Spyder5Elite calibration tutorial for Mac & laptop screens: Part 6-10

Part 6: Lights out

At this point, if you haven’t already, turn off the lights or pull the blinds, or whatever. You don’t need your calibration compromised by light sneaking in, so for your safest result, make your room as dark as possible.

Part 7: Calibration

Tilt the screen back, and use the counterweight on the cord to hang the sensor over the back, so it’s positioned roughly on the diagram on the screen.

01s5elite16

02s5elite32

Click “Next” to begin the calibration process.

Brightness

The device will take a minute to read black, red, green, blue and white. Then it will pause here:

03s5elite18

During my testing, I found that sometimes the software stopped to ask me to put the brightness up to maximum; but other times it didn’t. I confess I don’t understand why. Anyway, do it if it asks you to.

I trust this will be self-explanatory. After reading the message window and pressing OK to close it, you look at the brightness bar, then use the brightness controls in your computer’s control panel to adjust its brightness up or down as needed to get the white bar in the green zone. Each time you tweak your screen’s brightness, press the “Update” button to refresh the reading.

If you’re on a PC, Alt-Tab is what you use to switch quickly between programs. If you’re on a Mac, it’s Cmd-Tab. This allows you to quickly flick between the Spyder window and the Display window where your brightness slider is.

Somewhat surprisingly, I was able to hit exactly 80 with my screen. Don’t worry if you can’t do that – as long as you’re within the green zone, you’re fine.

04s5elite19

Once your brightness is good, press “Continue“.

Profiling

For the next five or so minutes, the device will read a range of colours:

05s5e09

NOTE: Please wiggle your mouse every minute or so while calibrating. It’s probably completely unnecessary, but do it anyway. The last thing you need is for your screen to dim itself from lack of activity after a minute or two – that throws the whole calibration into a cocked hat, believe me. Of course, don’t let the mouse pointer go underneath the device – just keep it at the side.

Once the Spyder has taken all its measurements, remove it from the screen, and press “Finish”:

06s5elite20

Part 8: Lights up

Turn your lights back on, or open the blinds, or whatever.

Part 9: Save the profile

Now it’s time to give your profile a name. During my testing, every time I calibrated it tried to put a new number at the end of my screen name:

07s5elite38

No need to clutter your system with a bunch of different profiles. So I just cut the number off, and save exactly the same profile name each time:

08s5elite39

Recalibration reminder

For most people, monthly recalibration is quite adequate. You’d only choose a shorter timeframe if you were (a) a raging nerd, or (b) worried that your screen might be dying:

09s4p18

Once saved, you’ll get this enthusiastic message:

10s5elite22

Then you can press “Next”.

Part 10: Analysis

Here, Datacolor gives us a grid of images to assess the calibration. It’s a completely pointless grid, because we don’t have those prints, do we? To assess the calibration, we need images that we can compare to prints. So immediately press the “Open Custom” button:

11s5elite23

The moment of truth has arrived. It’s time to see how your calibration went. Click here to go to the analysis page.