Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Enlarge your text and icons for easier reading

A How To for Windows 7, Vista, and XP

For those of you who find themselves squinting at your screen, or having to lean in real close, just to be able to read that darn small text, there are a couple of quick settings adjustments you can make that will make the items on your screen bigger, without pushing everything off of the edges.

Microsoft calls these adjustments “Accessibility” settings.. which makes a certain amount of sense, if you think of reading your screen as “accessing” the information.

Tip of the day: Enlarge your fonts and icons for easier reading. The first and easiest way is to change the screen settings to a larger dpi (dots per inch), which is not the same thing as changing your screen’s resolution. Your screen resolution is determined (usually) by your monitor’s size, and should be set to the highest setting your monitor allows. This is the number of ‘lines’ drawn to create your screen image, and the more lines you have the crisper (sharper) your image will be, reducing the blocky effect called “pixilation.
However, increasing you resolution has the consequence of making the items on your screen smaller. But, that is what you want to do anyway; the higher the resolution the better.

To offset the shrinking effects of high resolution, (or simply to aid those with less than terrific vision) you may want to increase the dpi number.

Step 1: Right-click on any blank (non-icon) area of your Desktop. Then, click on the bottom menu choice — “Personalize” in Vista/Win7, and “Properties” in older versions.

I will demonstrate Windows 7 first. For older versions, scroll down:

Windows 7
On the bottom left, click on “Ease of Access Center“. Then click on “Make the computer easier to see“.
EoA

Then click “Change the size of text and icons“.
Win7opts

And, finally, you can use one of three presets, or set a ‘custom’ dpi size.
Win7_1

Click Apply, and you’re done.

Vista
dpi.jpg

Click on the menu link (on the left) “Adjust font size (DPI)”, and then click on the lower radio button and change the number from 96 to 120.
scale.jpg

Click Apply, and you’re done.

Windows XP
In XP (and older), there are a few more steps to get to the right menu. From the Display Properties window, click on the Settings tab. In the lower right is an “Advanced” button, click on it. This opens a new Properties window.
scrnprop.jpg
Here you will use the drop-down arrow under “DPI setting:” which allows you to choose 120, or “Custom”. The Custom offers a sliding scale to set the dpi, and you can fine tune your setting here.. perhaps you prefer 112 dots-per-inch. Make sure the “Apply the new settings without restarting” radio button is selected to avoid a un-needed reboot.

These steps will change the over-all appearance of items on your screen, and everything will be larger and easier to read. And things will not get pushed off the edges, which a magnification, or “zoom” tool can sometimes do. If you try this, and do not like the effect, or look, of 120 dpi, simply repeat these steps and set it back to 96.

For more vision-related settings adjustments, read this article as well.

[update: a reader comment has prompted me to make it clear that these Options have been a part of Windows all the way back to Windows 95]

[addenda: If you have tried these options, you may want to consider the purchase of a 22 (or larger) inch LCD monitor. Sure they’re more expensive, but It really does make a tremendous difference. I recently did this for my mother, and she can’t stop commenting on the “wonderful” improvement.]

Today’s free link: Authors, researchers, and teachers know the wonderful depository of information that is the Library of Congress. It is THE place for reference materials, digitized films, and everything ever published in the US. Much of it (if not all) is available online. Check it out, and be amazed.

Orig post: 10/22/07

Copyright 2007-2010 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved. jaanix post to jaanix.


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October 9, 2010 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, Microsoft, PC, tech, tweaks, Vista, Windows, Windows 7, XP | , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

News Items: Death of Web Radio, ISP Spying

A couple of recent tech headlines have caught my eye, and because of their dire implications, I thought I should pass them on to you.

Loyal readers may remember that a year ago now I wrote about the “day of protest” and the Internet Radio Equality Act which was vital to the future of free, public Internet radio and webcasters. (to read my article, click here.)

Today’s title is premature, but not by much. The Copyright Royalty Board ruling that we were warned about is set to take effect. This is all about DRM and “protecting artists”, and so an obscure Federal judge is going to change our current ability to listen to music. Forever.

Pandora is one of the nation’s most popular Web radio services, with about 1 million listeners daily. Its Music Genome Project allows customers to create stations tailored to their own tastes. It is one of the 10 most popular applications for Apple’s iPhone and attracts 40,000 new customers a day. Yet the burgeoning company may be on the verge of collapse, according to its founder, and so may be others like it.

“We’re approaching a pull-the-plug kind of decision,” said Tim Westergren, who founded Pandora. “This is like a last stand for webcasting.”
To read the rest of this Washington Post article, click here.

Your ISP is spying on you:
The second headline probably really won’t surprise anyone — there’s a lot of people watching our surfing habits, and developing profiles on us (for the purposes of bringing us “more relevant” ads). I almost ignored it, as the lead paragraph wasn’t all that shocking..
Cable One last fall conducted a six-month trial of a network-based technology that tracks consumers’ Internet movements in an effort to amass refined data on Web-surfer habits that can be sold to advertisers at premium rates.

But I was intrigued.. what did they mean by “network technology”??? Then I did get shocked and alarmed.

Someone has decided that the firewall technology known as DPI (“deep packet inspection”) may as well be used for full data mining of the traffic flowing through the service provider. Evil, evil someone.

You see, DPI is a method that can see through encryption. It is used for security purposes as it can read every word going over the wire and look for viruses and malware, and sensitive corporate data.

Basically, those Cable One customers had every word they typed read and recorded.. every website they visited.. and any attempts they made at maintaining their privacy (using proxies, anonymizers, or encryption) were foiled at the wire.
To read the whole article, click here.

It’s for better advertising! Yay!
[Attention advertisers: Haven’t you figured out that we ignore you? What do you think the mute button is for? The TiVo? AdBlocker software? Stop wasting your money! You’ve all been duped into believing a huge fallacy.]

Today’s free link: is a repeat, it’s the word “Pandora”, above.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.
jaanix post to jaanix

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August 19, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, Internet, News, privacy, security, tech | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

More tweaks for easier viewing (reposting)

For those of you who find themselves squinting at your screen, or having to lean in real close, just to be able to read that darn small text, there are a couple of quick settings adjustments you can make that will make the items on your screen bigger, without pushing everything off of the edges. Microsoft calls these adjustments “Accessibility” settings.. which makes a certain amount of sense, if you think of reading your screen as “accessing” the information.

Tip of the day: Enlarge your fonts and icons for easier reading. The first and easiest way is to change the screen settings to a larger dpi (dots per inch), which is not the same thing as changing your screen’s resolution. Your screen resolution is determined (usually) by your monitor’s size, and should be set to the highest setting your monitor allows. This is the number of ‘lines’ drawn to create your screen image, and the more lines you have the crisper (sharper) your image will be, reducing the blocky effect called “pixilation.
However, increasing you resolution has the consequence of making the items on your screen smaller. But, that is what you want to do anyway; the higher the resolution the better.

To offset the shrinking effects of high resolution, (or simply to aid those with less than terrific vision) increase the dpi number. Right-click on any blank area of your desktop. Click on the bottom menu choice — “Personalize” in Vista, and “Properties” in older versions. I will demonstrate Vista first.
dpi.jpg
Click on the menu link (on the left) “Adjust font size (DPI)”, and then click on the lower radio button and change the number from 96 to 120.
scale.jpg

In XP (and older), there are a few more steps to get to the right menu. From the Display Properties window, click on the Settings tab. In the lower right is an “Advanced” button, click on it. This opens a new Properties window.
scrnprop.jpg
Here you will use the drop-down arrow under “DPI setting:” which allows you to choose 120, or “Custom”. The Custom offers a sliding scale to set the dpi, and you can fine tune your setting here.. perhaps you prefer 112 dots-per-inch. Make sure the “Apply the new settings without restarting” radio button is selected to avoid a un-needed reboot.

These steps will change the over-all appearance of items on your screen, and everything will be larger and easier to read. And things will not get pushed off the edges, which a magnification, or “zoom” tool can sometimes do. If you try this, and do not like the effect, or look, of 120 dpi, simply repeat these steps and set it back to 96.. or try a number in-between.

For more vision-related settings adjustments, read this article as well.

[update: a reader comment has prompted me to make it clear that these Options have been a part of Windows all the way back to Windows 95] 

[addenda: If you have tried these options, you may want to consider the purchase of a 22 (or larger) inch LCD monitor. Sure they’re more expensive, but It really does make a tremendous difference. I recently did this for my mother, and she can’t stop commenting on the “wonderful” improvement.]

Today’s free link: Authors, researchers, and teachers know the wonderful depository of information that is the Library of Congress. It is THE place for reference materials, digitized films, and everything ever published in the US. Much of it (if not all) is available online. Check it out, and be amazed.

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.

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February 8, 2008 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, PC, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , | Leave a comment