just played around a little bit:
the problem seems to be a bug in the color profile management....
at least for now this fixed the problem without rebooting:
- select a different color calibration profile
- switch back to the correct color calibration profile (does not work....colors look weird
- unplug the external monitor -> color profile is correctly restored
- re-plug the external monitor -> works fine again
Just to chime in and hope someone's found a fix by now... Exact same problem on my Mid 2009 MBP running Lion. Built-in display is fine, external display (Dell 1905FP connected via DVI) intermittently doing wacky things with colors in *some* windows, and in icons when I use Mission Control. It almost looks like Ye Olden Dayes of 256-color displays when the wrong color palette was in use.
If I change color profiles I can fix it, but later after disconnecting and reconnecting the monitor the problem will come back. Never saw this problem with Leopard or Snow Leopard. I'm really surprised, because if there's one thing I thought Apple could do right it's color space management.
Well, it's just a tiny bug - this can happen.... what i'm more concerned and worried about is that apple seems to simply not care about this problem. among my coworkers almost everyone using lion admitted to have experienced the same problem so there must be much more people affected out there....
i seriously hope 10.7.3 will fix this....
Same issue here, presenting with a MacPro Early 2009. Samsung SyncMaster 213t monitor.
Present after update to 10.7.2
Calibrated with Huey and thought it was that. Disabled Huey and same issue.
Only affects iWork and possibly PhotoShop CS5.
Also affected is the Command Tab program switcher. Very Annoying!
Good to know others are finding this as this eliminates Hardware.
It only affects windows from iWork (so far) its not a global bug.
Here is a work-around. It stinks because Apple has usually been good about fixes. This beats having to reboot.
Go to the System Preferences > Displays > Uncheck Show profiles for this display only > Select any other color proflie, then set it back to your preferred profile. The tinting should return to normal, test with the command tab to show the program switcher, next wish really hard that Apple fixes what they broke in Lion...
Make life easier on yourself and place a checkmark to place the monitors selection on your menu bar...
Just for the record, in case anyone with the clout to repair the problem is monitoring this thread, I have the same problem with the second monitor's bacground getting lost and turning grey after the iMac sleeps. I also must tell the system to again detect the second monitor after a reboot ... sometimes. This should just work, as I expect all Apple stuff to do (I'm a naive recent PC convert). System is an iMac 27". Second monitor is a ViewSonic VA2226w-3.
This is also affecting me. I even bought a new monitor, because I could not believe it was the Mac! I had independently found this solution. It has affected me on a MacBook unibody 2009 with monitors connected through VGA, DVI and DisplayPort. (Well, all on adaptors connected to the DP.)
I hope Apple fix what they broke soon - as others have said, colour management used to be Apple's thing.
At least there is a workaround.