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September 2004 HelpLine

Monitor Vs. Photo Size

    * Photos On The Monitor
    * Digital Terms
    * Depth Of Field And Digital Cameras

Photos On The Monitor

Q)  If I open a high-resolution picture from my computer via any photo-imaging software, I can see the entire image. Yet if I attach that image to an e-mail, the recipient opens that picture and it’s huge, and one needs to scroll a mile in each direction to see the whole picture. Why does a high-res picture show so large on a monitor? Why doesn’t it just show full screen or less? I want a high-res picture to be able to be seen on a monitor without having to scroll.

Via e-mail

A)  When you open a picture using an image-editing program, the software resizes the displayed image to fit on your screen. It does this no matter the actual size of the image. Your software has viewing adjustments that allow for zooming in or out, displaying the image in its actual size or “fitting” it to the viewing window. When you step out of the program, you have to deal with the fact that in a simple image display, “a pixel is a pixel.”

Check the display settings for your monitor. On a Windows machine, right-click on the Desktop, click on Properties and look at the Settings tab. On a Mac, check the Displays section of your System Preferences. You might see that your video display card is set for something like 1024×768.


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