Max OS X: How to Set Your Display with System Preference
Configuring your display with the Displays system preference
The Display System Preference is where you go to change how your monitor looks as well as configure multiple monitors. First thing you will see is the Display tab. Along the left is Resolutions. By default, your Mac's monitor will show its highest resolution. On this monitor, we have 1280x1024. However, because of the way we film these things, we have a monitor resolution of 1024x768. When you change to a lower resolution, things on the screen get bigger because you have fewer pixels and the pixels are made up larger to fill the screen.
And then, there is the Color popup menu. Most Macs are capable of displaying 16777216 colors which is also known as 24-bit color. You can also choose thousands of colors on this particular Mac and on some Macs, you can also choose 256 colors. The more colors the monitor displays, the more realistic the image. And then there is Refresh Rate. Some monitors allow you to change the Refresh Rate.
For example, on this one, we could choose 70, 75, 85 but we will stick with the 60 hertz as it is now. The Refresh Rate is the number of times per second the lines drawn on the monitor to create its pictures are refreshed. So, Refresh Rate is 60 hertz means the screens are drawn 60 times in a second. The lower the Refresh Rate, the more flicker you may detect. You can't change a Refresh Rate on all monitors. And then, there is other stuff. Depending on the capabilities of your monitor and whether you have more then one connected, you may see other options including Detect Displays as we have here.
This helps tell another monitor that it's now also connected to your Mac because we have two monitors connected to this one. Gather windows and this button will appear when you have more than one monitor connected. It pulls both monitor windows on to the display where the window currently appears. There is the Rotate option. Some graphics cards and monitors allow you to rotate the image, so I could rotate this 90 degrees and then I would have to turn my head all the way to the right in order to clearly make out the display. And then, there is the option to show displays in menubar.
Do that and you can change a lot of the settings that you can also change within the system preference. Next, the Arrangement tab. If you have more than one display plugged into your Mac and this can also be a projector, you have an Arrangement tab in the Display System Preference. Here you can turn mirroring on and off and I will do that right now. Currently, we are mirroring displays but I switch this off and watch what happens. Now that we have turned mirroring off, there are couple of things we can do.
One, we can identify our monitor so here is our monitor on the left. Here is the monitor on the right. And you can tell it is because a red outline surrounds the outer edge of each monitor. You can also move the monitor's position. Right now, we have this left monitor. The other monitor is to its right. So I drag my mouse across and it goes across to the right. I could also put it on top. On the other side, I can put it below or of course I can return to where it was.
I can also change where the menubar is. So, if I wanted to move the menubar to the other monitor, click it, drag it over, and now the other monitor has the menubar. And that pretty well sums up the Arrangement tab. So now, return and mirror displays. And we are back in the land of mirror display. So let's look at the Color tab. Within the Color tab, you will see a few items. So first is your display profile. When you first plug a display into a Mac, it will create a profile for you.
These are installed by the Mac automatically. You can open that profile if you like and watch what happens, ColorSync Utility launches. ColorSync Utility is a very powerful application and one that we are not going to touch because it's nicely covered in Color Management Essential Training. You can do some powerful things with it but this is beyond the scope of this title. Also, you can calibrate your monitor. Yes, you can display profile by default but you could also tweak your monitor if you are not happy with the way it looks.
Click Calibrate and up comes the Display Calibrator Assistant. A couple of ways you can go here. You can go into Expert Mode and when you do, just as it says, this turns on extra options. This is a way to really fine-tune your adjustments but we will walk through the basics. Click Continue. At this point, you can adjust brightness up and down on your monitor, too dark is if you see nothing in the middle, too bright is this very bright oval here. It's about right where we see it now, little black, little gray, you can still see it.
Click Continue. You can then adjust Gamma with a slider back and forth. The idea here is that you want to make this Apple blend in as much as possible. It's actually set pretty well though. Continue again. You can choose a couple of different kinds of Gamma. There is standard Gamma and then there is television Gamma. And depending on how your monitor is set up, you may see a radical difference between these two Gammas. The 1.8 standard Gamma is standard for the Macintosh. Click Continue again. You can change where the white point is. You can click one of these settings. So for example, D50, you get it more yellowish white hue, D65 natural white.
You can get more blues from 9300. Also, you can click the white point and drag it around and find the setting that you like and leave it there. Continue again, and then you have got a new calibrated monitor profile that you can use whenever you choose to. Click Continue and Done, and you see now you have a calibrated setting here that you can choose from as well. You can also go back to the default that was installed first or you can go with your calibration if you like. If you don't like what you wound up with or you just created too many of the things, just click Delete Profile and that profile is gone.
Now, there is one other tab that may appear on your Mac. It deals with things like Power and Brightness button settings if you have an Apple monitor plugged in. For example, when you press the monitor's Power button, the display turns on or off or puts the Mac to sleep or maybe it does nothing at all when you press that. You can also disable or enable the monitor's Brightness button. So, before we leave monitors, I am going to turn Display menu off, so it doesn't distract us and those are the essentials of the Displays System Preference.
Configuring your display with the Displays system preference provides you with in-depth training on Business. Taught by Christopher Breen as part of the Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard Beyond the Basics
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