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I have had similar issues in the past. Sometimes a program does not support the 'native' resolution of an LCD monitor. This is most apparent using an old program written for 4:3 on a new laptop with 16:9 or similar widescreen format.
In my experience, it has been difficult to get the display not to stretch the image (the programs often ignore any 'preserve aspect ratio' settings).
The other issue - setting the display to higher than the monitor can handle - I have seen handled quite well. The display becomes a 'window' on the window - moving around to show as much as it can, based upon the location of the mouse pointer.
When setting the display resolution, I find it best practice to use the utility that comes with the video card, and not to use the Windows "display properties- advanced settings".
Another item to keep in mind... A monitor's native resolution may be 1024x768m but the computer's video card may be capable of, say, 1600x1200. So you select the higher resolution in the video card, and your monitor display actually looks lower res. That's because, no matter what resolution you send to the monitor, the monitor will convert it back to it's native resolution. It does so by mathematically throwing away a certain amount of detail. So do use the native resolution of your monitor, or if your display card is capable of higher resolution, get a higher res monitor to match it.
Some times you do not want to use the highest resolution allowed by the card and monitor. I installed a big screen monitor for my wife (cataract surgery). The resolution was awsome -Pictures looked like you were there because of the detail, but her system became a dog - not enough memory for this. I had to back it off some. The view is not as awsome, but the speed is back to where she can get things done!
On a similar note, while all is fine, I have problems with some pop-up images where the resolution is too long for the screen[Windows Movie Maker, Open Office]. There is no way possible to move or adjust the pop-up to click the lower buttons [OK,APPLY,CANCEL]. In most cases, I hit enter because the default is OK. But when it isn't - I'm truly confounded, and frustrated. This has been driving me crazy!
Any help on these interim pop-up resolution problems?
Every so often there's some little bit in the computer world that for some reason passes me by. I always knew my screen could go a lot better than 1024x768, so I thought I'd give it ago. I need my glasse's, but the clarity is amazing. I also didn't know it was called negative resolution.
Although Leo has covered the likely option, there is also a possibility that you have set a screen background (wallpaper) that is smaller than the screen can display (if this is the case then icons can appear in the black area, and when you maximise a window, it still fills the whole screen). In this case you need to amend your display settings if you want to change it (though it does no harm as it is).
Adjusting the dpi on a Dell e1705 laptop (17" screen with 1900 x 1200 native resolution) to enlarge the text didn't offer a large enough increase in text size, so I set the display at a lower resolution than the laptops LCD native resolution to help 80+ year old users more easily read the screen.
The laptop displayed a message stating the 1900 x 1200 native resolution should be used for optimal viewing (a message that can be disabled). What I was wondering is if forcing a lower resolution than the native resolution stresses or damages the video system on the laptop. Does anyone have any expertise they can share on this question?
Using a lower resolution won't put any strain on your video system, in fact it's a bit the opposite. It uses fewer resources and may make allow your computer to run a little faster, probably not very noticeably, though.
Thanks for the information - I won't worry about going against the recommended resolution. The screen looks good at the lower resolution, not as sharp as a higher resolution, but having everything appear larger is a big help for older eyes.
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