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OSXpert
OSXpert, Mac Software Engineer
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 226
Experience:  2 years as a geek squad computer technician, 5 years as a software engineer and unix systems admin
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hi everything on my mac screen is smaller, but in perfect

This answer was rated:

hi
everything on my mac screen is smaller, but in perfect resolution

OSXpert :

Hi, my name is Britton. Are you available?

Customer:

yes

OSXpert :

Good deal -- it sounds like your resolution has been increased, which will increase the number of pixels used for each object on the scree, but will make them appear smaller.

OSXpert :

What kind of Mac are you running?

Customer:

imac 7.1

Customer:

everything was ok, and now everything is smaller

Customer:

i cannot figure out how to get it back

OSXpert :

is it brand new, or did you just upgrade to Lion recently?

Customer:

not new, not upgraded to lion

Customer:

2007 i think

OSXpert :

I see, let's see what your resolution is set to first, also, how big is the screen on your iMac?

Customer:

20 inch

Customer:

set to 1680x1050

Customer:

1344x840 looks more like it was...i think, but everything is out of focus

OSXpert :

hmmm, the icons looks a bit grainy when you set the resolution down a bit?

Customer:

yes, most definitely

Customer:

i was playing a game, and tried to escape out and when i did it changed everything

Customer:

now i cannot figure out how to put it back!

OSXpert :

I hate to beat a dead horse, but I am 99% sure it has to be the screen resolution. Most games will change the resolution when they run to improve performance -- now the question is, what did you have the resolution set to before you started the game. Do you remember ever adjusting it in the past? By default, Mac OS X will use the native resolution of the screen, which, in your case, is 1680x1050

Customer:

i thought the same thing

Customer:

never adjusted it before

Customer:

i have spent hours on this issue already

Customer:

just about to drive to the apple store...

OSXpert :

and just to confirm, everything is affected i.e. text size in Finder windows, text size in documents, icons on the desktop, safar....ALL graphical elements, correct?

Customer:

yes

Customer:

i opened up excel, ms word, and few other applications

OSXpert :

and to confirm, you have tried enabling System Preferences->Universal Access->Zoom

Customer:

will look at that again

Customer:

yes, its on

OSXpert :

okay, please disable it for me to eliminate additional variables

Customer:

its off now

OSXpert :

When you adjusted the resolution, it may have looked poor because you chose a 4:3 (or other) resolution. Your display is a 16:10 resolution, you'll want to choose another resolution that's also 16:10. Try setting it to 1440x900



 

Customer:

i do not have that option of 1440x900

OSXpert :

can you tell me what the first few resolutions (below 1680x1050) are available?

Customer:

none

Customer:

maybe that is the problem, they are wiped out

OSXpert :

you cannot choose any other resolutions?

Customer:

all the other choices are smaller

Customer:

next smallest, 1344x840, then 1280x800, then 1024x768 (stretched)...

OSXpert :

1280x800 might look decent, try it

Customer:

this is more of what i remember, but the focus is terrible!!

Customer:

it was never like this

OSXpert :

okay, that's probably not it then

Customer:

looking at this screen makes me feel like i am losing my vision

Customer:

but the overall size seems closer to what i remember

OSXpert :

yeah, that doesn't sound right...

Customer:

i have searched a lot of websites, no luck anywhere

OSXpert :

I am running out of ideas...I'm sorry I don't have an answer for you right off the bat, I can refer you to another expert to see if someone else has an idea. Other than that, without seeing your screen and being able to sit in front of your Mac, it's going to be difficult for me to solve this...

Customer:

:(

Customer:

i am starting to believe that even sitting in front of the mac isn't going to help either

OSXpert :

yes -- well, also without knowing what it looked like before is going to make things tough as well

Customer:

i was hoping it was an easy fix on something i had not thought of yet

Customer:

everything was larger than it is now, and in focus

OSXpert :

maybe a stupid question, but, have you tried a reboot?

Customer:

three times

Customer:

its not a stupid question

OSXpert :

okay, just for kicks, let's try booting into safe mode, have you tried that yet?

Customer:

at first i thought it was limited to safari, but found it was more widespread

Customer:

ok, you got me..."safe mode"?

OSXpert :

okay, try this...

Customer:

ok, how can i find you if i have to reboot?

Customer:

the email...

OSXpert :

do you have a link in your email from JustAnswer?


 

OSXpert :

yes

Customer:

To start up into Safe Mode (to Safe Boot), do this:



  1. Be sure your Mac is shut down.

  2. Press the power button.

  3. Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold the Shift key. The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone, but not before the tone.

  4. Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).


 

Customer:

found that on the apple site, ok, doing this now...

OSXpert :

yes

Customer:

back in three minutes...

OSXpert :

okay

Customer:

im back

Customer:

this is how it was

Customer:

so now what...

Customer:

the safe boot process is SLOW

OSXpert :

yeah, it can take some time. So, no dice then? Screen still too small?

Customer:

no, safe boot corrected the issue

OSXpert :

ahh, excellent

OSXpert :

sounds like you're in business then?

Customer:

well

Customer:

now i have new problems

OSXpert :

oh man...

OSXpert :

what happened now?

Customer:

like excel has only a fraction of the fonts it used to have

OSXpert :

are you still in Safe mode, or did you reboot after the machine booted into safe mode?

Customer:

what is 'safe boot' anyway...

Customer:

still in safe boot

Customer:

should i reboot again?

OSXpert :

basically a method of booting that cleans up files and settings in Mac OS X..

Customer:

restart or shutdown, restart

Customer:

ok

OSXpert :

you need to boot back normally after booting into safe boot. Go ahead and restart and allow the machine to boot normally

Customer:

so it should be ok if i restart then?

Customer:

ok

Customer:

back

Customer:

its fixed

OSXpert :

nice

Customer:

but i can't explain it

OSXpert :

check your fonts and such...

OSXpert :

make sure they're all normal

OSXpert :

...in Excel I mean

Customer:

i did

OSXpert :

excellent

OSXpert :

are you back in business then?

Customer:

i am, but i dont know where it went wrong for next time

Customer:

the difference is slight, but its noticeable

Customer:

or should i say...WAS slight

OSXpert :

I see

OSXpert :

well, keep this technique in mind for next time, safe boot can correct a lot of different issues

Customer:

thank you for not giving up on me

OSXpert :

you bet

Customer:

may your next problem you tackle be easier...

Customer:

ciao

OSXpert :

haha, thanks...

OSXpert :

If you're totally satisfied with the information I have given you, would you mind clicking accept



 

OSXpert :

if not, we can continue troubleshooting

OSXpert and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you