If you double the virtual resolution of the screen without increasing
its physical resolution, you will lose half the resolution in each
application window. Although graphics will remain recognizable, the text
will be unreadable and most interface controls will be unusable.
A much better way of optimizing your screen usage is to use a tool that,
like Expose for the Macintosh, responds to a user-defined hotkey by
temporarily shrinking and tiling all of your windows. Once you click
on an application window, that window will come to the foreground
at its normal size while the other windows return to their previous
configuration. This approach lets you view a shrunken image of your
applications on a per-need basis whereas most of the time you use each
individual application at its normal resolution.
Two applications that achieve this effect under XP are WinPLOSION
and Exposer for Windows. Each one offers a limited-time free trial. A
permanent activation code costs $9.95 for WinPLOSION and $7 for Exposer.
Exposer for Windows: Home
Another approach to increasing your screen's real estate is to use the
free tool SDesk, which stands for Scrollable Desktop. As the name implies,
SDesk gives you one giant desktop that extends beyond the visible window's
borders. A small display in the corner shows you which part of the desktop
you are looking at, and you can quickly snap the view to one of several
Finally, you can use the virtual-desktop stratagem, wherein you switch
between different groups of windows to view. It's like having multiple
monitors, except that you only see one monitor at a time. This is the
approach I use myself, and I love it. My 17" LCD has a native resolution
of 1280x1024, but with five virtual desktops, I can have dozens of
windows open at one time without great confusion.
There are many inexpensive third-party programs that implement virtual
desktops on Windows XP. Then there is a completely free download from
Microsoft itself, which I recommend for system stability even though
it limits you to four virtual desktops. On the following page, scroll
down to "Virtual Desktop Manager" for a brief description.
Microsoft: PowerToys for Windows XP
Microsoft: Virtual Desktop Manager download
It has been a pleasure to address this question on your behalf.
Request for Answer Clarification by
21 Oct 2005 12:40 PDT
Thanks for your well-thought out reply. However I've looked at each of
the products suggested, and none of them seem to function like the
'driver' i requested.
Exposer comes close, but if I try and use the window, it pops back to
You are correct that some text would be hard to read with the method i
am looking for, however thats the root i need to go... I'm using it
for software demos, so i need all the windows to update in
real-time.... The suggested produccts also will not update the
windows... the resize a 'snapshot' only of the last time the window