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TECH TIP:  Display Properties – Screen Resolution

 

First, let’s define terms:

Display – in this case the word “display” means computer monitor.

Properties – in this case the word “properties” means the settings or attributes of the computer monitor.

 

There are 2 ways to get to Display Properties.

  1. Right-Click on the desktop – but not on an icon.  (The desktop is the entire screen area of your monitor that you see when there are no windows open).
  2. Click on Start-> Control Panels-> Display.

What can you do in the Display Properties?

You can set the properties (settings or attributes or characteristics) of your monitor – things like screen resolution, backgrounds, screen savers, and colors,  

 

When you go to Display Properties, a window will open and you will see 5 tabs:  Themes, Desktop, Screen Saver, Appearance, and Settings.

 

This Tech Tip will deal with just the Settings tab.

 

The Settings tab is where you can set your screen resolution and color depth.  The screen resolution is the number of pixels (dots) your computer uses to display what’s on the monitor.  You will see a slider that moves (slides) from left to right to change the resolution.  As I move my slider from left to right, I get these various resolutions:
   ● 
800 by 600
   ●  1024 by 768
   ●  1280 by 1024
   ●  1400 by 1050
   ●  1600 by 1200

You may not have as many options as I have on my computer.  The number of options depends on your hardware – your display adapter and your monitor.

 

Higher resolutions allows for a larger screen area in which to view what’s on the screen.  But, the icons, text and graphics all become smaller in size.  Many people like smaller resolutions because it is easier on their eyes – everything is larger and easier to see.  Some people like higher resolutions because they want to see more on their screen and they don’t mind that everything is smaller.

 

An 800x600 resolution means your screen uses 800 pixels (dots) across the screen (left to right) by 600 pixels from top to bottom.  This is the resolution that most people use, especially if they use the older CRT monitors. 

 

A 1024 by 768 resolution is commonly used by some laptop users or computers with flat panel monitors. 

 

At any rate, you set the screen resolution at whatever is comfortable for your eyes.  One thing to consider is that a higher resolution like 1024 by 768 allows you to fit more on your screen and you are less likely to have to scroll to see in the information.  This is very nice when you are on the internet – you can see more on your screen.  (Although, I might add that most web site creators “optimize” their web page for 800 by 600 screens).

 

OK – go ahead and experiment with the screen resolution.  Move the slide to a higher (or lower) resolution and see if you like it.  Remember the trade-offs – larger type but smaller viewing area– or smaller type and larger viewing area.  Which one do you like?

 

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