Friday, 6 March 2009

Windows 7 (and Vista) on the Netbooks – Set Up For Best Display

Windows 7 looks great.  I don’t think anyone has disputed that, and if they have, then I can’t agree with them.

However, just like Vista, it is not without it’s faults when it comes to low resolution screens, such as that found on a netbook such as the Acer Aspire One, upon which I have it installed.

The larger taskbar looks great, and works even better when docked to the left hand side of the screen, since it gives more vertical viewing space, something which is highly import on a netbook since their tends to be only 600 pixels along the vertical.

However, Border Padding, the width of the window frames, a burden brought over from Vista is set at 4 pixels.  meaning a loss of 8 pixels of viewable window area across the width of the window, and 4 pixels at the bottom.  Setting this to 0 gains a few more pixels and enhances the view.

Border padding is just one way you can improve the display for improved viewing on a netbook, here are some more.


To alter these settings, you will need to do the following:  Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Change The Theme > Window Colour > Advanced Appearance Settings

From the Windows Color and Appearance window, use the drop down list to select and set the following settings

  • Active Title Bar – Size “17” – Font Size “8”
  • Active Window Border “1”
  • Border Padding “0”
  • Caption Buttons “17”
  • Icon “30” – Font Size “8”
  • Icon Spacing (Horizontal) - “40”
  • Icon Spacing (Vertical) - “40”
  • Inactive Title Bar “17” – Font Size “8”
  • Inactive Window Border “1”
  • Menu - “16” Font Size “8”
  • Message Box – Font Size “8”
  • Palette Title – “15” – Font Size “8”
  • Scrollbar “15”
  • Selected Items – Size “16” – Font Size “8”

Using these settings I have found you will find that some elements have become, initially, a little more difficult to use.  These include the scroll bar, which you will have to be a little more precise when using, and text will be smaller, and a little more difficult to see.

Use your better judgement to readjust the above given settings to best suit your needs.

Have you found this guide useful?  Would you like to share your thoughts?  Maybe you have made other adjustments to get more out of your netbooks screen space… leave your comments below.

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