How to Make Your Windows Display Easier to See
" Dear Infopackets Team,
I'm having trouble adequately seeing all the content on my computer monitor, and it's causing me eye strain. Are there programs I can use or settings I can change in Windows to make it easier to see my display? "
Magnification software allows you to magnify all or part of your display without altering the monitor's resolution.
Microsoft includes a display utility with Windows XP, Vista, and 7 called "Magnifier" that is useful for this purpose, though it lacks the advanced features available in some commercial magnification applications.
How to use the Windows Magnifier
To access the Windows Magnifier in Windows 7: click the Start Menu, then type "Magnifier" into the search field and press "Enter." The Magnification utility will open. Alternatively, you can access Magnifier through Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> Ease of Access menu.
Freeware Screen Magnifier Software
If you're not satisfied with the Windows Magnifier utility, you can download and install a third-party magnification program, such as Virtual Magnifying Glass (freeware):
How to Make the Entire Screen Larger
An alternative to using magnifying software is to simply decrease your screen resolution. This will make the entire display appear larger all of the time (instead of portions of the screen). The trade off is that the images won't appear as sharp because the resolution is lower.
Screen resolution is the number of pixels displayed on your screen, such as 1440x900. Lowering your monitor's resolution will decrease the amount of pixels on the screen, making all the icons and windows appear larger.
This is an excellent way to increase your display's visibility without resorting to a magnification tool.
How to Change your Screen Resolution
To lower your screen's resolution in Windows 7, right-click on the desktop and choose "Screen Resolution." Click the drop-down menu next to "Resolution" and choose a lower setting.
The lowest recommended resolution is 1024 x 768; if you choose a resolution lower than this, many web pages and applications will not fit on the screen.
Using a Larger Monitor
In addition to lowering your screen's resolution, consider investing in a larger monitor. If you're using a laptop, purchasing a stand-alone monitoring that is at least 20-inches will significantly increase your ability to see the screen.
The combination of a larger monitor and lower resolution will reduce strain on your eyes and help you avoid using cumbersome magnification software.
Increasing Font Size: Using DPI
You can increase your system's font size by altering the operating system's Dots-Per-Inch ("DPI") setting, which is more commonly referred to as DPI. Choosing a larger DPI will make the text and icons on your computer larger without fiddling with the screen resolution.
To adjust the font size in Windows 7, click the Start Menu, then type "Adjust Font Size" in the search field. From the search results, click "Make Text and Other Items Larger or Smaller."
Choose one of the larger DPI settings available, such as 125%. You will be prompted to log out of your account in order to see the changes. Click "Log Out." Once you've been logged out, click on your user icon and log back in. All of the icons and text should be larger.
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