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Screen Resolution and Overcrowding in Windows 8

The best way to fight a crowded screen when working in Windows 8 is to experiment with your screen resolution — the amount of information your screen can display. Windows 8 requires a resolution of 1366 x 768 to snap an app to your desktop's side.

Adjust the resolution for smaller screens

Some people can afford huge screens that pack lots of information onto the display. Other folks have small screens that lack the real estate to display everything. So, how does a website reshape itself to fit every viewer's screen? It can't.

Some fit squarely onto smaller screens but leave white space along the edges of larger screens. Others try to guess a screen's size and automatically resize themselves to fit. Others simply fall off your screen's right edge.

Here are the quick-and-dirty steps for adjusting your screen resolution:

  1. Right-click a blank part of your desktop and choose Screen Resolution.

  2. Click in the Resolution box to see the sliding control.

  3. Slide the Resolution bar to adjust your Screen Resolution.

    Sliding the bar upward packs more information onto the screen but makes everything smaller. Sliding it downward makes everything larger but sometimes leaves parts of the screen hanging off the edge.

Although the resolution setting of 800 x 600 pixels works well for average to small screens, many sites now pack their information into a resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels.

Choose the resolution that lets you pack as much information onto the screen as possible, yet still allow for comfortable reading.

If a web page still seems too small to read, enlarge its text and images by holding down the Ctrl key and pressing +. (Hold down Ctrl and press – to shrink them; hold down Ctrl and press 0 [zero] to return the letters to normal.) This trick works on both versions of Internet Explorer: the desktop's version and the Start screen's version.

Switch out of full-screen mode in Internet Explorer

The desktop's version of Internet Explorer normally lives safely within its own menu-filled window. But occasionally it swells up to fill the entire screen, neatly trimming away both your menus and the desktop's taskbar. Full-screen mode looks great for movies, but the lack of menus leaves you with no way to switch to a different program.

To switch out of full-screen mode, press F11. That toggles full-screen mode, putting your menus back within reach. Press F11 again to watch the movie.

For more information about Windows 8 and its features, explore Windows 8 For Dummies, available online.

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