Eli5 How does a computer know the size of the monitor when you open a program to full screen?

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Eli5 How does a computer know the size of the monitor when you open a program to full screen?

In: Technology
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It doesn’t, directly. In your graphics settings, you tell the computer what size signal (pixels) to output. Most monitors will tell the computer what their native (physical) resolution is but you can happily send the monitor a different resolution signal. Depending on the monitor it may interpolate on the fly or just not show anything or show a distorted picture.

When you set a program to “full screen” the computer just expands it to use all the pixels you told it are available.

Non-technical answer: the monitor communicates with the PC with the wire you connected the two of them with. The monitor tells the PC its info and capabilities and the PC works its processing magic and uses the information and capabilities to decide how a program will look to full screen.

it doesn’t, not directly at least, the video driver tells the OS what signal is outputting and the dimensions, the OS and any applications need to abide by this.

The computer sends a grid of colours to the monitor, and the monitor displays them. It doesn’t really matter if the monitor is 10” or 80”, the image grid can be the same and will simply be displayed bigger or smaller to fit the physical screen.

Each monitor supports different sizes of grid (the resolution of the image) so you generally have many more pixels on bigger monitors, but if you try and send an unsupported resolution to a screen it won’t display properly. The settings of your computer will allow you to select the best resolution for your display to give you the best-looking image.