iMac 20" Dark/Light Gradient Problem - "Solved"

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ohcello, Sep 26, 2008.

  1. ohcello macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2008
    I just got a 20" Imac and immediately noticed that the top portion of the screen is significantly darker than the bottom portion and that the bottom portion appeared 'washed out'.

    I recalibrated and it helped, but still a significant light to dark gradient.

    I googled it and found this is a widespread issue with many iMac owners with the newer 20" screens....

    I tried to find a program that would allow me to place an image on top of the desktop as all times to counteract the gradient and I found something that works pretty well. Here is what I did:

    1) Download and Install Photostickies -

    2) Load up Photostickies and go to File/Open and open a gradient image like this one:

    3) In the Main Toolbar, go to 'Control/Inspector/Show Inspector'. Within the inspector, click on the 'Visual' tab and lower the 'Opacity, Shadow, and Fading to either one or two clicks above 0% (your preference... 2 clicks might give your desktop too much of a 'washed out' image...I go with 2 clicks). Uncheck the 'Shadow' box. Then close the Inspector dialog.

    4) In the Main Toolbar, go to 'Photostickes/Options' and select 'Ignore Clicks when Inactive'. Within the same 'Options' section, select 'Disable Dragging'

    5) Put your mouse anywhere over the gradient (you still should be able to see it) image and right-click. You should get a menu... select 'Level/Top'.

    6) From the same right-click menu, select 'Display/Fullscreen'

    7) You might not be able to click on anything as the image is 'on top' of everything else. However, all you have to do is 'inactivate' this program (ie pull up another program or window) and it will stay on top of other programs and will not be selected (ie Ignore Clicks, etc).... what I usually do at this point is drag to the corner to activate Expose/Desktop to show the Desktop. I then select any other open windows from the Dock. This pulls up that program but also pulls up the gradient image on top, but inactivated.

    ***The only time you see the screen without the Gradient is when you activate the 'Desktop' feature from Expose... but once you pull up any other program or screen, the 'Gradient' overlay kicks in....

    Let me know if anyone tries this... it works very well for me.


    After I did this, I had turned the brightness all the way up and recalibrated to compensate for the 'darker' screen....
  2. doug in albq Suspended

    doug in albq

    Oct 12, 2007
    WOW, what a PITA!

    Actually I have the 20 inch imac too. I was disappointed by the gradient myself and thought that someone third-party or Apple should write a simple image/display hack to do something similar–hence canceling out the gradient. If apple did it they could hide the hack in a system upgrade, and all alum. 20 inch imac owners would get a great "graphic update" when they did a system update.

    glad I did not hold my breath waiting for that!

    What I did, was purchase a new, nice 20 inch HP S-IPS display that I got for a screaming deal after the rebate (less than $300 US), and attached it to my Imac. I wanted dual-display anyway, (i much prefer two 20 inch displays over one 24 inch display) and this was a great reason to justify the additional display purchase with my wife.
  3. Washac macrumors 68020


    Jul 2, 2006

    Has anybody other than the original poster tried this ?

    Will try this later myself.....
  4. ohcello thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 26, 2008
    yes, it was a pain!

    A lot of trial and error, but the gradient was driving me nuts... it's a work machine so I didn't have much choice as to get something different... the I LOVE the display otherwise (for text reading and general graphics)... so it was worth it for me =)
  5. spencers macrumors 68020


    Sep 20, 2004
    Subscribed to this thread.

    Will try this later!

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