SIMSKY - tutorial

How to Set Color Depth in Windows

Level for beginners
Comments You only have to follow these directions to adjust your settings once, and from then on your pictures will be perfect!

If following text seems too confusing to you, ask for help from an advanced user in setting up Windows. It will take less than a minute. If you want to have pictures from Simsky in top quality, you shouldn't skip this part of the tutorial. Nevertheless for most of you the following setting already has been carried out during the Windows installation.

Before we start, let me tell you some facts about color depth. This value you see indicates how many colors your graphic card is able to display simultaneously. It is given in bits. The bigger the value is, the better the display quality is, meaning the more colors shown. The minimum efficient color depth for Windows is 8 bits, which means 256 colors. This is, however, insufficient for Simsky. Simsky requires at least 16-bit color depth, described sometimes as 15-bit, or more frequently High Color. This setting is sufficient for viewing pictures, but is not optimal for working with them, especially when modifying colors and color blends. Here the color depth of 24 or 32 bits (also called as True Color) is best. There will be no difference between 24 and 32 bits.

If you want to avoid visible changeover steps (banding) in the resulting picture, make sure that your graphic card works on 24- or 32-bit color depth. In a free place on the desktop, click the right mouse button and choose Properties in the menu. The panel Screen will open. At the top right click on the Settings tab. Check below in the Colors field if 32 bits (True Color) or 24 bits is set (as you can see in the following picture). If so, everything is all right. Close the panel by clicking on Cancel.

Windows - color depth setting

If you see 15 or 16 bits (High Color) set here, or even only 256 colors, switch the list box to a higher value (if your monitor makes it possible). Then click below on OK. If Windows asks you if you want to restart, select the choice "Without restart" and click OK. Now Windows will try to switch over to the new color depth. If it succeeds, you will be given the choice to select that everything is all right, so then on OK below. If your monitor won't succeed in re-setting, wait a few seconds until Windows returns everything to the original state and then click on Cancel to break the action.

Do you want more? For example, that Simsky would be able to automatically set the optimum color depth? Or that the resulting quality of pictures wouldn't depend on the current system color depth? No problem! Write me what you would like to add to Simsky and if there are enough of you, I will implement your requirements in the program!

Simsky - (C) 2002-2004 Dave Luv web: e-mail: