Published: May 2023

Check your display

The images on this site will look best on a properly adjusted display. If you're using a tablet, phone or a laptop driving its own screen, things should look pretty good without any further adjustment — on a mobile device you may not be able to adjust any of the relevant settings even if you wanted to.

If you're using a separate display, you should probably check that it's set up correctly. While the ideal way to do this is to calibrate and profile it with a little gadget designed for the task, you can do a pretty good job by just using your eyes and the test images below.

Start by checking that highlight and shadow detail is visible. In the image below you should just be able to make out two animated alternating 4-by-5 checkerboards - one very dark and the other very light. You may need to dim the room lights and put your browser into full screen mode to see this. Make sure you're not viewing the monitor at an angle.

calibration image

Next, check that the colours are about right. Set your browser zoom level to 100% and observe the following test image.

calibration image

Hopefully you'll see four squares, each with a very fine comb-like pattern of horizontal lines on the left and right sides of each square. If you see some larger scale repeating pattern in the squares it means that this test is not appropriate for your device, and you'll need to find some other way of assessing colour.

Stand back from the monitor so that you can't discern the fine comb-lie patterns. Each square should show an even shade of colour.

Note that this technique might not be appropriate for some high-resolution displays, tablets or hand-held devices. If you're viewing this page at the default zoom level and the comb-like pattern on the sides of the coloured squares  is very pronounced or shows a Moiré pattern, you won't be able to use this technique. The comb-like pattern should be very fine (as fine as your display can render) and not be discernible from a few metres away.

If you can't see the extreme highlight and shadow detail in the first image above, try adjusting the brightness and contrast controls if they're available. If your display is old you may not be able to see both shadow and highlight detail at the same time and you'll have to compromise. Note that adjusting the brightness and contrast controls may affect the colour accuracy test image too.

If the colour accuracy image doesn't display as described, check that the monitor display profile in your computer's settings matches the setting in your monitor. Standalone monitors often have a set of predefined colour responses such as sRGB or AdobeRGB. If in doubt, set your monitor to sRGB and choose the sRGB monitor profile in your computer's display settings.