rMBP external display SMALLER interface

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by computer1up, May 31, 2018.

  1. computer1up macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    #1
    Hi,

    I'd like to make the interface on my 1080p external monitor smaller. It's connected to a 2015 rMBP 15" basemodel, via Mini-DP to HDMI. On my internal screen, I can set the scale to 1920x1200 which is small enough for my liking. But on my external display, everything seems too big for me. I'm used to smaller text and icons and so on, but I can't seem to set it properly.

    The only settings I have for my external displays are the rotation and resolution settings. Resolution can only go lower, not higher (obviously). But I cannot change the UI scale there.

    Any way to do this?
     
  2. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #2
    What brand and model of external display do you have?

    macOS has not yet provided resolution-independent changes in the UI.

    As your external monitor is a 1080p display (with maximum of 1920 x 1080) and if it is a larger screen size (27-inch or larger), you might need to replace that display with a 4K display.
     
  3. computer1up thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    #3
    It's a Dell S2340L, 23" 1080p with HDMI and VGA only. To be honest, I do want to upgrade to 4K later this year but I don't have the money to do so right now.

    No command line things to try either? I'm pretty comfortable with using Terminal.
     
  4. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #4
    I have a Dell S2340M, which I think the only difference compared to your 2340L is DVI instead of HDMI.

    If you are running very close to the same resolution on the built-in display, then the external screen elements will seem relatively large, so I understand your concern. Not much you can do about it, without changing to a different screen.

    Are you using that to mirror your internal (so both screens are identical), or using the large screen as an extended desktop? If you are using mirroring, then that really restricts you to the resolution of the smallest display. That mirroring setting is available in your Displays pref pane, Arrangements tab. You can turn that off (or ON :D) to try a different configuration. Remember that Mirroring gives you ONE screen on two display (both identical), where mirroring OFF means that your desktop is spread across both screen.
     
  5. computer1up thread starter macrumors newbie

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    May 31, 2018
    #5
    I'm using the extended mode. Actually, I use 2 1080p monitors on my desk with seperate keyboard and mouse, with the MacBook lid closed.
     
  6. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #6
    Ah, OK...
    I don't know of any command line manipulations that you can do (although I don't know everything about what you can do with the system, I am pretty sure that the only way to make all the screen UI smaller is to use a higher resolution.
    And, you don't have anywhere to go with the displays that you have.

    I am curious - you have two external displays, same resolution. One would be connected through the HDMI port, and the other is Thunderbolt(mini displayport) connection. Do you get equal picture quality on both displays?
     
  7. computer1up, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018

    computer1up thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    #7
    That's hard to say, as they're very different displays altogether. One is my previously mentioned Dell, the other one is an 8 year old Acer gaming monitor (TN) that I still had. It's still 23,6" and 1080p though.

    Oh, and couldn't you connect 2 displays over Mini-DP rather than a combination of Mini-DP and HDMI?
     
  8. juanm macrumors 65816

    juanm

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  9. DeltaMac macrumors G3

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #9
    Sure... I keep forgetting that some Macs have more than the one Thunderbolt connection on my mini...

    @juanm: The OP does not use the retina display. Does RDM also give you more than native resolution on a 1080p display.
    (Show your same screen shot, but with the 1920 x 1080 display selected!)
     
  10. computer1up thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 31, 2018
    #10
    I tried it, and it does what I wanted. However, then you get blurry text. Thanks anyways!
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #11
    If it's a 1080p display, and you're running it -AT- 1080p (which is the "native resolution"), you can't make anything "smaller".

    That's "as small as it goes".

    And... "that's all, folks!"
     

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