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Shannon Morris asked about monitor calibration and Kevin
McLauchlan asked about printer calibration.
I doubt that calibrating your monitor will help the printing
process very much, but it might help you get a more accurate
representation of your colors on your monitor. I've used a
calibration application called WiziWYG (www.wiziwyg.com) and
to properly calibrate your monitor you need a colorimeter,
although it can do an approximation without one.
DISCLAIMER: I have a financial connection to this product.
What you really need is to calibrate the printer AND the
monitor. The process is fairly simple, but to do it right
you need a colorimeter, a scanner, and an IT8 target.
These cost some money but if you're printing process colors,
they are necessary tools.
Color printing is an area where there is a difference between
platforms. At the OS level the MacOS has ColorSync and
Windows 98, 2000, and some versions of NT have ICM (Integrated
Color Management). The goals of both ColorSync and ICM are the
same: to provide a means of using ICC device profiles in color
management. Any standard ICC profile works with both ColorSync
and ICM. They differ in range of features and application
support. ColorSync has been around for years and has a very
comprehensive set of features and abilities. Also, many
applications are "ColorSync-aware" and can use ColorSync's
abilities. In contrast, ICM is fairly new and very rudimentary.
It is at least 4-5 years behind ColorSync in terms of features,
and so far as I know there are zero applications that are
"ICM-aware". This is why graphic artists use Macintoshes,
because this essential tool of their trade is not available
with UNIX or Windows.
If anyone wants more information about color management,
contact me offline at my home e-mail: johnbell -at- erols -dot- com