Add dots for a size easier on the eyes


March 04, 2004|By James Coates | James Coates,Chicago Tribune

When I purchased the Dell laptop, an Inspiron, I wanted that model because it had a nice full screen. However, when I go to my home page or play solitaire, the text and images are minuscule. I've tried to enlarge them, but I just get the background enlarged, not the items. The cards remain about a quarter-inch big, as opposed to my old workhorse desktop where the images fill the screen. Do you know how to enlarge these programs?

Until I was 50 years old, I thought "presbyopic" meant a Protestant minister, and now that I am as nearsighted (presbyopic) as a barn owl, I have learned both a big word and how to make the display on your laptop as big as you'd like.

Let's start with how to make the icon displays bigger, which is the easiest fix. Move the cursor arrow out onto the desktop and press the right button and select Properties. Select Appearance from the tabs at the top of the display. Now click on Effects and check the button for large icons. That will make your desktop icons bigger by a bunch.

Now on to increasing the size of programs that get displayed, such as your Web home page.

The trick here is to change the Windows XP display settings from 96 dots per inch to a larger 120 dpi. It's this simple: Move the cursor arrow onto the desktop, right-click and pick Properties. Select the tab for Appearance and then select Settings. Then select Advanced. Look for the tab called General. Open it and you will find the command for dots per inch.

You will be startled at how different your screen looks after making the change from 96 to 120 dpi. If it seems too profound you can use a customize option on the same menu to set a lower number than 120, say 110.

Either way you'll be ripping through those solitaire decks on the laptop just as comfortably as you have been doing on that sturdy desktop. And remember, you can always return to the current settings just by reversing these instructions.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. Contact James Coates at

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