Most applications are best run at a high resolution to ensure you have plenty of screen space, however some games require you to change your screen resolution to a setting which the game supports.
To change your screen resolution, you would generally need to go into your display properties and tinker with a few settings. While this is easy enough to do occasionally, if it is something you want to do regularly, it becomes quite an annoying process. It gets even worse if you require low resolutions, as they are not always made available to you here. You would need to go further and enter into the advanced section of your display properties to switch between the resolutions.
I constantly need to switch between 1280×1024 and 640×480, as my CRT TV only supports the lower resolution. I used ResChange to setup some desktop shortcuts to make the job much quicker and easier. I can also see this being useful for a range of scenarios such as wide-screen laptops connecting to 16:9 projectors on a regular basis.
ResChange is a command line utility which will do as the name suggests, change your resolution. You can apply a whole range of switches such as height, width, frequency, as well as telling ResChange which monitor to do the change to if you have dual screen setup (defaults to monitor 1).
Once installed, I made shortcuts with the following switches:
For 640×480 I used
”reschange.exe” -width=640 -height=480 -refresh=60
For 1280×1024 I used
”reschange.exe” -width=1280 -height=1024 -refresh=max
While compatibility mode would allow me to run some things at the lower resolution, not all programs support it, so changing the resolution of Windows was best. This has worked flawlessly for me in both XP and Vista. If you need a range of resolutions, you could make a start menu group with multiple shortcuts for various resolutions in there.
(Update 4/8/08: This is now called Display Changer. There are some new features whcih make it even more handy.)
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