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Due to some hardware or software disease, my windows 7 machine is presenting it's video with a non-square pixel aspect ratio, approximately 1.2:1, so squares appear as horizontally stretched rectangles. I assumed that this was analog artifact of the monitor, which is more landscape than used to be standard.

However, I recently captured a screen shot of a square and printed it directly from the screen shot utility (SRip32), and to my amazement, it printed as a rectangle. The same square, printed directly by photoshop, prints as a square, as expected.

-- How does SRIP32 even know about the non-square pixels? -- Does this offer a clue what's causing the problem in the first place?

(the underlying problem appeared mysteriously one day a month ago.)

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I guess the root cause could be:

  1. the monitor. There are settings which might make your image look this way: aspect ratio, sharpness, pixel clock, phase. Try readjusting your monitor settings.
  2. Windows resolution settings. Somehow your resolution is different from the full res your monitor can handle, thus stretching the pixels.

Nothing else comes to mind at the moment.

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That's certainly the problem - that the monitor is designed for 1600x1080 but the generic vga driver will only give me 1600x1200. But what windows API did "srip32" use to figure out I had the mismatch. – ddyer Apr 1 '13 at 21:47
It's almost impossible. An application don't know how the image looks in a monitor. The only thing that comes to mind is it somehow detects the monitor type and the highest resolution, and compare that to the actual resolution of the screen and simulates the image stretch. – user127350 Apr 5 '13 at 10:46

A square is a square no matter how you see it. If it has for ex. 100px width and height, obviously it will be printed as such. Printers and print programs take into consideration the meta descriptors of data, regardless of how this data is presented through the screen.

Same thing goes on for color, if you monitor is miscalibrated and blue might be closer to cyan not matter how you set your screen a printer will use full blue as it's programmed to do through the metadata of that color.

Since you pointed out you can't do 1080, only 1200, it stands to reason that some pixels will get skewed (those extra added to 1200 above 1080) to fit on the screen's dimensions. My question to you is: why generic drivers? These are meant to give basic video until you put the real drivers on. Try the real drivers, both AMD and NV have advanced resolution configurations.

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due to some unidentified hardware or software disease, this machine reverted to only seeing my video card as generic vga. You missed the question completely. If I put up a 100x100 pixel square, and print it from photoshop "print" it prints as a square image, as expected, even though on the monitor it looks like a rectangular image. If I screensnap the 100x100 pixel square, and print from the snap utility, it prints as a rectangle. Somewhere, somehow, the snap utility is deducing the physical properties of my screen. – ddyer Apr 1 '13 at 23:51
There are no "disease", just user error. I didn't miss anything, it's just that what you've described was irrelevant to the issue. You don't need to debug srip32, fix your own computer first. Try to reinstall the drivers, scan your computer for viruses, check your hardware for malfunction. I tried srip32 on 1280x720 on a PROPER functioning computer, by the looks of it it tries to determine ratios on its own, it doesn't use a standard practice method to get the aspect right which in itself is a user error of the programer who coded the app. BTW, it's a beta app, no wonder. – JasonXA Apr 3 '13 at 0:53

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