The question:

What is the best way to calibrate my monitor without hardware add-ons (and preferably free)?

Some More Info:

From what I have read what seems like the best way to calibrate my monitor is using a piece of hardware like a Spyder or something similar. Yet currently while it is on my list to buy it will not be an immediate purchase.

So it comes down to this, what is the best way to calibrate a monitor using software/my eyes. Also I understand this is not the best, however, my theory is that this is better than nothing at all.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I searched for weeks and tried all non-hardware methods on the internet and I was happy with the results. I thought I have a pretty well-calibrated display. Months later, I bought a Spyder. As soon as I re-calibrated my monitor, I realized that even the best non-hardware method is way off than that is offered by hardware. Now my monitor is truely calibrated, what is left are tonnes of photos waiting for the WB to be re-do because I thought software method will be good enough. \$\endgroup\$
    – Gapton
    Dec 15, 2011 at 1:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Gapton - From what I have read I agree with you. However, something is better than nothing. Or so I assume. => \$\endgroup\$
    – L84
    Dec 15, 2011 at 2:14

1 Answer 1


There are software options to do this, either free or in your OS. They're not as ideal as a hardware solution and are a bit more fussy to complete, but they're a little better than not doing it at all.

For Windows: Quick Gamma

For Apple OS X: ColorSync

For Linux: A utility called "Monica" but all the current download options are a bust, so you'd have to hope you can find it in your distro.


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