Hopefully there is a positive answer to this question:

I have a 15.4" laptop with native screen resolution of 1920x1200. You can imagine that everything is completely unreadable by default. If I increase the font size it becomes readable, but ugly.

Is it possible to set the "real" resolution to 1920x1200 so it plays nice with the monitor, but set some "virtual" resolution of 1440x900 so that everything starts looking nice.

Note: If I just change the resolution to 1440x900 everything becomes blurry, since this is not the monitor's default resolution.

I know that having a small monitor with high resolution is not very optimal - not my choice.

(Using nvidia GF8400M)

2 Answers 2


There is not a way to keep the monitor at its native resolution but resize all the fonts (on a raster-based graphical user interface) without introducing some amount of pixelation. You're fighting natural laws.

The best you can do is try to optimize for 'least blurring'.

In GNOME, for instance, you can change both the DPI and "Font Size" independently, so maybe if you tweak those enough you can find a decent compromise.

You might also try alternate display technologies, such as viewing the desktop over RDP or VNC, which have their own algorithms for resizing.

Ultimately your best result would be to attach a monitor with different native resolution (or an analog CRT monitor) - either that, or spend $20 on some reading glasses!

  • 2
    +1 Yes, exactly. Big resolution is not a problem, font size is.
    – liori
    May 26, 2010 at 19:16

I would check for a theme with larger fonts. Or you can fiddle with the fonts yourself (which you have already done). I got my annoyingly high resolution screen to a manageable point over the course of several days of tweaking.

Related, you play with the "Assistive Technologies" preferences. There is a screen magnifying feature

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