Just Make It Work! How to find and change your screen resolution on Windows or Mac OSX

by Meg on January 31, 2011

Just make it work is a series of articles aimed at helping women embrace technology to make their life easier!  Tech for non-tech girls by girls.

Just Make It Work!  How to find and change your screen resolution on Windows or Mac OSX

Knowing your screen resolution is a good thing!  It can help maximize your screen’s potential as well as help your eyes.  I’ve provided a PC Windows 7 and Mac OSX guide, as well as some other good pieces of information!  Once you know your resolution, you can also find Desktop backgrounds that fit your display without them stretching.


1. What does screen resolution mean?

When you see or hear something like 1920×1200 or 1600×1200, the numbers refer to how many pixels can be displayed.  The first number references how many pixels horizontally can be displayed.  The second number refers to the vertical pixel count.  So, it means width by height.

2. Okay, so what do the numbers mean, really?
The higher the numbers, the smaller things will look on your screen.  However, this means you can see more things!  Take a look at the difference between these two captures of my desktop.

You can see in the first one, my normal resolution, that I can see a LOT more things!


The second on is a very big extreme, but you get the idea of how all the windows had to stack on top of each other.

3. How do I change my resolution in Windows?
This example is for Windows 7, however, it should be almost the exact same for older generations (XP, Vista, etc).

A.


#1 Click on the start button
#2 Click on Control Panel

B.

#1 Click on Appearances and Personalization option

C.


#1. Click on Adjust Screen Resolution

D.


#1 Click on the Resolution Drop Down Menu to see your options.  Pick the highest on the list that your eyes can stand.  You will have a 15 seconds to accept the new resolution before it will revert back to the old on.
#2 If you are unsure of what resolution you should use, click the Identify button to help you!

4. How do I change my resolution on my Mac for OSX?

A.

#1 Click on the Apple in the upper left corner, then click on System Preferences

B.

#1 Click on Displays
C.


#1 Make sure “Display” is clicked
#2 Adjust Resolution here.  Pick the highest your eyes can stand.
#3 If you are unsure of what resolution you should use, click the Detect button to help you!

 

 

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