monitor calibration VS printer calibration.

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New Member
Jun 29, 2009
hi clubsnappers,

On most digital photography books, they will have a part on calibration of the hardwares so that the screen and printer colour matches. D

However, I am looking at some calibration tools from cathay photo ( and I'm kinda don't understand the differences between a monitor & printer calibrator.

The monitor calibrator (eg syder3 prop) writes "No more trial and error processing; get it right the first time. A calibrated display will help ensure that prints will match what you see on your screen"

while the printer calibrator (e.g spyder 3 print from also calibrates the printer profile.

I'm confused about this two types of devices and its purpose. Can someone enlighten me?

Do correct me if im wrong.



New Member
Aug 10, 2007
It depends what you are trying to do.

Monitor calibration is the basic minimum. When you correct colours on a calibrated monitor, using an ICC aware programme eg Photoshop, then what you see will be what anyone else WITH a calibrated monitor will see. ie you would have standardised your viewing screen. Of course your file must continue to have an ICC profile eg adobe RGB/ sRGB attached to it for others (with calibrated monitors) to see what you are seeing.

However, print is not the same as viewing on a monitor. The commonest use of a printer calibrator is to create an ICC profile of your home printer so that you can SOFTPROOF in photoshop and colour correct FOR THAT output ie your home printer. It does not guarantee correct results for any other printer that you did not check the colours for under softproofing.

I have a free tutorial on printer profiling and softproofing on my website, under PRINT PROFILES, ( that you can download. It will also tell you how best to handle ICC profiles when preparing the files for print.


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