Have you ever taken a photograph you were particularly proud of and wanted to display it as the background for your computer’s desktop? Or even send it to other people to display on theirs? This is called wallpaper, and it is simple and quick to make from an image, but requires that you learn a few things about how computer monitors display images. The resolution of the image must match the resolution of the display to be viewed correctly. If these key items don’t match, the image will either seem too big to fit on the desktop or will be skewed to fit and look distorted.
1. Understand resolution. All computers have a display setting called resolution that affects how much can be displayed on their monitors. Resolution is determined by how many pixels are being displayed at once by width and height. For example, a common display resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels. The higher the resolution, the more pixels are being used to make up the display and more things will fit on the computer screen. This will make them appear smaller, but in reality they are just being displayed at different resolutions. Digital images also have a resolution that is determined the same way, by measuring the pixel dimensions. In digital cameras, this is explained in mega-pixels, as a digital image with 2,048 pixels in width and 1,536 pixels in height has a resolution of 3,145,728 pixels, or 3.1 mega-pixels.
2. Understand why some images don’t work as wallpaper and what you may be able to do to fix that. Certain images you find on websites may be too small to fit your entire desktop background and so are often stretched to fit. This means that a smaller amount of pixels, or a lower resolution, is being stretched out over a higher resolution. This leaves gaps in the image that show up as imperfections or fuzzy areas. If the image is higher resolution that your monitor, then only part of the image will be displayed or the image will often be forced to fit into the smaller resolution, skewing its proportions until it looks funny.
3. Change the resolution of an image to fit the resolution of your desktop background in order to make it wallpaper that fits properly. Open up your favorite imaging program that will let you re-size the image. View the size of your image by pixels dimensions, not by inches or any other type of measurement. Go to your computer’s display settings and find out the resolution of your desktop. Re-size the pixel dimensions of your image to fit your desktop resolution. Now the image can be set as your wallpaper with no distortion.