Aspect ratio

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This is my first experience with a laptop of any kind, so
I'm sorry if this is a dumb question.

I have a Toshiba L35-S2171, which has a 15.4 inch wide
screen.  When the resolution is set to the maximum 1280x800,
pictures I bring up appear to have the correct, original
aspect ratio.  But everything is very, very small.  Since I
don't see all that well, I wanted to make things bigger.

When I change the resolution to 800x600, pictures appear to
be stretched horizontally and therefore out of aspect.  I
understand why this happens - I have the "Scale image to
panel size" turned on, so it stretches the horizontal
dimension to fill up the screen, so that pictures are
stretched from 1.33 to 1.6, and therefore look funny.

So I tried turning that setting off.  But that results in
the picture being displayed in a "window" of the display
that's actually 800x600, leaving 480x200 pixels unused, so
that the aspect ratio is preserved, but everything is the
same size as it was at 1280x800 - very, very small.

What I want is for the vertical size to fill up the
display, so that the 800x600 is actually displayed at
1067x800, leaving black borders on the sides, and
everything would still be in the correct aspect, but bigger
and easier to see.

On my desktop with a CRT monitor, I switched resolution
routinely, and the aspect ratio was always preserved and
the screen was always filled up.  Is there a way to do that
on the laptop?

It never occurred to me that I would be sorry to have wide
screen, but with the options I've found so far, a standard
1.33 screen would actually work perfectly when I turn on
"Scale Images", just like my CRT does.

How can I make things bigger while still preserving the
aspect ratio?

Re: Aspect ratio

Peabody wrote:

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You can't do what you're trying to do. This question comes up from time
to time. The LCD must be driven at its native aspect ratio in order not
to get either letterboxing or stretching. Your choice of display modes
is fixed by the laptop manufacturer. The only widescreen resolution
offered on the LCD is the native resolution. The other (4:3)
resolutions are provided solely for compatibility if you're running old
games software or using a mirrored display configuration with an
external 4:3 monitor.

Re: Aspect ratio

The issue that you have is not widescreen vs. "normal" (4:3), but rather
LCD vs. CRT.  CRTs have no fixed pixels, and are thus "variable
resolution".  LCDs do have fixed pixels and should only be operated at
their native resolution (1280x800 in your case).  They are "fixed
resolution".  This is true whether it's a laptop or a desktop LCD
display, whether it's widescreen or 4:3.

Things can be made larger, but you are doing it the wrong way.

Set the resolution to 1280x800, then adjust the GDI scaling to make
everything larger.  To do this, Display Properties / Settings /
Advanced, General tab, DPI settings.  You can either try a fixed setting
or you can select "custom setting" and make things as big (or small) as
you like.

That said, 1280x800, 1280x1024 and 1024x768, all common, are all
different aspect ratios, and no picture that just fills the screen on
any of these aspect ratios will exactly fill the screen on the other
aspect ratios without distortion.  Changing the size of things is one
thing (and is possible), but changing the shape of things is another
matter ... it can be done, but not without introducing distortion.

Peabody wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

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