Q. I am developing a .net windows forms application. Do you recommend that I design for an 800 * 600 screen resolution or is it OK to target the 1024 * 768 resolution?

Asked by Mitch Horton. Answered by the Wonk on February 21, 2003


Ah, the age-old question -- do I target my preferred screen size or something smaller that won't let me pack as much stuff into each form? The answer, as with most things, is that it depends. If you're targeting "normal" users, which I define as non-developers, recent anecdotal evidence is that they leave their resolution at whatever the PC vendor sets it to by default, which is largely 800x600, no matter the dimensions on the monitor. If you're targeting developers, 1024x768 is very safe. They almost all run at that resolution or higher in my experience.

However, even though you target 800x600, I definitely recommend that you take advantage of higher resolutions if they're available. More specifically, I recommend that you make all of the forms in your UI intelligently resizable so that if the user resizes them for whatever reason, you a) remember that setting for the next session and b) use WinForms anchoring, docking, splitting and grouping to make your forms look good at any size.


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