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Changing Screen Resolution on a Windows Computer

Widescreen display FAQ
Screen Resolution FAQ
Monitor Resolution (Word doc.)

Although changing your monitor’s screen resolution is easy to do, you need to know a few things about your monitor before you start changing your settings.  Adjusting screen resolution may cause some distortion if you select a resolution that isn’t designed for your monitor. For example, if a “wide screen” resolution used on a square monitor, the image will appear squished.

All monitors have a display ratio. That’s the ratio of width to height: It is important to know your monitor's display ration before changing the screen resolution. Adjusting screen resolution may cause some distortion if a resolution that does not match the shape of your monitor is selected. For example, a “wide screen” resolution must be used on wide screen monitors (monitors that are longer than they are high), but if a wide screen resolution is used on a square monitor, the image will appear squished.

screen resolution
If your monitor looks like #2, your aspect ratio is 4:3
If your monitor looks like #1, your aspect ration is either 16:10 or 16:9

Based on the aspect ratio, use the following chart to determine the appropriate screen resolution settings for your monitor.

At the bottom-right of this chart is the legend.
749px-Vector_Video_Standards2_svg.png
Taken from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Vector_Video_Standards2.svg
NOTE: 16:10 is the same as 8:5

To change your resolution

Note: It’s a good idea to write down your current settings before changing them, in case you need to get the original settings back.

  1. Right-click on the Desktop then select Properties > Settings
  2. Slide the Screen resolution slider to change resolution.
  3. If desired size has not yet been reached, go to the Appearance tab in the Display Properties windows opened in step 2
  4. Click on the drop-down menu next to Font size and choose Large or Extra Large font size
  5. If desired size still has not been obtained, go to the Settings tab and click on the Advanced button near the bottom of the window. This will open up another properties box and should open right up to the General tab.
  6. Under DPI setting click on the drop-down arrow and choose Large size (120 DPI)
  7. A couple error message windows will pop up, but just click yes and ok and then click ok out of the windows.
  8. If a larger font size is desired, choose Custom setting… under the DPI setting drop-down menu and choose a number no bigger than 300%. 200% should be plenty for most uses.