A setting that has a great deal of effect on the overall look of the Windows desktop, your application windows, and all the other visual aspects of the GUI is the screen resolution. Your monitor and computer's graphics adapter actually determine how high you can set the resolution and the number of screen colors.
The higher resolution you select, the smaller objects appear on the desktop. Higher resolutions also increase the relative amount of space on the desktop and the space inside a window.
Another setting that greatly influences the richness and sharpness of the Windows environment is the color quality setting. Both the resolution and color quality are set in the Display Properties dialog box.
To set your screen resolution and the color quality, right-click the desktop and select Properties from the shortcut menu. Then select the Settings tab (see Figure 2.12).
Figure 2.12. The screen resolution and color quality can be changed on the Settings tab.
You might actually have programs on your computer that operate only at a particular screen resolution. For example, a lot of games require the 640 ¥ 480 mode. Rather than changing the default screen resolution for Windows itself, you can set up these programs so they temporarily run in the 640 ¥ 480 resolution when you start them. Right-click the program's icon on either the desktop or Start menu and then click Properties. On the Compatibility tab, select the Run in 640 ¥ 480 Screen Resolution check box. The program will now run in the 640 ¥ 480 resolution, but your screen will default to the "normal" resolution when you close the application.
To change the screen resolution, move the slider to the left to decrease the resolution or to the right to increase the resolution. The color quality is controlled by the Color Quality drop-down list. Click the list and select your color quality setting. The number of options available depends on your graphics adapter. The highest setting is typically listed as Highest (32 bit). In terms of the lowest setting, you might consider 256 colors, as required by most Windows applications.
After you have made your selections, click OK; a Monitor Settings dialog box appears after the screen resolution has been applied. Click Yes to use the new setting.