When recording on-screen software tutorials there's a balance between fitting the 16:9 format, making it low enough resolution that it's readable on smaller devices but big enough that there's enough working area in the application so that the view window of the application being demonstrated isn't ridiculously small.

What is the recommended setting? e.g., is 1280 x 720 (16:9) a good compromise or do I need to allow anything for YouTube borders, etc.?

Many thanks.

2 Answers 2


I am not sure if the approach you are asking is actually recording a video of 720P.

That would not be a good idea, because you are generating a video blurrier than FullHD 1080P. IMHO, the ideal resolution is recording the video at full HD 1080P.

But to solve the tiny window there are several options.

1. Changing the accessibility settings on your OS

This is probably the easiest solution.

In Windows (My OS is not in English so the actual text might vary slightly)

  • Right-click on the desktop > Screen Settings > Design and style.

Use for example 125%.

enter image description here

Here are two screen captures, one is using 150% zoom on these settings and the other is using 100% zoom.

You can see that the pixel size is the same, but the zoomed-in version has bigger elements.

enter image description here

2. Make Zoom during the edition

This would be time-consuming, especially because you need to track which part of the screen you are working on. Also, the resulting crop could be confusing.

3. Use a recording software that allows you to make temporary zooming

I do not use any in particular, so I can not recommend one.

4. Internal (theme and zoom) adjustments

Some software have settings that can be changed independently of the OS, Blender comes to my mind.

Some web-based applications use the zoom defined by the browser (Ctrl+MouseWheel)

But this is also something that the user might need to solve by themselves. Some applications on mobile devices allow the zooming and panning of the videos with gestures. I would focus on a pleasant desktop experience where normally you can't.

  • Thank you for your answer. 1. Recording full screen of a lower resolution desktop gives the same result as a recording of part of the desktop at high resolution. I don't think this will help me. 2. I will be zooming anyway. 3. Zooming during edit is better! 4. I'm aware of that too. The problem is with line drawings, etc., a 1-pixel wide line might get dropped completely if a high-resolution video is played back on a lower resolution device. I'll think some more!
    – Transistor
    Commented Feb 19 at 19:04
  • No. The first option does not change the screen resolution, it changes the elements inside your defined resolution, in this case, 1080P. Let me do some tests. I think depends on the software.
    – Rafael
    Commented Feb 19 at 19:08
  • If the user uses a low-resolution device he probably is aware of that. Let the interpolation algorithm do its job. A 1px sill still be visible. Washed out but visible.
    – Rafael
    Commented Feb 19 at 19:10
  • I updated the point 1. The screen resolution remains the same, but the elements are bigger. Yes, some elements like the icon might be blurry because probably that icon is raster, but the vector elements like the text itself will be sharper than using a lower screen resolution.
    – Rafael
    Commented Feb 19 at 19:19

I couldn't find a definitive answer for the best option on YouTube. In the end I decided that a screen resolution of 1280 x 720 gave me a good compromise between legibility and working area while maintaining the 16:4 aspect ratio.

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