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Windows 7: Black Bars Begone!

03 Aug 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit
Black Bars Begone!

Searching through past postings on the forum I noticed much about black bars, whether side or top, related to gaming. My issue with the bars is not about games but more for example in making 1024x768 fill the screen area. I recently got a new monitor, Acer widescreen, 1366x768, and of course anything less than that shows black sidebars.

So, how can I expand 1024 proportionately (or for that matter 800x600) to fit the screen? Btw, the basic suggestion I've read elsewhere is go to CP-Display and slide to native resolution but that's not what I'm addressing here. What I want - and I know this won't sound the most technical - is the "look" of 1024 (or lower) to fill the screen area. On the old CRT I could switch to any size and there were no black bars.

Thanks for any suggestions.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2013   #2


What you want to will not work as you'd like to.

Apparently your old CRT display had 4:3 aspect ratio; you could switch to any other 4:3 resolution without distorting the image.

Now your new display has the aspect ratio 16:9. Hopefully this will explain it for you:

Let's take a 1024*768 image:
Black Bars Begone!-1024x768.jpg
Showing it full screen on a 16:9 1366*768 display, you have three options. First, change its resolution to 1366*768:
Black Bars Begone!-1366x768.jpg
The height remained the same, the width was increased, causing distortion.

Second possibility, to keep image's original size, which leaves the black area either on the left or right:
Black Bars Begone!-1366x768_2.jpg
This is of course only natural as the height of the image remains the same (768 pixels) and the width of the image (1024 pixels) is not enough to cover an area of 1366 pixels.

The last option is to resize the image to 1366*1024 (= same 4:3 aspect ratio than 1024*768) then fill the 16:9 aspect ratio 1366*768 area with this 1366*1024 image, which of course crops the image showing it only partially:
Black Bars Begone!-1366x768_partial.jpg
Check the resolution options using Screen Resolution tool (right click on desktop, select Screen Resolution), and select a 16:9 aspect ratio resolution that suits you.

Tutorial: Screen Resolution - Display Settings


My System SpecsSystem Spec
03 Aug 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 32bit


Thanks for the reply.

Yes, it's all about the aspect ratio. I noted the stretching when I chose maintain aspect ratio in the Graphics Properties panel. Things got stretchy.

I guess I thought that the ratio could have been maintained even if it involved slight scrolling vertically or horizontally. In other words, using your image of the car, it would fill the screen proportionately but you'd have to scroll a bit to see the full image; not that different than when you view a very large image in actual size and you have to scroll to see all of it. Seems odd that that the widescreen can't adjust thusly instead of 'verboten' black bars.

So, with what you've noted, then this is a hardware issue in that the widescreen monitor with it's 16x9 aspect cannot register and compensate the ratio with scrolling? Thus a more 'squarish' monitor such as some of those listed here would be more appropriate?

Since it was an inexpensive monitor then up the road I will have to get one of those shown in the link. For the moment I will have to compensate by using the Firefox add-on 'Zoom Page' for a bigger view.


My System SpecsSystem Spec

03 Aug 2013   #4


You are welcome.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Black Bars Begone!

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