I have a screen of 17" not panoramic (37.5cm x 18cm) with a maximum resolution of 1280 x 1024. I had windows 7 installed and everything looked ok in a resolution of 1024x748.

I installed windows 7 and the system recommended me the maximum resolution (1280x1024) which made windows looks great but texts were too small. So I changed to big the text in the win-7 init tasks but not all the programs are using this size. For instance Firefox has a very small text and specially small images due to a high resolution. I know I can use ctlr++ to increase it, but I can't change it in other programs and it is a little bit annoying to change it on every start. If I change to a lower resolution (the lower one which keeps the ratio aspect is 1024x748) everything looks a little bit blurry.

So my question is how have you configured your resolution (which value) and font size to see the text and images in a properly size in a similar screen and windows 7.

  • Windows 7 allows you to 'expand' items on screen by effectively reducing the dpi of the display in software (rather than at the monitor, so quality is preserved to some extent). Windows only gives you the option to do this up to 125%, though, and it may not work perfectly... So a good question would be if you can do this to a value larger than 125%, or if there's some kind of good 'full-screen zoom' solution other than this. Jan 24, 2011 at 19:16
  • Increasing the dpi would makes low-res icons (most of them are) look ugly. Most applications were never designed to run in higher dpi setting too, making the layout becomes at best ugly, at worst unusable due to the obstruction of several items. But here's something to consider, most low-end laptops today use 1366x768 as their native resolution, from the tiny 11" to the large 17". That "small texts" are quickly becoming the norm, almost anywhere..
    – Martheen
    Jan 24, 2011 at 19:27
  • @jcrawfordor The problem is not only the text but also the images and videos. I'm asking which values have people set as resolution and for other parameter because I don't have any visual problem and the text is very small and difficult to read at 1280x1024 but blurry in 1024x748.
    – Juanillo
    Jan 24, 2011 at 19:29
  • @Martheen Cahya Paulo If these texts have a "normal size" in a few years everybody will be wearing glasses.
    – Juanillo
    Jan 24, 2011 at 19:31
  • How long you tried them? When the 13" frustrated me, I used 120 dpi for several days until my eyes adapt to the tiny text. Yes, unless I got larger screen later I would be using glasses now, but with LCD we're really at the mercy of the manufacturer. Even some high end laptops use 1920x1080 in a tiny 11" screen.
    – Martheen
    Jan 24, 2011 at 20:23

2 Answers 2


I, unlike those who commented above, am a big proponent of DPI scaling. Compatibility problems still exist, but for the most part the result is great.

[opinion] In fact I would love to have a monitor with 200% the resolution, and use 200% scaling to have an identical image with finer text and lines. I understand we're not there yet, but the fact that we need to resort of colored antialiasing to obtain a somewhat smooth-looking font is proof that there's place for improvement compared to printed material.[/opinion]

  • Set your resolution to native: 1280x1024. Regular font size.
  • Increase DPI scaling (Right-click Desktop, Personalize, Display, Set Custom Text Size). 115% to 125% should work well.
  • Check "Use XP-style scaling", otherwise most applications will be zoomed in and blurry.
  • If you have an application that doesn't respond well to DPI scaling (hidden buttons, etc.), you can disable the scaling for that application only in the Compatibility settings.
  • Increase the minimum font size in your browser slightly.

There are two possible things to look at here:

  1. It could be a property of the display. Unlike the older, bulky, CRT monitors, the newer flat/thin panel displays have one specific resolution where they look best, and scaling down to fewer larger pixels often results in blurry images.
  2. You may also want to check your font settings. Right click on your My Computer icon and choose Properties. Click on the Advanced tab in the window that opens and then click the Settings... button in the Performance area. Now look at the Visual Effects tab. Near the bottom of the list of checkboxes will be an option to Smooth Edges of Screen Fonts. Whether or not this is already checked, you might want to try the opposite of the current setting.

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