Resolution testing: a small pointer

  Taran 21:58 09 Dec 03

I had occasion to suggest this trick to another forum member recently - no names; the innocent must be protected after all.


It seems that not enough people know about it but it's one of those nice little tricks to help you quickly see how your web pages will look in alternative resolutions (aka screen size), so here goes.

Create a new shortcut on your desktop as follows (for Windows users):

Right click on the desktop, select New then select Shortcut from the available choices.

In the following screen there is a textbox with a Browse button to the right of it where you can browse to the file you want to open. Rather than browse to it, paste this into the textbox:

"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" javascript:window.resizeTo(800,600);window.moveTo(80,5);

Now you can click Next.

Last, you get to name the shortcut, so call this one 800x600 then click Finish.

Double click the shortcut and Internet Explorer opens up then resizes to 800x600 and positions itself at the top centre of your screen.

If you have a particularly large monitor at seriously high resolution, you can create a second shortcut for 1024x768 by pasting this into another new shortcut:

"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" javascript:window.resizeTo(1024,768);window.moveTo(80,5);

Save this one as 1024x768 and it does the same as the first at the resolution specified.

If you don't care where the browser window opens up, you can miss off the window.moveTo(80,5); part of the shortcut instruction or change it to something of your own preference.

Although most web designers don't design to 800x600 any more, it's a quick and easy way of checking your site (or anyone elses online for that matter) by opening your shortcut and browsing web pages. Obviously, if you currently run at 1024x768 you have little to gain by creating a shortcut for that resolution since you are using it by default.

It's one of those really useful tricks that many web designers use. FrontPage has this ability built into its file browse options. For all of those die hard FrontPage fans out there (me among them) - File, Preview in browser then select the resolution you want to check the page at and click Preview.

As far as the desktop shortcuts go, I don't think enough people know about it and if you don't know about it logic may lead you to fool around with your desktop screen resolution settings instead, messing up desktop icons and layouts in the process.

It's a quick and easy way to see your pages as others may see them, or check other sites at alternative resolutions and it's one of the best ways to troubleshoot layouts. Just when you think your pages are great, you start testing them in different resolutions or even different browsers. It's right about then that you can get some nasty shocks and this happens to us all sooner or later.

Quick, easy and effective. And please don't ask me why we test at lower resolutions when we don't design to that standard; I don't want to start that discussion again. Suffice to say that no matter where you pitch to, you have to check and see if it is backward compatible and this is one way in which you can do so. It's especially useful in checking tables and layouts for fluid designs so you can make sure your page elements collapse properly.

Hope this helps some of you budding designers out there.

Regards all


  powerless 22:20 09 Dec 03

Somebodys been reading tips and tricks...

click here ...and me too.

  Taran 22:33 09 Dec 03

Nope, that's a new one on me, although I'll look into it this next few days (thanks for the link).

Perhaps I should start reading this tips and tricks thingy.


I've been using the desktop shortcut method for a some years now.

In fact, I used to use it as a command line prompt under Windows 2000 until I tried it as a desktop shortcut and found that it actually worked - will wonders never cease.

I've seen it appear in several magazines over the years but it always seems to be squirreled away somewhere.

Yor link looks intersting though, so...


  Sir Radfordin 23:54 09 Dec 03


Ok, how do you deal with the fact that people have different tool bars and the like when designing?

I've arranged my toolbars to take up a minimum amount of space, but then have the BBC news ticker running so that uses up some. Are there some max/min areas when operating at a resolution that can be used?? 00:11 10 Dec 03

but even though I have a 17" monitor, I very rarely view web pages at full screen size. I use an 800x600 window bottom right, and have my desktop shortcuts along the top and down the left so I dont have to restore if I need to use notepad ore something.

I find viewing at large size uncomfortable for some reason. personal quirk I suppose. Handy tip though Taran, Cheers, Whiz...

  Sir Radfordin 00:58 10 Dec 03

Nice little find that one, works a treat. 01:17 10 Dec 03

Thats a good'un, just downloaded.

Cheers, Whiz..

  Taran 08:36 10 Dec 03

If you prefer a less than standard resolution through choice or other screen elements you can either add its dimensions to the options of the little Resizer program linked to by Powerless or create your own desktop shortcut with the size you want specified.

  Pesala 23:17 03 Jan 04

Just pointed someone in the Help Room to this thread, and added to my bookmarks. I hadn't noticed it before, but was looking here for software to do the job. This is better than installing yet more software IMO.

  Forum Editor 00:54 04 Jan 04

that many web designers use".

It is, and this one does.

Thanks for bringing it to a wider audience.

  Pesala 21:23 04 Jan 04

Can this script be made to work in Opera?

I tried it, but it didn't seem to work.

"C:\Program Files\Opera7\opera.exe" javascript:window.resizeTo(800,600);window.moveTo(80,5);

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