Check your monitor is working properly and make your display easier on the eye
Using a computer for prolonged periods can be damaging to your eyes, especially if you find the display hard to see or struggle to read small text.
While it is always advisable to take regular breaks from looking at a computer monitor, there are a number of things that can be done to ensure that when you are using a PC the display is eye-friendly. If you have vision problems Windows has built-in tools to make using a PC easier, while simple maintenance tasks can also radically improve the appearance of a computer display.
If a PC monitor isn’t displaying correctly it could be because of a loose connection. VGA and DVI cables, used on the majority of monitors, are fixed in place using two small screws that should be tightened in order to secure them firmly.
Disconnecting and reconnecting the cable and ensuring it is firmly connected is always good practice if a display goes blank or colours appear strange. If this doesn’t work, try another cable as the current one could be faulty.
In some older CRT monitors, degaussing can help improve picture quality as colours can become distorted. This process decreases the magnetic field that can build up inside the monitor.
To perform a degauss, use the buttons on the monitor itself to access the menu and select the option to degauss the monitor. The screen might make a popping noise and temporarily warp the picture, but after a few seconds it will return to normal and there should be a noticeable improvement.
A lot of settings on a monitor can be easily adjusted using the buttons on the front or side of the display. To access the monitor settings, press the menu button on the monitor to see an on-screen display of various settings for colour, contrast and brightness.
Different settings will work best for different people with some preferring a dimmer, colder looking display and others a brighter, warmer looking one. Tweaking the settings can really improve how a monitor looks and ensure that it displays colours how they are meant to look. Some monitors will have an ‘auto’ or ‘reset’ option that will restore the monitor to its original factory settings.
If you have difficulty seeing things on your monitor, there are a number of options to change its appearance. In Windows XP or Windows 7 press Alt, Shift and Print Screen to enable High Contrast.
It might make things look rather psychedelic, but for some people the use of contrasting colours can significantly improve visibility, especially when dealing with large text documents. Another useful option in Windows XP and 7 is to change the font size.
In XP right-click on the Desktop, select Properties and click the Appearance tab. In the dropdown menu labelled Font Size select a larger font size. In Windows 7, click on Start,Control Panel, Appearance and Personalisation, Display and select ‘Set custom text size (DPI)’ from the left-hand menu. Use the slide-ruler or the percentage option to make the Windows font bigger or smaller.
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