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I have a 15" MacBook Pro with a native (and maximum) desktop resolution of 1440 x 900.

Is there any utilities out there that would let me increase this?

Because this is an LCD display, I imagine if this were possible it would start crunching the pixels making the display less than ideal. I'm ok with this because I would be using OS X's zooming features to zoom into the areas where I want to work and effectively having a larger "virtual" dekstop resolution.

Another way of asking this question: Is there any any tool that would let me zoom out past the desktop resolution (using gestures similar to OS X's built in zoom in/out feature).

FYI, this is for vnc'ing into a much larger resolution computer. I have looked into various vnc viewers but no zooming feature I've found beats the built in OS X zoom.

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As far as I know this is not possible... I'd love to be wrong though! –  Josh Sep 16 '10 at 16:18
    
Might there be a better VNC client that would let you pan around? I know that in LogMeIn you can set it to either scale (zoom out) or you can zoom in all the way and pan around. –  nhinkle Sep 16 '10 at 19:47
    
Interesting question! I'm sure the easiest way to accomplish this would be with a different VNC client, but I don't know if any exist that have that feature. –  NReilingh Sep 17 '10 at 23:59

6 Answers 6

Try JollysFastVNC. It's an excellent VNC client that has "SmartZoom for viewing large remote desktops."

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I know Parallels and VMware -- maybe VirtualBox does too -- allow you to display a higher resolution VM fullscreen and scaled. You could create a VM and remote in from there. It's a heavy-handed solution, I'll admit, but that VM can display at any resolution the virtual display adapter supports.

I wonder, between a VNC client and a VM product, which's scaling is faster/more precise.

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I'm not sure from your question if you've tried this already, but regardless: if you're running Mac OS X 10.5 or later, you'll find that the built-in Screen Sharing app does an excellent job of scaling when connected to VNC servers, allowing you to connect to machines with larger resolutions and use them easily.

It is located at:

/System/Library/CoreServices/Screen Sharing.app

Simply launch it and it'll ask for a host name or IP address.

There is a good (if outdated) guide to it at 9to5Mac.

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You might be able to "fake" a greater screen resolution by some sort of software emulation or other trickery, but I'm afraid you're bound by the hard limitations of your GPU(s) in this case.

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Sorry if this is too obvious, but have you tried using Spaces, Apple's virtual desktop tool? It came with your Mac, and allows you to have multiple, virtual desktops.

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Screenshot of how Spaces + Expose work together: arstechnica.com/civis/viewtopic.php?f=19&t=169825 –  Jamie Cox Nov 10 '10 at 13:15

On OS X 10.3 and 10.4 you could

sleep 3; killall Dock

And in those three seconds, launch Expose, and then interact with the UI with spaces enabled. This is a step toward what you want to do, but no longer seems to work in 10.6.

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Awesome, they should push that towards a usable feature. –  AK. Nov 30 '10 at 19:47

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