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How do you put the whole card into windowed mode? Is there a way to do this that any card could hadle?

Posted on 2009-05-08
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How would you put a graphics card into windowed mode to allow for pixel mapping? Is there a way to do this that any card could handle?
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Question by:deer22
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Jens Fiederer earned 500 total points
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The video card itself would not be in a "windowed" mode.

Modes of the card control how video memory is mapped into pixels.

Pretty much all standard cards support the old VGA modes....
see ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VGA )

Many modern graphics cards go beyond that, and allow you to map memory locations directly to pixels (letting you have as many colors on the screen as you have pixels - that's when they talk about "16 bit" color or "32 bit" color), but the old VGA (and before that, EGA and CGA) modes mostly used a palette (CLUT) - only the "16 bit" color mode allowed each pixel to indepently specify 5 bits of each of the 3 color components.

These modes are what you see changing when you use the OS to resize screen resolution (and what happens when a full-screen game takes over your display).

"Windowed mode" is not a mode of the card, it is a mode of the OS.  It means that the user gets to pick the screen resolution using the control panel (assuming Windows), and that the OS controls display of the windows, allowing the applications to touch only their own space (there are ways to "escape" that space, but no reasonable way for one app to have a different screen resolution than another that is displayed at the same time ).   This does not let an app like a game really do all the cool things that a video card might allow it to do, so there is also a "Fullscreen" mode that gives the game full control over the display -  letting it set video card modes, do 3-d graphics, all that sort of thing - as long as "Fullscreen" mode is enabled, the OS pretty much forgets about doing display, and other apps can't use the display.

Using DirectDraw Palettes in Windowed Mode IS possible, but of limited usefulness - since changing the palette would mess up any OTHER windows that were being displayed, why not use full screen so you have the whole screen to yourself?

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ms893856.aspx

http://books.google.com/books?id=lRUj-nhQRu8C&pg=PA386&lpg=PA386&dq=directdraw+palette+%22windowed+mode%22&source=bl&ots=7vD64yM-0x&sig=8ZWg49GG1fqQ3yuSDpF_VAXhZso&hl=en&ei=7ZcESqfeM9fHtgf0n5DtBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7
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Thank you!
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