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Helping You View The Internet Easier

By Shelley Marler
Posted Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Have you ever felt like you needed to get out the magnifying glass to read the text on a Web site? Maybe you need to change your resolution! I'm not talking about your New Year's
resolution, although you may need to change that too, but rather your monitor's resolution.

You can change the size you view Web pages by changing your monitor resolution, with the setting options on your computer.Changing your monitor's resolution is just resizing the desktop so that everything you see appears either larger or smaller, depending on the look you need. It can make your reading, and playing, time on the Internet more fun and less straining to your eyes.

Your monitor resolution image comes in a variety of sizes, measured in pixels. Pixels are the tiny dots that create the images you see on your monitor. There may be some variation
depending on the type of computer you have, but here are the typical sizes from smallest to largest.

For PC users:
640 by 480
800 by 600
1024 by 768
1152 by 864
1280 by 1024
1660 by 1200

For Macintosh users:
640 by 480
832 by 624
1024 by 768

The larger your monitor is, the higher resolution you can set it to. A good standard for both PCs and Macintoshes is the 800 by 600 range, but you may experiment until you find the right one
for you.

Remember, the larger the numbers the smaller your desktop will appear, because it allows you to see more at a time, with more windows open. Most people keep their settings at about the 640 by 480 setting. The problem you may encounter with this setting is that even though you are able to see "more" of your desktop, type sizes will appear smaller. Note: Most Web sites are created with the 800 by 600 pixel resolution setting and personally, this is the setting I use.

You may have a Web site open while you follow these steps to better experiment with how you want those Web pages to look.

PC platforms:
Right click on a blank area of your desktop and a small menu will appear. Scroll and select "Properties" and a dialog box will come up. You will have many options that will affect your desktop appearance, but right now we're working the the "Settings" so select that tab by clicking on it. There you will find a slider bar (this tool may vary with different software) which allows you the options of screen (or monitor) pixel sizes. Use your mouse pointer and slide to a new pixel size. Click "ok" and you should have a dialog box appear confirming what you are about to do. Click "ok" again. Another dialog box may pop up telling you that you've resized your desktop and will ask you if you want to keep this setting. Click "yes."

Macintosh platform:
At the top of your desktop there is the Macintosh apple in the left corner. Click on the apple and scroll down to "Control Panels." If you do not have that option under the apple then double click on your hard drive icon. Double click on your System Folder and look for your Control Panels there. Double click to open. There are many areas in the Control Panels that can change
the appearance of your desktop. (Unless you are familiar with these options it's wise not to mess with them!) Select, or double click, on "Monitors" or it may say "Monitors and Sound." The
Multiple Scan Display dialog box will appear. Click on "Monitor" and you will see the "Resolutions" settings. Make your selection and you will immediately see the monitor flicker and resize itself to the new setting. Experiment with the options you currently have until you are satisfied with the size of the windows, text, or Web site you have open. Close your window by
clicking on the little box in the top left corner of the window, and you're done!

There you have it! If you find that this resolution size is either too small or too large for the size of monitor you have,or what seems comfortable for you to read text on a Web site, then you always have the option to start at step 1 and make your changes.

About the Author
Shelley Marler is the Content Manager for, the premier site for active seniors. You may visit the site at (


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