FAQ: Resizing Your Monitor

andreas.com FAQ: Resize the Monitor

Most people don’t know that they can set their monitors to higher display resolution. Why do this? It gives you a bigger workspace. Try it. If you don’t like it, you can always and set it back to the default size. In fact, you don’t have to do anything; if you don’t like it, the computer will reset itself to the default setting.

The default setting at 640×480. Note the large icons. You see very little of the open window.Resized to 1024×768. The icons are smaller. You can see more desktop area.

How to Do This…

  1. In Windows, point the mouse at an empty area of the screen (not a window or icon) and click the right-mouse button.
  2. This opens a pop-up menu. Select the item Properties.
  3. This opens the Display Properties dialog box. Select the Settings tab.
  4. At the right side, you can move a slider marker to change Screen Area. If you’ve not done this, it’s probably set at 640×480. Go ahead and spank that puppy up to 1024×768. In the little screen representation, you can see the effect of your changes.
  5. Depending on your graphics card, you might be able to increase your colors. It’s probably set for 16 colors or 256 colors. Get groovy at True Color 24-bit. This results in a near-photograph quality screen.
  6. These two items often see-saw with each other. If your computer has a barracuda-class graphics card, you can have both a large screen and lots of color. The less card, the more compromise.
  7. When you finish playing around with the settings, click Apply. This tests your monitor. If Windows has the driver for your monitor, then it should work. If you get a weird display, or no display at all, just wait 15 seconds and Windows will reset the original settings. Don’t touch your monitor. Just let it reset by itself.

If you have a 17″ or larger monitor, you also probably need a better graphics card. It will speed up your screen quite a bit. Graphics cards are inexpensive: the best cards are only $100 or so.