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I have a Retina MacBook Pro (mid-2015), powering an Apple Cinema Display 24" monitor, and a run-of-the-mill, cheap and poor quality/old Samsung monitor. I've connected both of these displays to the RMBP via Thunderbolt.

Now, since the Samsung monitor is old, I would prefer to use it in grayscale. I'm trying to figure out how to use macOS Sierra to change that, and that monitor only, to grayscale. I would only use it to display information that can be viewed in grayscale (Slack chats, email, Terminal, logs, Mixpanel/Geckoboard analytics, you know, not browse websites). I am well aware that the Accessibility -settings in System Preferences can be applied so that each of the three screens is grayscale. I'm not looking for that. If I was looking for that, I'd just launch a Grayswitcha-app I made with AppleScript.

I'm looking to set the Samsung, and only the Samsung, to grayscale.

Is there some way of doing this?

Would really appreciate any assistance on this.

PS Not looking for "change all your apps to be grayscale, and then if you want the same app to be colored too on a different display, do another profile/alias for each and every one of the apps, then run it with the color... oh hang on that's a great deal of work, do it anyway cos this is a good solution" -type solutions :( PPS also not looking for "solutions" where i'm told to properly color profile correct the Samsung, If I was, I'd have solved that already by asking a different way. I'm looking to shoot grayscale data at the Samsung and that is really all.

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  • @Allan Yeah, I originally read it as 'proxy' too, but it's poxy, as in something that's worthless. I assume the OP is thinking it will work better if it's being used a monochromatic screen rather than a colour screen.
    – Monomeeth
    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:48
  • @Monomeeth - I see what you're saying, but I didn't get any of that from the post. Proxy is "substitute for" or "act on another's behalf" (i.e. proxy server) and he didn't say why he thought there would be a benefit to it being mono.
    – Allan
    Jun 14, 2017 at 10:57
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    @Allan Yeah, the context behind the question is rather vague. In fact, looking at it again, it reads to me like it could be an XY problem.
    – Monomeeth
    Jun 14, 2017 at 11:07
  • Greyscale setting is available in the Accessibility Settings page, however it will affect all monitors not just one.
    – jmhindle
    Jun 14, 2017 at 14:44
  • I wonder if you could accomplish this by setting really weird values in "Calibrate Color"... Jun 14, 2017 at 20:28

2 Answers 2

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I would suggest two options:

Firstly, check the controls of the monitor itself (usually in some terrible UI with only two buttons) to see if you can de-color the screen somehow.

The second is to create custom display profile that would turn the monitor to greyscale. You can't actually select a greyscale profile as the monitor's profile, so you would need to create an RGB version. You could do this in the display calibrator wizard.

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  • thanks, what's a display calibrator wizard? is that macOS native?
    – esaruoho
    Mar 18 at 22:05
  • @esaruoho In the drop-down list to select a profile (System PRefs > Displays), it says "Customize" at the bottom. Then you can define your own profile.
    – benwiggy
    Mar 19 at 10:20
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The solution isn't to use grayscale! The solution is to create correct color profiles for monitors, so that they give correct colors. Just use a display calibrator, and calibrate the profile of both monitors (internal and external), so that the colors show up almost the same in both. (I use an i1 display pro profiler. You can borrow one, or buy a used one, or buy and return if if you do not like it.)

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    The OP said "I'm looking to set the Samsung, and only the Samsung, to grayscale." - OP didn't seem to needing to samsung's display to be showing correct color, rather, wanting it to be grayscaled.
    – Skye-AT
    Nov 1, 2021 at 4:02
  • agreed, this isn't a solution to the problem i'm looking to solve. i don't need "correct color profiles", i just need a specific monitor to be grayscale. so unless your correct color profile gives me grayscale, you're not getting to the gist of the problem at all.
    – esaruoho
    Nov 29, 2021 at 5:45
  • The OP said "since the color accuracy is pretty weak on the Samsung monitor - I'm trying to figure out how to use macOS Sierra to change that, and that monitor only, to grayscale". Using a color calibrator would eliminate the very first problem (color accuracy), which avoids the need to make that monitor gray scale in the first place (at least if the OP meant what they said). If, on the other hand, the OP did not mean what they said, then we cannot guess. The OP should explain why they really need grayscale, or why they are unwilling to try a calibrator that solves their accuracy issue.
    – Harry M
    Jan 23 at 18:55
  • @HarryM hi, OP here. I was using it for information such as reading, and just needed the device to be in grayscale. but only that, none of the other screens (laptop screen, 2 other monitors). Yes, I can rewrite the issue so that it doesn't mention color accuracy, if that helps. But this isn't about color calibration, it's about setting a specific monitor to grayscale and how to do it, if even possible.
    – esaruoho
    Mar 17 at 12:10
  • @esaruoho wow you still have the issue? I'm curious to see a solution.
    – Luciano
    Mar 17 at 15:21

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