If the two images above look exactly the same to you, move along; this blog post doesn’t apply to you.
Note: I posted a follow-up to this going into a bit more detail on one angle of this.
For much of my workdays, I’m using a Dell 24″ monitor to do most of my work, hooked up to my Mac laptop. For color fidelity, it turns out this has been rather painful. For some reason, this setup has caused me to experience all kinds of weird color glitches, such as the one at the head of this post. At first, I thought this was just colors rendering differently on the external monitor and the laptop’s internal display–but unfortunately, it’s more than that.
The same colors on the same display differently under certain conditions. Here’s another fun example:
This is more than just really annoying. When working on Bespin recently, I discovered that the slice images I’ve made from our designer’s source files contain different color values than what he initially specified. At least, some of the slices do. The slices are in fact inconsistent due to this same problem. Argh!
I’ve checked OS X’s System Preferences and the Dell is using its own Color Profile; isn’t this the right thing for it to be using? Why am I getting this behavior?
My guess would be that a Carbon/Cocoa Window, when displayed, uses the settings of the display on which it initially appears, but when you move the window from display to display, either the application is responsible for detecting the event and responding to it, or OS X has bugs in properly managing the shifting settings?
Does anyone know how I can fix this problem? Maybe I just need to start working on Apple displays again… or limit myself to one monitor and class the laptop display at work.
UPDATE: Because several folks were confused about what exactly I was showing in the Terminal screenshot above, I replaced it with something that may illustrate the problem a bit more clearly. Look at the text in the Terminal graphic. See how the shade of green is different? This is not because of foreground/background windowing issues. The color green is different, even though its the same theme, etc. These are not screenshots from different displays sewn together; they are running on the same display; so this isn’t to do with embedded color profiles in images, etc.