Tweaking a Modeline

If you don't want to use your monitor's controls to center your display or make it fill the screen, you can tweak the modeline to do so. Changing the video timing elements of the modeline will alter where on the screen the image begins and ends. You can experiment randomly, but a much better solution is to use a tool to help with the process. This tool ships with recent versions of XFree86, and it is called xvidtune. To use it, type its name in an xterm window. The result resembles Figure 16.7. The program also displays a warning concerning the possibility of damaging your monitor. I've already mentioned this possibility twice before in this chapter, so consider yourself amply warned. That said, minor tweaks to the position or size of your display are unlikely to cause problems.

Figure 16.7: Thexvidtune program enables you to tweak your video mode.

To use xvidtune, click the eight adjustment buttons—Left, Right, Wider, Narrower, Up, Down, Shorter, or Taller. You won't see your adjustments until you click the Test button, which initiates a five-second test of the new settings. Keep changing the settings and performing tests until you're satisfied with the results. You can then click the Show button to have xvidtune display a modeline for the modified settings in the xterm from which you launched it. You can copy that modeline into yourXF86Config file, as described in the earlier section, "Using a Custom Modeline." You may want to give the modeline a slightly different name, such as "1024x768-tweak", so that you can be sure you use it rather than the original modeline.

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