Posted 10 April 2008 - 06:09 AM
If you want an image to fill the screen without any distortion to the shape of the contents (stretching or squashing), the image has to have the same aspect ratio (proportion of width to height) as the screen. The commonest screen aspect has been 4:3, for example 1024 x 768. Images for wallpaper will usually maintain this proportion, also images from consumer cameras etc.
A widescreen is usually 16:10 aspect, although 16:9 is also possible, but it's a TV ratio. An image that is not of this aspect ratio will be distorted to fit the screen. The ideal will be if an image you want to use is the exact resolution of your screen, eg 1280 x 800, but as long as the proportion is maintained, it can be scaled to fit without distorting the shape.
You can use an image editor such as Irfanview to crop an image to the appropriate proportion, but the portion you have to crop (ie what would disappear anyway off the top & bottom of the widescreen if it wasn't being squashed) of course is lost. There's no way to make the entire image fit a different shaped screen without changing the shape of the contents. However you can also take the opposite approach by adding suitable edges to the image so the complete image occupies the centre of the screen, like there's a frame on either side. Some images may even still look alright with a strip copied from each edge of the image contents and duplicated to fill it out to widescreen proportions.
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