18 Things Around the House You Should Calibrate

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Most of the documents I use with my scanner are of the boring, black-and-white variety...like printed and signed forms to send back to my insurance company. But after recently digitizing an old baby photo, I realized the color settings on my trusty scanner were way off. I realized I had never calibrated the scanner...

Calibrating a scanner for color print use isn't difficult and can be adjusted by changing each of three color settings via installed software specific to your scanner model (related calibration software can usually be downloaded directly from manufacturer's sites from all major vendors; here's an example of a Canon scanner's calibration controls) to tweak color shifts. It's a good idea to calibrate a scanner every time a new printer is added, since calibration will best coordinate print output between the two devices.

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The three adjustments for color scanning:
1. Color tone (adjusting for too much red, green, or blue)
2. Color temperature (too warm, or too cold)
3. Saturation

For more serious calibration and profiling, it's recommended to use a color reference sheet with a set array of colors for comparison, alongside a color management profiling software, which will record what colors the scanner sees and compare them with the actual colors on the reference sheet. If you're scanning with color accuracy in mind, these reference sheets may be worth the investment.

Plenty of other devices around the house can be calibrated for optimized performance, too. Use this lineup like a checklist for getting the best picture, sound, colors, settings and life from the appliances and gear around your home or apartment.

If the links above don't help, it's always a good idea to refer to the printed or online manual for guidance in calibrating a specific device.

(Images: luiggi33/Shutterstock; Feng Yu/Shutterstock)

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Taryn is a writer, maker, and designer based in Atlanta, and editor of lifestyle blog Formal Fringe. She loves her fiance, her dog Bacon, and collecting beer koozies when she travels.

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