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Windows 7 hints and tips

The new Display in the Control Panel

There is a new addition to the Control Panel. Well, there are several actually, but here we take a look at the new Display tool. There isn't a Display in Vista, but its features aren't entirely new. Many of its features have been taken from other parts of the Vista Control Panel, such as Personalization, and they have been combined into this new tool because it is a more logical place for them.

Personalization in Windows 7's Control Panel is just about the icons, wallpaper, mouse pointers, colours and so on. These are features you can customise to your preferences. Display is all about the hardware and the quality of the image

The new Display tool enables you to choose between standard fonts and windows or ones that are 125% larger, which makes everything easier to see if you have poor eyesight. There is an option to select a custom DPI setting too. You get what looks like a ruler on the screen and you can click and drag it left and right to scale the text

You can select the screen resolution, choose the display if you have a multi-monitor setup, and detect and identify monitors. There's a link to open an advanced settings and options dialog for the graphics adaptor too.

In Vista you could enable ClearType, Windows 7 Control Panel Displaywhich is a technique for making text look better on LCD screens by slightly blurring the edges. Not only do you get this option in Windows 7, you also have a ClearType Text Tuner.

This has been available on the web and to download for years, but now it is included in Windows 7's Display tool in the Control Panel.

It is very simple and there are four steps. In each one you see two or more text boxes and you just click the one that looks the best. The result is crisp and clear text.

The final feature in the new Display tool is for calibrating the colour and contrast of the monitor. A series of images are displayed on the screen and you use the monitor's controls to choose the best colour and contrast settings. Examples are displayed showing what to look for or avoid, such as too much or too little contrast, and it is a useful tool.

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