How Do I Resize a Graphic to the Desktop Wallpaper Size?

Written by aurelio locsin
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How Do I Resize a Graphic to the Desktop Wallpaper Size?
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

The desktop wallpaper on your computer system presents an opportunity to display pictures that are meaningful to you. You can show off your family, cheer your favourite team or display achievements from your hobbies. However, if your picture is too small for the screen, it may disappear among all the icons. On the other hand, if it's too big, parts may be cut off. Resizing a picture involves determining your screen dimensions and then using an external art program.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Photoshop or other graphics program that can resize images

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  1. 1

    Click “Start” and choose “Control Panel” to open its window.

  2. 2

    Double-click “Display” to reveal its dialogue box.

  3. 3

    Choose the “Settings” tab. The desktop dimensions are listed under “Screen Resolution.” Note these numbers because you will need them when resizing.

  4. 4

    Click “Cancel” to close the dialogue box without saving any changes.

  1. 1

    Open the image using a graphics program like Photoshop. Try to use an image with the largest possible dimensions. Shrinking an image that’s too large typically maintains picture quality. However, enlarging a picture that is too small may produce pixelation and blur the image.

  2. 2

    Choose the “Image” menu and click “Image Size” to display the “Image Size” dialogue box.

  3. 3

    Place a check mark into "Constrain Proportions," so that your image maintains its proportion of height to width during the resize. Leave other options at their defaults.

  4. 4

    Choose the largest number under “Pixel Dimensions.” Type in the matching screen resolution number that you noted from the "Settings" tab of the "Display" dialogue box. For example, if you choose "Width," type in the width value. Note how the value in the other dimension changes so that your picture maintains its proportions.

  5. 5

    Click “OK” to close the dialogue box. Your picture resizes to the new dimensions. Save the file.

  1. 1

    Click “Start” and choose “Search” if you want to resize the picture quickly on your desktop and are not concerned with image quality or proportion.

  2. 2

    Click “Pictures” and put a check mark by “Pictures and Photos.”

  3. 3

    Type in the name of the image file and click “Search.” Click “Stop” when the file appears in the list. Right-click the image and choose “Set As Desktop Background.” Depending on the picture size, your image may tile repeatedly in the background or appear as one image.

  4. 4

    Right-click on any blank area of the desktop and choose “Properties” if the picture is not the correct size for the background. The “Display Properties” dialogue box appears.

  5. 5

    Choose the “Desktop” tab and then choose “Stretch” from the “Position” drop-down menu on the lower right.

  6. 6

    Click “OK” to close the dialogue box. The background picture resizes to fill the screen.

Tips and warnings

  • This procedure applies specifically to Photoshop CS2 running under Windows XP but works in general for all Windows versions and graphics programs.

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