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I’ve been asked by a visually impaired friend whether it’s possible to improve the image quality of a TFT that’s not running at its Native Resolution.

She’s recently purchased a Samsung SyncMaster T220, though wants to use a low resolution so that everything appears nice and big. However, at a low resolution the text on screen appears very blurred.

Does anyone know of any software or graphics cards that would help? (She’s using XP.)

Many thanks in advance for any help.

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migrated from Jul 26 '09 at 19:57

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

Is she running at a low resolution because text is too small at high resolution? Change the monitor to its native resolution, and bump up the font size in Windows XP.

Follow the steps in this article.


If it's for other reasons, one way to reduce blurriness is to have it so that the resolution is exactly half. So if your LCD's native resolution is 1600x1200, try changing the resolution to 800x600.

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Just a warning: Many less-than-perfectly designed apps/dialogs will have their text cut off with a larger DPI. This coming from a user who set up his display correctly (114 dpi)... – hhaamu Jul 26 '09 at 19:24
You mean a quarter resolution. – dlamblin Aug 9 '09 at 5:17

There's nothing that I know that would make non-native resolution less blurry. That's one problem that CRTs don't have. Various monitors have various degrees of blurriness and on some it's much less noticeable. However, if it's blurry on yours, then you're stuck with it.

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Set the monitor to it's native resolution and bump up the dpi settings to 120 or 150 dpi.

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You might want to consider purchasing an actual LCD TV - many of them have resolutions of 1366x768, and nice sizes to boot - which should be more than adequete for your friend.

Viewsonic has several that would be good, such as the N2635w - there are also bound to be others from your favorite manufacturer.

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What you're looking for is the image scaling settings in your graphic card's drivers. So if it's ATI you look in the Catalyst control center, if it's nVidia, you look in nVidia's control panel. You might need to use tweaked control panels that allow for more settings. I'm fairly certain Intel has it's own GMA panel control thing too, but I don't know if they support on card scaling. People tend to use this setting when they drive an HDTV at it's native resolution and do the software scaling of DVDs and other media because it's better than when it's done in the TV.

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Reset your resolution to the native resolution of the LCD, but increase the DPI setting from the Control Panel.

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