For a quick check of the monitor’s correct brightness/contrast adjustment, here are some simple, downloadable charts.
Why do you need to check the brightness/contrast adjustment of the monitor?
When working with graphics you need to be able to view the very dark (5%) and the very light (95%) shades of colors or gray. Otherwise your newly created graphics or adjusted photos will tend to be very dark or very light.
Note that this isn’t a monitor calibration! To calibrate a monitor you need a special device that reads the monitor colors and creates an icc profile, specific for the monitor.
How to use the adjustment charts?
View the chart image and adjust your monitor and/or video card settings until you see and you can distinguish all the squares, especially the 5% and 95% ones.
- Download the chart that’s the most appropriate for your monitor’s resolution. If the needed resolution isn’t listed, download a smaller resolution image.
- Open the image in an image viewer that has the possibility to view images in full screen and also – if needed – it’s able to display the remaining areas around the image in black (examples: FastStone or XnView). Or simply set the image as wallpaper with desktop color set to black.
- Play with the monitor brightness/contrast settings. If you can’t achieve good results with this, activate the desktop and open the display or video card properties – depending on where you can adjust brightness/contrast/gamma. Make visible the image and play with the settings.
- You may not be able to distinguish the fully saturated and the 95% red, green or blue colors just by adjusting brightness/contrast, due to the monitor abilities.
- This process isn’t a monitor calibration! Linearizing the color/grayscale transitions isn’t possible with this method.
- Your monitor may be well adjusted from the factory. Thus, every attempt to make it better may lead to worse settings…
You can download the charts here: