Display My Video Settings & Edit Them

Adjust video settings to get the most readable display and one that looks best for movies, still pictures and text editing. Some people need a really good display card and monitor in order to do their work. Windows display settings are easily accessed and adjusted. We will go through the process of opening the display settings and changing them quickly.

Getting Started

Go into the video settings by right-clicking any empty space on the Windows Desktop. You can also open Control Panel and click on the “Display” applet. A third way is to click the Start button (bottom left) and enter “desk.cpl” (no quotes) in the open dialog box in Vista and Windows 7 or by clicking “Run” (in Windows XP) and entering it there.

Next, we are presented with a dialog box which has several tabs on it. These control Themes, Desktop, Screen Saver, the basic appearance of Windows and the Display, all at once. The box also has a submenu under the Screen Saver section, which controls the power settings. However, video settings are on the last tab, “Settings.” This is where the screen resolution is set and the screen “refresh rate” can be adjusted. The first thing that comes into view is the screen resolution. Remembering that the Internet is optimized for 800×600, the video settings could be set upwards or downwards from there. Depending on the capability of your computer, it could go higher or lower. An Apple computer with dual-link DVI output (DVI-I) from the card could display as high as 3840×2400, but a PC would probably only go up to 1920×1080.

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Editing Settings

The display settings, next to the network card settings are the second most crucial settings on the computer. If you screw something up, you may not be able to see what you have done.

However, Windows builds in a few “fail safes.” For example, you may choose a very high screen resolution and when it comes up, the letters may be tiny and completely unreadable. Luckily, the settings, once chosen, will display for a few seconds and a box will appear which asks whether you want to keep the new settings. If you are happy and answer “Yes” they will remain at this setting. If you wait too long, it will revert back to the old settings. If the setting is inappropriate for the display device, the EDID stream coming back from it may disallow the settings. This depends on the display, and VGA will not have any of these ramifications. You can also set DPI in the Advanced section of the Settings, which will permit the use of a larger font size, if the resolution makes what’s on the screen appear too small. However, the fonts have to support this manipulation and the settings only get set after a restart of Windows.

Other Considerations

You may want to configure the display settings for two (or more) screens. Before getting started with this, you will need to have configured two actual monitors. This will mean connecting one say to the DVI connector and the other to the VGA socket. Of course you could also have a dual DVI card output, in which case you could hook up each monitor to one of the DVI ports. The software settings are achieved in the same area. First under the “Settings” tab, you will see two squares in the middle of the screen with numbers in them. Bear in mind that the square with the “1” in it is going to be what you consider to be the “primary monitor,” or in other words, the one which displays boot-up information when you start the machine. You will need to position these squares in the way you want to see the two monitors. For instance, if you want one monitor to be above the other one in a vertical configuration, drag the box with the number “2” in it above the other one. However, most people will want to have two monitors on either side of each other, making one long working area left to right. Click the box with the number “2” in it and click the box to select the “Extend my Windows desktop onto this monitor”

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