Setting up an LCD Monitor on Windows XP


You’ve just put a new LCD monitor on your desk. It’s all connected. You’ve turned on your computer and…. disappointment! You need to put in about 10 minutes setting it up and you’ll be amazed at the difference.

Set the appropriate resolution

LCD monitors work best when the screen resolution is exactly the same as the number of pixels built into the monitor.

Determine the monitor’s optimal resolution

  • If you got a Dell 17″ UltraSharp (Model 1704FPV or 1704FPT), the optimal resolution is 1280×1024.
  • If you have another monitor, look in the pile of papers that came with the monitor.

Tell Windows to use that resolution

  • Right click on the Windows desktop.
  • Select Properties
  • Select Settings
    Move the Screen Resolution slider to the optimal resolution
  • Click OK

Enable ClearType
ClearType is a technology for subpixel rendering. OK, don’t click on that link. Take our word for it that it will improve the look of the characters on your screen.

  • Download the Microsoft ClearType Power Toy from Microsoft’s site.
  • Once installed, open the Control Panel and use “Clear Type Tuning” to tune your display settings.

OK, but stuff is too small to see.

  • Right click on the Windows desktop.
  • Select Properties.
  • Select Settings.
  • Click Advanced.
  • Change the DPI Setting dropdown from 96 to the next larger setting (probably 120).
  • Click OK.

2 Replies to “Setting up an LCD Monitor on Windows XP”

  1. I have installed HPw19b LCD monitor.Clear pictures but print not always sharp /not clear focus.HP suggest no extension socket cables-I use 2 x 4 sockets each.Will a Belkin surgemaster help?I’d need 2!
    Any other ideas? I have done all you suggest.

  2. Thank you for some clear suggestions. I have scanned several websites before I got here. Most were worse than useless. Yours was helpful, even though it’s two years old!

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