Tips for Working with Mac Display Resolutions

Picture of a cloudy sunset behind trees. There is a body of water in the foreground that is reflecting the trees. The sky is a medium blue and the clouds are pink and orange. The trees and reflection are mostly black. Overlaid on top of this photo are five transparent, overlapping rectangles of different sizes, all starting in the lower right corner and stretching up to the upper left. From top left to lower right, the text on each rectangle indicates a different screen resolution. Those resolutions are 3200x1800, 2880x1620, 2560x1440, 2048x1152, and 1600x900.

You can change the resolution of your Mac’s screen—how many pixels appear—to make text and graphics larger and easier to see or smaller to fit more content onscreen. In System Settings > Displays, Apple shows thumbnails for five likely possibilities. Hover the pointer over a thumbnail to see its numeric resolution underneath. If you prefer the traditional list of numeric resolutions, Option-click a thumbnail—another Option-click in the list brings back the thumbnails. Although the Show All Resolutions switch reveals more options, most will be fuzzy. If you always want to see resolutions as a list, click Advanced at the bottom and turn on Show Resolutions as a List. Finally, look closely for a tiny Easter egg: the text in the thumbnails is the script from Apple’s classic Think Different ad spot.

(Featured image by Adam Engst)

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