How to get the highest resolution but still see everything big.

Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I just bought my first mac. I have a 2011 mackbook pro 17 with mavericks. I like how eveything looks big on a 1344x840 resolution. But I like the crispness everything has on full resolution (1920 x 1200). Full resolution makes everything way to small for my eyes. I don't want to zoom in on text or anything I just want everything including Icons, text, web pages , EVERYTHING to remain big but still super crisp. How do I do this? Thanks:)
 

pigoo3

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
44,221
Reaction score
1,432
Points
113
Location
U.S.
Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
As you noticed...1920 x 1200 looks the best (crisp/sharp) because this is the MacBook Pro's "native" resolution. Which is always best to use for best visual quality.

And yes...I know exactly what you mean about everything looking so small (I have a similar/same model 17" Model MacBook Pro). This is the price we pay for so much screen "real estate" on just a 17" display.

You can "tweek" a couple things without changing the resolution.

If you're working on the computers desktop area...you can go to:

- Finder menu
- View
- Show View Options

Then adjust the text size (10 thru 16).

If you are using an internet browser like Safari or Chrome...they also have settings that can adjust text size. And the Apple "Mail" app also allows you to adjust text size.

HTH,:)

- Nick
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
Your Mac's Specs
iMac late 2013 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5 - 8GB - 1TB
How to simulate a retina display

I recently purchased a 27 " iMac with a native resolution of 2560 x 1440. Beautiful and crisp but I could not see the tiny text. I was able to simulate a retina display (HiDPI model) on my mac. I was seriously thinking about taking it back and getting the 21" but now its just awesome. This resoulution took care of everything, no more adjustments needed for my browsers, finder menu, it all looks great. Here's how I did it. Here's a link for reference.
osx - How to simulate a retina display (HiDPI mode) in Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion on a non-retina display? - Stack Overflow

Search for, download, and install Apple's free Graphics Tools for Xcode (free Apple Developer account required). Choose the version for your Mac.
Launch Quartz Debug application.
Go to menu: Window ---> UI Resolution.
Check Enable HiDPI display modes.
Quit Quartz Debug.
Open System Preferences.
Select Displays icon.
If using multiple display, select the configuration window on the display you wish to simulate HiDPI mode on.
Under Resolution:, select Scaled radio button.
Find a desired resolution postfixed with (HiDPI) and select it.
Your display is now running in HiDPI mode, simulating a retina display.
 

pigoo3

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
44,221
Reaction score
1,432
Points
113
Location
U.S.
Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
I recently purchased a 27 " iMac with a native resolution of 2560 x 1440. Beautiful and crisp but I could not see the tiny text. I was able to simulate a retina display (HiDPI model) on my mac. I was seriously thinking about taking it back and getting the 21" but now its just awesome. This resoulution took care of everything, no more adjustments needed for my browsers, finder menu, it all looks great. Here's how I did it. Here's a link for reference.

How come a lot of the people who responded in the thread that you linked said it did not work for them?

And if this "adjustment" shrinks the resolution from 2560 x 1440 to something smaller. Then there wasn't much point in getting a 27" iMac.

And FYI…the OP is running Mavericks. Your post says the "trick" is for Mountain Lion. Does it work for Mavericks?

- Nick
 
Joined
Oct 9, 2014
Messages
6
Reaction score
0
Points
1
Location
California
Your Mac's Specs
iMac late 2013 3.4 GHz Intel Core i5 - 8GB - 1TB
How to get the highest resolution but still see everything big

Nick,

Probably because they did not read the instructions correctly. That is my best guess. Yes it works for ML and Mavericks.
I have 2 iMac's an older 24 " and a new 27". By installing the graphic tools and using the Quartz Debug application to enable HiDPI display modes I was able to use these resolutions for my Macs:

Early 2008 24" iMac - 960 x 600 HiDPI - running ML
Late 2013 27" iMac - 1280 x 720 HiDPI - Mavericks

This does not shrink the UI ( lower resolutions increase the user interface ), it makes everything larger but keeps the resoulution crisp and clean like the native resolution that the iMac comes with. All screen real estate is used. If you do this with non HiDPI it will not look good because the lower the resoulution it will never look as good as the native resolution. For a 27″ iMac or Thunderbolt Display select “1280×720 (HiDPI)” to get a perfectly crisp 2x rendering of all on screen graphics.

It works for both ML and Mavericks, you just have to download the correct version from the Apple developer download page. Cheers

Kiki
 

pigoo3

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
44,221
Reaction score
1,432
Points
113
Location
U.S.
Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
This does not shrink the UI ( lower resolutions increase the user interface ), it makes everything larger but keeps the resoulution crisp and clean like the native resolution that the iMac comes with. All screen real estate is used.

By "shrink" I mean that the display resolution (native resolution) of the 27" iMac is reduced from 2560 x 1440 to something else (like you mentioned 1280 x 720)...which shrinks the screen resolution (yes the total display is filled)...but magnifies everything in the process. And the "trick" you mentoned keeps things looking crisp.

This is all fine & dandy...except there's not much point in a person purchasing a 27" iMac (large screen resolution of 2560 x 1440)...if the screen is then "magnified" to the point that the screen resolution is less than the display resolution of a 17" G4 iMac from 2002 (a 12 year old computer)! The native display resolution of a 2002 17" iMac was 1440 x 900.

Yes...I totally understand that the text and everything else is very small on a 27" iMac with a native display resolution of 2560 x 1440. But magnifying things to the point that the resolution is smaller than a 17" 2002 G4 iMac is not the best solution.

In your case with a 27" iMac...you could have saved a bunch of money by getting a 21.5" iMac. Or a Mac-Mini with an external display of your choice (that was better on the eye's).:)

- Nick
 
Last edited:
OP
C
Joined
Oct 8, 2014
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
1
I guess I got a bit confused there. So are you saying that I will be keeping the 1920x1200 but it is magnifying everything as in my UI and browser and such? So if I want to have the high resolution for viewing pictures and keeping my back ground crisp will this work? Also if I want my online video and pictures to be crisp too will this work? I guess what confuses me is I don't know anything about the retina display. Thanks a bunch for the help
 

pigoo3

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
44,221
Reaction score
1,432
Points
113
Location
U.S.
Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
I guess I got a bit confused there. So are you saying that I will be keeping the 1920x1200 but it is magnifying everything as in my UI and browser and such? So if I want to have the high resolution for viewing pictures and keeping my back ground crisp will this work? Also if I want my online video and pictures to be crisp too will this work? I guess what confuses me is I don't know anything about the retina display. Thanks a bunch for the help

If I'm understanding the procedure "kandrus59" posted. Everything would be magnified (similar to what happened when you changed the resolution to 1344x840 that you mentioned in post #1)...except instead of stuff being a little bit "fuzzy" they would be crisper/sharper.

So if I understand the "tweak" mentioned...your 17" MacBook Pro's resolution would not be 1920 x 1200.

I have to say...I am not familiar with this procedure...and I have not heard of it before. So I cannot vouch for it's outcome.

What I think I can say is...if you do this...I think that you will be doing a lot of resolution switching. Just like you would have to do if you were doing what you did before when you switched to 1344x840 resolution.

Use 1344x840 resolution for easier/larger (but fuzzy) viewing of text...then switching back to 1920 x 1200 for doing other stuff.

- Nick
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top