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How to change screen resolution on Mac OS X to an unsupported resolution

July 6th, 2008 at 20:07

Mac OS X usualy offers all native resolutions. Some users do need another resolution in some special cases.

A possible solution in such a case is using SwitchResX.

Quote from the project page:

SwitchResX is a tool designed to manage resolutions of all your monitors. Here’s a quick summary:

  • As standard features: it gives you access to most of your monitor settings within its customizable menus (in the Menu Bar or on the Finder Desktop with a Contextual Menu Plugin). SwitchResX incorporates features relative to the Monitor Resolution, Color Depth, Video Mirroring, Display Rotation, Display Overscan into one single utility.
  • Other useful features include saving desktop layout, ie positions of the icons on the desktop and positions of the windows of all open applications, and restore them automatically when the resolution is changed or when you plug or unplug an external monitor.
  • You can disable or deactivate a monitor without having to physically unplug it, allowing you to use a laptop in clamshell mode with external monitor, keyboard and mouse
  • Specialized features allow you to link your monitor settings with system events: Key shortcut pressed, Apple Scripts, Application launched.
  • Advanced features lets you enable more resolutions, or even create new resolutions for your monitor, HDTV, Plasma screen or Video Projector. This advanced feature is very powerful for users requesting complete control over their display resolution.

Yes, some other tools also have some of these features. But only SwitchResX does all that within one single utility.

Examples of applications:

  • Create custom resolutions for using your Mac as a home theater, and plug it to your HDTV
  • Create the custom resolutions needed to correclty use your MacMini in you car
  • Use a 1280×1024 resolution on an external monitor or video projector, on iMacs CRT or eMacs
  • Add 85Hz resolutions (or more!) on some badly detected monitors (eg: IIyama, etc.) where the OS only allows you to use 75Hz
  • Add only the resolutions that you need to the menu bar, and give them names that you can recognize quickly.
  • Define settings for all your monitors in one set, and give them explicit names (“DVD”, “Games”)
  • Let these settings be applied automatically when an application starts, and set back when the application ends.
  • Save icons on your desktop automatically before a resolution change occurs, replace them after the change to an other saved position
  • Save positions and size of your windows, remember their position when you plug an external monitor, automatically back to the previous layout when you unplug the monitor
  • Rearrange your desktop icons on a grid, with finer precision than the Finder
  • SwitchResX can be scripted for resolutions and color depth changes. SwitchResX is even recordable: When it is running, every resolution change is automatically recorded in the script editor…

All that are simple examples, but show the flexibility of SwitchResX. There are certainly other examples which I don’t even know at this time that makes SwitchResX a useful tool, even on MacOS X.

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One Response to “How to change screen resolution on Mac OS X to an unsupported resolution”

  1. Extend iMac Display with 32" LCD - Mac-Forums.com Says:

    [...] native resolution of the TV but there is no guarantee they will work for you. Take a look at this LINK and see if it provides any help for you. [...]

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