Locating and Sizing Objects in MediaLab
MediaLab tries to use a resolution-independent scale so that your experiments will look the same no matter what resolution of the computer on which you run them. Some differences can not be avoided however. To see what the scale is on your particular system, choose "Show Location Points" from the Help menu in MediaLab. To see how the resolution independence works, take a look at the scale now. Then resize the MediaLab window and try it again. You should notice that the scale doesn't change. Try setting a different display resolution on your computer (Control Panel -> Display, Settings). Look at the scale again—it should be about the same no matter how you change your display. One factor that does to to influence the scale is whether you use "small fonts" or "large fonts" in your system settings. Small fonts produce a slightly larger range for both height and width. If you want the experiment to look the same on all computers you should check to make sure they are all running small fonts or that they are all running large fonts.
Note that the scale applies to most everything in MediaLab when the top, left, height, and width parameters are used. The exception is movies. Movies do not follow the MediaLab scale because they are presented with the Windows MediaPlayer. Consequently, if you specify a width of 300 (for example) it will appear smaller on a larger screen resolution. How you can combat this is to use the special width parameters provided especially for movies. For example, (w-1) will play the movie at full screen, (w-2) will play it half screen, (w-3) at a quarter and there are others.
Note also that although the scale applies to images, that this is only true if you explictly define the size of the image (using the height and width parameters). Otherwise the image will appear as it's default size. For example a 300 pixel wide image will appear smaller when you use higher screen resolutions. However if you explicitly define the size using the height and width parameters then it will appear according to the MediaLab scaling system. You can find more information about this in the following sections of the manual:
The most common resolutions are 640x480, 800x600, and 1024x768. The first number tells you the number of pixels that are displayed across your screen, and the second number tells you the number that are displayed down your screen. You can determine and/or set the resolution of your display by right clicking on your desktop and selecting Properties > Display. MediaLab tries to use a resolution-independent scale so that your experiments will look the same no matter what resolution you run in. Some differences can not be avoided however. To see what the scale is on your particular system, choose Show Location Points from the Help menu in MediaLab.
By right clicking on your desktop and choosing Settings you can see if your system is set to use large or small fonts. In 640x480 mode, only small fonts are available. At greater resolutions, you may optionally choose large fonts. This impacts on window sizes as well. Larger fonts result in larger windows. In our testing, MediaLab has worked well in most resolutions with both large and small fonts.