Free Windows Backgrounds, Courtesy DOD, and Concorde Aircraft Battery
Screen resolutions are like pants; everybody needs their own size. This doesn't lend well to some photographs, as you see them either tile, stretch, or leave a border on your computer screen when you try to use them as a background image. This page is designed to help you understand how your screen resolution functions, and how to make a background look good on your screen.
How To Start
First find your screen resolution, by clicking on the screen or resolution properties on your computer. Settings, control panel, or YAST are where you want to look, depending on your operating system. Once you located the size of your screen or screens, we can find a photograph that will function as the desktop background. There are a few approaches, and we will go over 2 here.
Larger Photo Than Background.
The easiest way to install a background is to find a photo that is at least bigger than the screen. The photo will then fully cover the background color it sits on, without stretching, or being disfigured. If you find an image that is almost the right size, simply crop off the edges and center the image with your operating system's desktop controls.
Resizing Backgrounds with Aspect Ratios: Aspect ratios are the width over the height, in ratio format. So a 3:2 screen has 3 pixels horizontally, for every 2 vertically. To add photos to your option list, use screens sizes that have the same aspect ratio from the chart below. When you install the background photograph, the photo will scale between all screen sizes that have the same aspect ratio, seamlessly. This avoids the stretching, squeezing, or other problems that can arise from putting the background on your desktop. For instance a 2048 x 1536 QXGA screen desktop will scale nicely to the following sizes (green backgrounds on the 8:5 line in diagram below):
- WUXGA 1920 x 1200
- WSXGA+ 1680 x 1050
- WXGA 1280 x 800
The trick is to find photos that have dimensions that correlate to your desktop size, so the photo scales properly, or an image that is bigger than your screen and you crop off the edges. Your goal is to search for Windows Backgrounds that will fit correctly on YOUR screen, the way YOU like it.
For instance, a 1024 x 768 screen has an orange background in the photo below. The largest size with an orange background is 2048 x 1536, so it should scale nicely (happens to be 2x, so it would scale to 1/2 x crisply). If you can't find a 2048 x 1536 photo you like, use a size from a tile with an orange background to get the same clean effect. Should you be unable to locate a photo with exact dimensions, try selecting photos that are from the tile colors one point up or down the scale. In other words, if you can not find a nice 4:3 resolution background, look at 5:4 or 3:2 photos next.
Obviously, we can't please all the people all the time. Should these formats be the wrong size for your system, we ask that simply download them, and then push them through appropriate image cropping software to shrink them. Windows comes standard with Paint installed (accessories tab in Programs), or you can tell Windows to do it for you. The reasoning behind the background formats chosen is simple; we went with the statistics. We then tried to account for the most popular dual screen resolutions. Newer systems are starting to run native at larger resolutions as well. These backgrounds should work fine with dual monitor systems, XVGA, WXGA, SXGA, WSXGA+, HD, XGA, WXGA, WUXGA, HD 720 Screens and Full 1080 systems.
Want to see how many sizes there really are out there? Here are the first 50 out of over 7000 we have seen over the website statistics in a month. Currently the most popular screen resolutions for our segment of the internet community are as follows:
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