Every now and then, things can happen that cause the images and text on your screen to become so big they don’t fit on your screen anymore. In some cases this is done purposely, but more often than not, it’s done accidentally and can really make it difficult to navigate as you find yourself having to scroll all over the place to find what you’re looking for- never mind finding out how to return your screen to normal!
This article addresses some of the common causes for this problem and how to get things back to normal size.
There are several ways you may experience the problem and they’re not always the same. For example, in some cases the problem exists for everything on your screen where even your desktop icons have become gigantic. In other cases, only the stuff inside a particular window or application has become too large to fit inside the window. Common problems here include Internet web pages being too big, or documents such as Microsoft Word or Excel being too big to fit. Here are a few scenarios…
Everything on the screen is too big, icons, text, everything. Even the desktop is too big
What it is: This usually happens when your screen resolution is set too low. This also rarely happens by accident and may indicate a bigger problem like corrupted video drivers.
What to do: Click Start and go to Control Panel. In Control Panel open Display. In the Display Properties window choose the Settings tab. Look for a slider labeled ‘screen resolution’ that slides from ‘less’ on the left to ‘more’ on the right. Slide it towards ‘more’ and you should see the numbers below the slider change. This is your screen resolution and higher numbers means everything on screen will appear smaller while lower numbers will make everything appear larger. After changing resolution, click the apply button to test the new settings. Don’t worry if it blanks your screen, it will reset itself in 15 seconds if you can’t see it. If you can’t move the slider or the slider is ‘grayed-out’, you may have a more serious issue that is beyond the scope of this article, and may want to consider professional help.
Everything else on my screen is normal-sized, but web pages appear too large inside Internet Explorer
What it is: There are several possible sources. One possibility is that the text display size is set to larger than normal. Another possibility (Internet Explorer 7 & 8 only) is that your screen view is ‘zoomed’ in. The latter problem is common because it’s easy to zoom by mistake
What to do: Look to the lower right-hand corner of your Internet Explorer screen for a magnifying glass icon followed by a numeric percentage (with Explorer maximized, it’s just above your system clock). If you don’t see the magnifying glass icon, you’re probably using an older version of Internet Explorer that doesn’t support zooming and should go on to the instructions for adjusting text size. If you do see the magnifying glass, look at the number next to it. Anything over 100% means you’re zoomed in. To change zoom level, click the magnifying glass and it will cycle through a variety of zoom settings then roll back around to 100%. Adjusting text size in Internet Explorer: Pull down the View menu and hover your mouse pointer over Text Size which will open a submenu. The “normal” size is ‘Medium’.
My Microsoft Word or Excel files are too big and won’t fit inside the application window
What it is: Word and Excel both support page resizing or zooming to allow you to view more or less detail.
What to do: Look through your toolbars/icons at the top of the page for a number followed by a percent sign (location varies depending on what version of Word or Excel you’re running). Clicking on the downward-pointing arrowhead to the right of that number will display a number of zoom levels including options like “page width”. Experimenting with different zoom levels is the best way to find what suits your own needs.
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This article was written by Andy Trask, Head Geek at Geek Housecalls, the New England area’s original traveling computer geeks, on the web at www.geekhousecalls.com. Geek Housecalls specializes in “anything computer” and, since 2001, has become the trusted in-home computer and technology support provider for over 15,000 families and small business computer users in eastern Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and southern New Hampshire. For help with your computers, gadgets, or network at home or at the office, click here to contact Geek Housecalls via the web, or call toll free:
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