Between the wide range of remote desktop clients, servers and protocol settings, a lot of factors could cause odd screen sizes while using a VNC connection. Aside from the server forcing a screen geometry on the client, most everything can be fixed on the user's end with a few easy steps.
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Remote Desktop Too Small
Often times the window of the remote desktop client will be too small and you will have to scroll around the screen to get anything done. This can be because your screen resolution is smaller than the remote desktop's or because your client window is too small. Try resizing the window or specifying in the options, before you connect, the screen resolution you would prefer.
Remote Desktop Fills Your Desktop
Often times, if a remote desktop client is set to run in full-screen mode by default, a user will start the client and find himself unable to interact with his own desktop. The universal key to enter and exit full-screen mode is "F11" and will work on any client.
Sometimes a screen resolution will come across improperly displayed. It is usually due to an error in your remote desktop client. You can either try restarting your client, resizing the window or pressing "F8" to bring down a list of changeable options in many clients. Also, try specifying the screen geometry in your remote desktop client's options before connecting.
Unable to Change Screen Size Even When Set Before Connection
For bandwidth reasons, many system administrators will choose to restrict the screen size of their remote desktop connections. If this is the case and the system administrator has chosen to restrict screen geometry on the server side, you, as the client, will be unable to change the resolution without asking the administrator to give you access to that feature.
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