New to Mac OS: Need help with display settings

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Richard1028, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Richard1028 macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Ok, this macbook is pretty cool but the 13" screen is killing my failing eyes. I'd really like to use the 800x500 display resolution but my macbook doesn't seem to retain this setting after a reboot - it goes back to 1024x640 (or something else). I have to keep going into the display utility to change it back to 800x500 each time.

    I asked how to go about doing this on another forum and here's what was suggested:

    1.) Resetting my PRAM during boot (Cmd+whatever)

    2.) Modifying my "" file by inserting the following:

    <key>Graphics Mode</key>

    None of these things worked.

    #2 above was actually recommended by an apple tech who I called about this and was quite surprised it didn't work. He finally went off somewhere to try booting on similarly configured macbooks and came back with the following conclusion... the engineers have most likely decided that booting into such a low screen resolution is bad, considering that log-in screens might show up with buttons and other controls hidden with no way to access them. Makes sense I suppose but it doesn't help me.

    So... any suggestions on how to get my MacBook to boot into 800x500 resolution? Perhaps something the tech couldn't share (understandably) or doesn't know?


  2. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
  3. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    I'm in complete understanding on this. It's not only my MacBook but it's reading books, newspapers, my 17" notebook, etc. I've helped my situation by using reading glasses when needed and while on my MacBook is a when needed situation.

    The other trick that i do is enlarge or zoom when needed. I do this by holding down the control key and scrolling up. Give it a try.

    BTW: I haven't changed any Universal Access preferences and my Display Resolution is 1280 x 800.

    What a drag it is getting old.....
  4. Richard1028 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Yes, I'm logged in as the administrator.

    Like I said though, according to the Apple tech 800x500 isn't a user changeable setting on boot. You can however switch to it after the desktop appears and everything works merrily.

    I'm just getting old, fat and lazy and just looking to save a few keystrokes. :D

    I was hoping there was some type of script or macro program I could find that would do this for me.
  5. Richard1028 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Yeah, it's Cmd+ in my macbook. I use it a lot. And Cmd+Opt+ will give me that super zoom that moves around with a mouse.

    I've already adjusted my Finder preferences for bigger desktop text and larger icons. Fooled with some folder options too which helped. 1024x600 isn't bad but there's no way to change menu text size and a lot of applications don't let you make any adjustments (like Thunderbird).

    800x500 looks perfect to me and I wish this thing would remember it.

    No kidding! I have to remove my eye glasses in a restaurant to to read the menu. Man, I really need to update my prescription.
  6. r.j.s Moderator emeritus


    Mar 7, 2007
    Try this app ... Set it as a login item ...

    Attached Files:

  7. Richard1028 thread starter macrumors 68000

    Jan 8, 2009
    Hey r.j.s. Thanks for trying! I see what you tried to do with this little gem.

    I actually found a solution in the Apple support forums:

    It involves an applescript and a small utility app. The original poster's instructions are very consise and easy to follow.

    Look Mom! I can now boot into 800x500 without any hands. :D

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