locations have been suggested at various
although particular applications may use their own locations, such
Argyll dispwin follows uses the ucmm scheme for storing user and system
profiles, and when a display is set to use a profile correctly, it
convention to make it available to applications.
If you want the display calibration to be loaded, you should
installing a tool to do so at startup, such as dispwin
Using dispwin the currently installed
profile for a particular display can be loaded using the -L option of dispwin:
which will both upload the installed profile into the root
window _ICC_PROFILE property, and also load it into the display
You can use the dispwin -d parameter
the usual way to select other
displays to store or load the calibration using the _ICC_PROFILE
To do this when you start your X11 server, you could put the above
command in your .xinitrc
in your home directory for each screen.