Thursday, September 01, 2005

Making Windows Readable on Large Monitors

It seems the older you get, the harder it gets to read the small type on the monitors that support fairly high resolutions (such as: 1280x1024 and higher). If you're below 25 years old and have really good eye sight and laughing at me for saying this just give it a few years. ;-)

If I use a monitor below 17" inches at this resolution, I begin to squint to try to read the display (I am sure I am not the only one who has to do this). If you do have to drive your monitor at a high resolution because you like the extra screen real estate, but hate the tiny fonts in the dialogs and menus. There is a solution that can fix most of your problems, although its not a 100% fix.

Windows has two features that support making the fonts in menus, dialogs, and more easier to read by making them bigger. The first feature only makes the fonts bigger:
  • Right-click on an empty area of the Desktop, and select Properties
  • Click the Appearance tab
  • In the Font Size drop-down menu select one of the following options (Normal, Large, or Extra-Large).
  • Press the OK button when done.
If you want to make everything bigger on the screen (not just fonts), instead of choosing the Appearance tab, choose the Settings tab. Press the Advanced button, then in the DPI setting drop-down choose 'Large Size (12o DPI)'. This will make everything on the screen 25% bigger.

Note: By changing this setting you will notice that elements of some applications will not display correctly (such as words spilling outside the display list boxes, or not aligning properly).

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