Browsers: Poor quality images in IE

started by Insanity on Feb 9, 2004 — RSS Feed

Insanity Insanity
Posts: 6

I'm using Fireworks MX to create some text for my web site. I've been getting on fine except that the images seem to be rendered differently in IE6 as opposed to other browsers (Netscape 7, Mozilla 1.6).

The images in IE6 are larger and the jagged edges show up, whereas in the other browsers the image looks exactly as I designed it in Fireworks and the same as it looks in Dreamweaver

What's going on here? I noticed that even the Microsoft site's MSN logo is appalling when viewed in IE, so is there nothing I can do about this?  ???

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

It's very difficult to diagnose you problem without seeing an example. I have never seen any difference between text settings in IE and other browsers. Could you post a URL or file that I can examine?

Insanity Insanity
Posts: 6

Thanks for the quick reply.

Sorry, I didn't put a URL on because I assumed it would be the same for everything/everyone .

I'm sticking an example here for now:

Also, I did some more work last night and realised that if I save the image as SWF the quality is slightly better - now going to spend a bit more time finding out about SWF compression etc etc...

(later that day...)
I found out that my friend's not having the same problem - he's using IE6 like me, but not on XP. Duh? Can't find any relevant settings in XP to tweak.

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

it looks the same in my XP IE as it does on everything else. Did you check the screen colour depth?

Insanity Insanity
Posts: 6

Thanks. Yes, I have looked at screen colour depth. We're both on 32bit but have also tried 16bit. I can't get true colour with my current setup, which someone else suggested. Would this cause the problem?

I asked the same question on another board and it was suggested that it might be because I'm using a laptop with LCD screen (although I plug in a CRT monitor for design work). Any thoughts on that?

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

I've seen some PC laptops with very poor image reproduction. This is because their gamma is all wrong and there is no facility to change it. The onboard video card is just not up to scratch. This has the effect if giving too much contrast which bleaches-out all the light colours and runs all the dark ones together.

Here is a general article about it

and there is a monitor gamma test at

have a look at it on your laptop screen and see how much of the tonal range is missing. That's probably what is causing the jaggyness. If half the colours are missing, the anti-aliasing is being compromised.

Insanity Insanity
Posts: 6

You're a star! Thank you.  ;D

Pandy Pandy
Posts: 2

IE6 has an option that automatically resize images. Since the image looks alright in other browsers and you say it's not only poor but also larger in IE6 it sounds like you have this on.

I don't have IE6 here, but IIRC you'll find it under Internet Options | Advanced --> Autosize Images (or similar).

Insanity Insanity
Posts: 6

Thanks for your help but I've now discovered it's actually a problem with my laptop's graphics card/drivers. I've tried it on umpteen other machines (laptops as well as desktops, all different hardware, software, OS's) and I can't replicate the problem I get on my own machine.

Just for the record, I've got a Dell Inspiron 8500 with a GeForce4 4200 graphics card. I've downloaded the latest drivers for the card and it still gives the same problem. Arrghh! And I bought this laptop specially for designing web pages!  

Joe Gillespie Joe Gillespie
Posts: 528

My first PC was a Dell. Never again! It had three monitors, two motherboards swaps, two video card swaps, a power supply swap - ten engineer call-outs within twelve months. All were due to a video related problem which was finally fixed at the factory. It was a design fault, not a component failure - but the engineers only knew how to swap things.

I now build my PCs from the ground up using the best components. Yes, it initially costs more than buying a Dell but it saves money (and hair) in the long term!

If your laptop is still under warranty, get it changed.

Roymeo Roymeo
Posts: 1

I'm seeing this same thing on my Inspiron 8600, again, only in IE.

any resolution for this?


Calanan Calanan
Posts: 2

Not sure if this thread is still alive but I found it after seeing the same problems with my new Dell 600m laptop.  Images would look very jagged in MSIE but not in dedicated image viewers or even with the Opera web browser.  While none of the answers suggested here fixed my issue (even upgrading the video driver) I did find the fix at Dell's site.

The article references another model laptop but given the solution I think this could be applicable to any machine running newer Windows OSes.

Check out:


Images in Internet Explorer or other applications may appear fuzzy or may be of poor quality.

This can be an out-of-box issue and has been seen on the Latitude D800 and Inspiron 8500.  The difficulty is caused by the DPI setting in Advanced Display Properties being set to 120 when it is shipped from the factory.  You may also notice the problem if the operating system has been reinstalled.

To resolve this issue, change the DPI setting to 96.
More in the article.

- mike

Insanity Insanity
Posts: 6

You wonderful person!  

Thank you so much, it's sorted the problem out (although my fonts are now so tiny I'm going to need stronger lenses for my specs LOL). It makes sense now you've pointed it out, but I wonder why it only affects IE and not all the other apps. Weird.

Calanan Calanan
Posts: 2

You're welcome, glad it helped!  I'm guessing that since MS has tied the OS and MSIE together so tightly that adjusting the DPI ostensibly for the desktop has an effect on the browser as well.   Crazy stuff...

- mike

Fsuri Fsuri
Posts: 1

Wasted hours surfing web and looking into my windows settings and registry to figure out that
HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Software>Microsoft>Internet Explorer>Main>UseHR  
needs to be changed to '0' (instead of default '1')


Anyway keywords for future: wuxga fuzzy dpi IE6 display 96 120 poor image quality  
PS: love my wuxga!

Scook17 Scook17
Posts: 1

I changed the default 120 to 96, on my Dell Inspiron 9100 and yes, it fixed the problem. However, yesterday I changed to 800x600 resolution to show someone some text they couldn't read too well, and when I changed back to high res again, the problem is back!!!!!!!

What is the DPI setting anyway? DPI stands for dots per inch, so 120dpi should give a better resolution than 96 dpi.

I noticed IE will load the image correctly if you place the mouse over the image and press SHIFT + R and it them reloads the image and displays it correctly. Anyone know what the hell IE is doing?

Kind Regards,
Shane Cook.

Derrylad Derrylad
Posts: 1

Thanks and million fsuri!!!

The Reg hack did the trick!

I've been fighting with this one for a few months now.

Thanks again,


Maskodok Eko Maskodok Eko
Posts: 171


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