It’s really easy to start using computers today. For the most part, all you have to do is take everything out of the box, plug the cables into the right place, power up and you’re ready to go. It’s not unusual to never think about your set up again. When you do this, you might be selling your computer short by not fully utilizing all the computing power that you have at your fingertips–in particular your screen size.
One thing that you can do to make sure you’re having the fullest experience you can have with your PC (new or old) is to make sure your screen resolution is at the best setting to utilize it’s full potential. There are some factors that make it impossible to suggest the best resolution, but the general principle is that you should set the resolution to the highest setting that you’re comfortable with. Why should you do this? Check out a few screenshot comparisons that I did on my laptop. I could only choose either 800 x 600 (first picture) or 1024 x 768 (second picture):
If you look closely at each picture, you’ll see that for the most part websites are being designed more for the 1024 x 768 size than any smaller resolution. To find out what works best for you all you need to do is experiment with your resolution settings. To do this in Windows XP (sorry Mac users), you right-click on your desktop and click Properties. Click on the Settings tab at the top. Click and drag the arrow in the Screen resolution area to choose your desired setting. Click OK or Apply (the screen may go black temporarily). A window will open asking if you want to keep the settings, choose yes. That’s it!
I’d suggest trying out a few different resolutions and make sure you run the programs you normally use to decide which setting works best for you. There are some font settings that you can adjust to make reading text easier, but that’s for another post. Let me know if you have any questions by commenting in this post.
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For LCD monitor users (including laptops), running XP: turn on “ClearType fonts”, it sharpens fonts displayed dramatically. Go to Display Properties / Appearance / Effects, and select ClearType in the second drop down list.