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What screen resolution should I use?

Jammer Jammer , Aug 22, 2005; 10:42 p.m.

What screen resolution do you use?

I guess I'm finding out that it's wrong now, but for some reason I have always used 600x800.

I have just purchased a new, custom built machine mostly for image editing and I was told by the builder that I should probably have the resolution set to at least 1280X1024 which I have now done but everything seems extremely tiny now. I know how to make the text larger when it's too small to read but that still leaves everything else on the screen looking tiny. Should I just adjust to this new screen resolution or is this really just a matter of preference? Would my photoshop work suffer if I were to keep it at the 600X800?

Something else, related to this same subject. When I set the screen resolution to the suggested 1280x1024, whatever image was on the screen was not filling the entire screen. The suggestion from the builder at that point was to use the controls on the monitor itself to widen the screen image to fill out to the edges of the screen. My question about this is, when working with photo editing, won't this have rendered a false horizontal widening to the image? Won't others who did not have to widen their screen be seeing an image that is less wide than what it looked like on my screen?

I wouldn't be as concerned if I had had to widen and heighten the screen image to fill the screen but as it was, I only had to widen it, therefore I have this feeling that images will be widened in a false way as I look at them.

Am I nuts or do I have a legitimate concern here?

Responses


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Walter Tatulinski , Aug 22, 2005; 11:17 p.m.

You don't say what size monitor you have; the larger the monitor the higher you can set the resolution and still work comfortably. I use a 22 inch Mitsubishi Diamond Pro 2070SB, an Nvidia Quadro FX3400 graphics card, and Windows 2K. Previously, I ran 1024x1200 but, not long ago, changed to 1200x1600 at 85Hz and find that I am enjoying this setting much more. I have adjusted my Windows font size to use 106dpi fonts.

As far as setting the horizontal and vertical geometry, this is what I do. When Windows finishes booting, I adjust the monitor so that the desktop fills the screen almost completely. There is about 1/16 inch of unscanned black mask surrounding the desktop. This is a personal preference of mine. My graphics card has a utility which generates crosshatch and circle displays. These are very useful for setting the linearity of the monitor. You want round circles to be round and squares to be square wherever they appear on the screen.

In my image editing software (Photoshop CS) new images the are created with a screen resolution of 122 dpi measure onscreen true. In other words, if I create a box 5 inches square, a ruler placed against the monitor will measure the box as 5 inches square. This is just another personal preference. Regards.

Ken Dennis , Aug 22, 2005; 11:27 p.m.

If your monitors optimal screen resolution is 1280 x 1024, then that is what you should have it set at, my screens are optimal at 1024 x 768, if we took the very same photo, and put it on both of our screens, the photo would look basically the same, as pixel width and hight of the photo would be as it is, it would not cause a scrunching effect if that is what you are getting at, if a photo is to large to fit on a screen, you would get scroll bars to allow you to see the whole photo by scrolling, in photoshop, the program has the ability to size the photo to fit the screen while working on it, so it will look the same as it did on your other screen, one main difference will be that you will have a better resolution to work with!

I know this answer is pretty basic, and without a lot of tech jargon, because I'M not a tech, and for the most part am not interested in the name of every squeak and wiggle my computers have, as long as I posses enough working knowledge to make it work, I'M happy! so for the tech type description, someone else will have to fill in the blanks! :o)

Jammer Jammer , Aug 22, 2005; 11:49 p.m.

Walter, Thank you very much for your tips and tricks. My monitor is a six year old Trinitron that measures 18 inches from one corner of the actual screen to the other corner.

So, you're saying that this slight ratio change that I have caused my stretching the horizontal size of the screem image, I may be able to correct with controls in my image card?

Thanks again.

Ken, NO! Please, whatever you do, don't talk any more technical that you already did. I have a difficult enough time understanding layman answers to my questions. I'm not what you'd call a PC wizard by any means.

You mentioned optimal screen resolution. How do I find out what resolution is optimal for my particular monitor?

Thanks

Kelly Flanigan , Aug 23, 2005; 01:18 a.m.

Use what works for you.

Here I have 5; 7; 12, 13, 15, 17, 19, and 21 inch monitors; running DOS thru XP; and 480x640 to super high res levels. Some are RIP station boxes; some are tired to servers; so19me to old DOS printers; some retouching boxes; some upload/download boxes. One big 19 inch monitor runs just VGA; and is hung on the wall; showing work spooling thru the RIP. It is readable at a large distance away. Use others numbers as a starting point; like how much mustard one needs on a hotdog. You might spend alot of time retouching; and purposely want to up or down the res...

Jean-Marc Liotier , Aug 23, 2005; 04:24 a.m.

Resolution never high enough

I generally run 1600x1200 on each of my two 19" monitors. Whatever your screen size, resolution is never high enough. Gnome, OS X, KDE, even Windows is capable of displaying multiple text sizes... Just choose one that looks readable to you ! So first increase resolution as high as you monitor allows while maintaining reasonable refresh rates (above 75 Hz is fine). Then correct the display geometry so that the display takes all the available space on the screen, and correct distortions while you are at it if your monitor features this sort of controls. Then choose GUI text size so that text remains readable and your graphical interface remains usable.

Pierre Caillaud , Aug 23, 2005; 08:00 a.m.

Higher resolution = more information on screen ! Once you display a few PS palettes on a 800x600 screen you don't have any space left for the picture.

I used to set my 17" at 1600x1200 75 Hz (a very good Viewsonic Pro, at that resolution you could still count the pixels) and use the smallest possible font sizes !

800x600 makes my eyes cry with all this huge text and scrollbars all over the place because nothing fits xD

Now I've switched to LCD and while my laptop has a low resolution (1280x800) the image quality is so good it's bearable, with a second monitor...

Dave Nelson - Atlanta, GA , Aug 23, 2005; 10:26 a.m.

For 19" CRTs that I do a lot of reading on I prefer the size just under 1280x1024 of 1152x864. On an LCD screen it is best to work at the "optimal" or "native" resolution where one pixel on the screen equals one pixel on the LCD panel.

With a CRT there is no such "optimal" setting unless it is a really cheap monitor that only support high frequency refresh rates at certain sizes. I personally prefer 1152x864 at 85Hz for general use and 1280x1024 at 85Hz for long bouts of Photoshop.

After adjusting the width and height on the monitor open up Photoshop or similar program and draw a Square on the middle of the screen that reachs to around an inch from the top and bottom edges of the screen and use a ruler to make sure that it is actually square adjusting the monitor as necessary. You can also use that ruller to help with adjusting pincushin and rotation.

Jammer Jammer , Aug 23, 2005; 11:03 a.m.

Thanks everyone.

Dave, I know this is probably extremely ignorant but how to I go about drawing what I know to be a "perfect" square to use as a guide.

Would I do that by bringing the grid up and following those lines?

Dave Nelson - Atlanta, GA , Aug 23, 2005; 11:56 a.m.

You could use the grid, or you could make a new image with equal sides, or you could use the marquee or crop tool holding down the shift key.

And nothing says you cannot use your computer at 800x600, it is a personal preference, but 1024x768 or larger is going to give you more room to work with Photoshop and other editing programs.

If you are more comfortable reading text at a lower resolution I suggest changing your resolution to suit your needs at the time. I find that using "DPI Setting: Large Size 120 DPI" causes enough other problems that just lowering the screen resolution is better for me.


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