Thursday, January 24, 2008

How do I change the desktop icon size?

I can remember after buying my 24" Dell monitor (2407 WFP-HC) which supports a resolution of 1920x1200, the first thing that struck me when using the native resolution, was the size of the icons compared to all the unused desktop space. It was really nice.

On the MacBook, you cannot increase the resolution higher than 1280x800 but you can change the icon size to give the impression that your resolution is higher than it really is. Here is how.

  1. First right-click on your desktop and select "Show View Options"



  2. You will be presented with a new window that allows you to change several aspects of the icon
    • Icon size: The actual size of the icon
    • Grid spacing: The distance between the icons
    • Text size: The size of the text
    • Label position: Where the text displays in relation to the icon
    • Show item info: Additional info about the icon such as disk space available for the hard disk icon or the size of an image
    • Show icon preview: For an image, the icon will display as a shrunk image of the file itself

  3. Play around with the icon size preference to find the look and feel you are comfortable with. Generally I use an icon size of 32 x 32 and text size of 10pt.



  4. It may not be for everyone but you can even increase the size of the icons. As an example, here is what a desktop with an icon size of 128 x 128 and text size of 16pt looks like.



To go one step further, you can also reduce the size of the dock. Here is how.
  1. Start by going to "System Preferences" from the main menu



  2. Then select "Dock" to get the properties in order to change the settings.



  3. Details of the settings taken from the "Help"

    PeferenceExplanation
    Dock SizeDrag the slider to change the Dock size.
    MagnificationDrag the slider toward "Max" to enlarge the icons when the pointer is over them.
    Position on screenChoose a location for the Dock.
    Minimize usingChoose the effect used when you minimize a window. If you're unsure of the choices, try them out.
    Animate opening applicationsSelect this checkbox to make icons bounce when you open applications.
    Automatically hide and show the DockSelect this checkbox to hide the Dock when you’re not using it. If you hide the Dock, move the pointer to the bottom or side of the screen to see it.


    As you can see it is very easy to change the size of the desktop icons. After this change, does the desktop appear larger? Here is what my desktop looks like now.




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