Modifying the Size of Items in Windows

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2016)

1

When you first install Windows, it tries to cram as much info on the screen as it can at one time. This might make it difficult for you to see things, though. Fortunately, Windows allows you to adjust the size of what it displays.

If you are using Windows 7 or 8, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Hardware and Sound link.
  3. Under the Display heading, click the "Make Text and Other Items Larger or Smaller" link. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. Setting display options in Windows 8.

  5. Near the top of the dialog box is a slider with the word "Smaller" at the left and "Larger" at the right. Drag the slider left or right to specify how large you want items to appear.
  6. Click the Apply button.
  7. Close the Control Panel.
  8. Restart your system.

You may have noticed that the slider control only gives you three levels at which items can be displayed. If you are using Windows 10 you have quite a bit more flexibility. Follow these steps:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Hardware and Sound link.
  3. Under the Display heading, click the "Make Text and Other Items Larger or Smaller" link. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. Setting display options in Windows 10.

What you want to do at this point is to click the "set a custom scaling level" link within the first paragraph. Even though Windows says "not recommended" after the link, I've experienced no ill effects in using this feature of Windows. When you click the link, you see a small dialog box that allows you to specify a magnification level for what Windows displays. (See Figure 3.)

Figure 3. The Custom Sizing Options dialog box.

Using the drop-down list you can see that you can select options between 100% and 500%. This is a bit deceiving, however, as you can actually type in any percentage between those two extremes—you aren't limited to what is shown in the drop-down list. You can, for instance, set a magnification of 162%, if that best suits your needs.

When you've picked the magnification you want, click the OK button to close the Custom Sizing Options dialog box. Then click Apply to actually change the settings. Windows informs you that you need to log out and back in for the changes to take effect; you can choose to do so at this point or at a later time.

 This tip (2489) applies to Windows 7, 8, and 10.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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What is 2 + 1?

2016-05-09 08:48:06

Henry Noble

In addition to the above tips, there is a shortcut that may get you the appearance you want very quickly.
Click on an open area of the Desktop, then hold down the Ctrl key while rolling the scroll wheel on the mouse.
This simple size adjustment often is all that is needed.


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