I've designed a web page on a Mac computer. When testing it on windows in appears with something like 20% less saturation. The page is public, for the web, so the final user may have any kind of monitor or operating system. What is the most common pattern to "have it as similar as possible to what I want it to be"?


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    "Don't worry, be happy" ? – Joonas Nov 14 '11 at 9:18
  • Sounds like an OS difference. Like you said, people have different monitors, brightness/contrast settings... choose the colours you like, save the images in the correct format and do as @Lollero said. – Yisela Nov 14 '11 at 12:58
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    Isn't the gamma difference between platforms an issue though? – e100 Nov 14 '11 at 14:29
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    On contemporary Macs standard gamma is 2.2, same as on Windows. – thebodzio Dec 10 '11 at 1:39

It's got nothing to do with Windows vs. Mac - walk into any office and look at the different monitors on folks' desks. Assuming you're using a standard color scheme (sRGB, etc.) the information will go out to each of those monitors the same way (i.e., white = "ffffff" which is hexidecimal for "turn the red, green, and blue values for that pixel all the way up"), but that "white" screen is going to look different on each desk's monitor (unless they've been calibrated).

If a certain monitor is calibrated differently it's going to look different, and that's got nothing to do with OS, web browser, etc. If you really, really want everyone's screen to look the same you'll have to drive around to their house and calibrate everyone's screens individually.

The best you can do is to use a standard color scheme (I like sRGB) and hope for the best. Don't forget - most users won't be staring at the same web page on two different screens so they probably won't notice the difference.

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    Historically, there is a Mac/Windows difference. The OSes use different gamma settings (1.8 and 2.2, I believe). However, I can't say if that's still a true statement anymore. – DA01 Nov 14 '11 at 17:17
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    Apple has now (as of Snow Leopard, iirc) changed the gamma to be in line with the rest of the world. I've never understood why they were different, given that the international standard has been 2.2 for more than a decade. The web color space, sRGB, is based around a gamma of 2.2. – Alan Gilbertson Nov 16 '11 at 1:38

"have it as similar as possible to what I want it to be"

Purchase the crappiest monitor you can and set it up as a second monitor. Makes it handy for testing screen variances.

  • In support of this, I have a dual-monitor setup with mismatched monitors (same native resolution). They are calibrated to the best of my ability using a colorimeter. They render colors differently. If someone told me one had 20% less saturation, I would not argue with them. – horatio Nov 15 '11 at 18:43
  • This is basically the theory behind studio monitors--though ironically studio monitors now cost much more than standard consumer speakers, even though they're designed to emulate the most average and unflattering sound quality. – Lèse majesté Dec 31 '11 at 23:19

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