Monitor Profiles

A monitor profile is a type of device profile used for color management. This profile contains information about how to convert colors in a monitor's color space and color gamut into colors in a device-independent color space. Any user-mode application, such as a setup program or a word processor with graphics capabilities, can use a monitor profile, provided that ICM has been enabled, and that the application has knowledge of the profile's format.

Although you can create custom monitor profiles using third-party tools, you may be able to use one of the monitor profiles shipped with Windows 2000 and later operating system versions. These profiles are described in the following table.

Profile Monitor Characteristics


B22 phosphor, gamma 1.5


B22 phosphor, gamma 1.8


B22 phosphor, gamma 2.1.


EBU phosphor, gamma 1.5


EBU phosphor, gamma 1.8


EBU phosphor, gamma 2.1


P22 phosphor, gamma 1.5


P22 phosphor, gamma 1.8


P22 phosphor, gamma 2.1

Diamond Compatible 9300K G2.2.icm

9300° Kelvin white point, gamma 2.2

Hitachi Compatible 9300K G2.2.icm

9300° Kelvin white point, gamma 2.2

NEC Compatible 9300K G2.2.icm

9300° Kelvin white point, gamma 2.2

Trinitron Compatible 9300K G2.2.icm

9300° Kelvin white point, gamma 2.2

Installing a Monitor Profile

A user can install a monitor profile in three different ways:

  1. In the Windows Explorer, select the profile, right-click the name, and then click Install Profile.

  2. Refer to the profile in a monitor INF file.

  3. Hard-code the profile's path and file name in an application.

Because the default directory for monitor profiles is subject to change, hard-coding the profile's path and file name is not recommended.

Using a Monitor Profile

A monitor profile, unlike a printer profile, supports very little communication between the output device and an application. For example, if a user changes the gamma ramp in the video buffer, the monitor profile is not notified that such a change has occurred. In this case, with ICM enabled, two color corrections are applied to the image before it is displayed, as shown in the following sequence of steps.

  1. The application opens and then manipulates the image.

  2. The application enables ICM by a call to a Win32 GDI ICM function, such as SetICMMode. (See the Microsoft Windows SDK for more information.)

  3. The application sends the image to Win32 GDI.

  4. If ICM is enabled, Win32 GDI uses the monitor profile to translate the colors in the image.

  5. Win32 GDI sends the image to kernel-mode GDI.

  6. Kernel-mode GDI formats the image for the display driver, based on such device characteristics of the device context (DC) as bit depth, resolution, and halftoning.

  7. The display driver (or video hardware) performs gamma correction to the image.

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