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How to Make A Projector Screen Smaller – 3 Quick Methods!

Setting up your projector shouldn’t be a headache, especially when making a projector screen smaller is all you need to enhance your viewing experience. A well-aligned image makes all the difference, whether you’re watching a movie or giving a presentation. Luckily, there are several different methods you can try to fix the projector’s screen.

Here are the steps to correctly adjust the image on a projector:

  1. Turn on the projector to display an image
  2. Use the feet or lens shift to alter the angle of the image
  3. Use keystone correction to adjust the shape of the image
  4. Zoom in or out to fit the screen
  5. Repeat the above steps as necessary to dial in the image to your screen

Next, we’ll show you how to adjust your projector’s display size for the perfect picture, including projector feet and keystone correction. We’ll also share easy tips for common setup issues, ensuring a great viewing experience whether your projector is on a table or ceiling-mounted. Let’s begin!

Key Takeaways

  • Physical Alignment: Manipulate the projector’s feet or lens shift to align the image correctly. Focus on aligning the top corners of the image with your screen.
  • Adjust without moving: Employ keystone correction for digital adjustments. This corrects trapezoidal distortions, aligning all corners into a rectangle.
  • Zoom Functionality for Image Sizing: Use the projector’s zoom feature to perfectly fit the image to your screen. This helps in adjusting the image size to either fill or reduce screen space effectively.

Adjust the Angle of a Projector

Angle adjustment is crucial when setting up a projector. It’s unlikely that the projector will align perfectly with the screen initially, once you have the projector set up so, it will require some tweaking. The primary adjustment involves aligning the projector’s angle to ensure the image fits the screen correctly.

Think of it like this: the projector emits a rectangular light beam, and your task is to align this projection squarely with the wall. While digital tools can assist, which will be discussed later on, it’s essential to initially focus on physically adjusting the projector for the best alignment. Below you can find a table with quick fixes, before proceeding to detailed explanations.

Adjustment TipDescription
Adjusting the Angle Using the Projector’s FeetLevel projectors using adjustable feet. Aim, adjust feet for top corner alignment, focusing on image rather than using a level.
Adjusting the Angle on a Ceiling Mounted ProjectorCeiling mounts typically allow angle adjustments. Check your mount for adjustment options.
Adjusting the Angle Using the Lens-Shift ControlsLevel projectors using adjustable feet. Aim, adjust feet for top corner alignment, focusing on the image rather than using a level.
Adjusting the Angle of a Projector

Adjusting the Angle Using the Projector’s Feet

For the average projector, your first stop here will be the projector’s feet. On almost all consumer-grade projectors, there are going to be at least two, and maybe three or four feet on the bottom that are designed to be screwed in and out to level the machine.

If your projector is mounted from the ceiling, this won’t apply. But for projectors that are sitting somewhere, your first task will be to turn it on, point it at the screen, and start by using the projector’s feet to adjust the image.

Ensure the top corners of the image are horizontally aligned. If your screen is level, you might try using a level on the projector for adjustment. However, since a perfect alignment is rare, it’s often more effective to directly observe and adjust the image.

Adjust the Image on a Projector by screwing or unscrewing the feet

One important note here: the image may overlap with the screen, that is, it may be too wide, or indeed too narrow at this point. We’ll play with that later. For now, focus on the top two corners, and get them level with the screen before moving on.

Adjusting the Angle on a Ceiling Mounted Projector

“So what if I have a ceiling-mounted projector?” Great question. Most ceiling mounts have at least some articulation, or adjustment, available at the joint that holds the projector up.

So, look at your mount and see if there are any ways to adjust the angle from there. If not, there are a few other options, so keep reading.

Adjusting the Angle Using the Lens-Shift Controls

Next, you can check if your projector has lens-shift controls, which allow you to adjust the lens position without physically moving the entire projector. However, be aware that this feature is less common, particularly in budget models.

Consult your projector’s manual for instructions on “lens-shift” to adjust the lens position for leveling the top corners. Once the projector is level, proceed to refine the overall fit.

Adjust the Projector to Fit Screen – KeyStone Corrections and Zoom

You’ve leveled the top corners, but if the bottom corners don’t align and the image appears like a tapered trapezoid, either wider at the top or bottom. Don’t worry – it’s not ideal – but it’s progress!

This suggests your projector isn’t centered with the screen, which is common as projectors are often placed on a table below or mounted above the screen. The angled light projection results in a wide-on-one-end shape.

Fortunately, this common projector issue is addressed by a standard tool called Keystone Correction, named after the trapezoidal “keystone” in masonry that supports an arch. These features will allow you to adjust the projector’s image without moving it.

Adjust the Image on a Projector - Adjust the Projector to Fit Screen Using a Remote Control

Keystone correction is a digital control that allows you to fix this angle issue by changing how the projector is displaying the image.

This means that through either physical buttons or digital controls (consult your projector’s manual to figure out how to access the keystone correction) you can simply adjust the correction up or down to see your progress.

Once you’ve accessed the keystone projection correction, use it until the image appears rectangular. In other words, until the top corners line up with the bottom corners in a straight line. Reference the below pictures.

How to Adjust the Image on a Projector - KeyStone Before
This is the projector’s image before adjusting the screen with the keystone settings. Notice, that the image is pretty distorted, as none of the corners are parallel to each other.
How to Adjust the Image on a Projector - KeyStone After
This is the projector’s image after adjusting the keystone options. Notice, that the image is a near-perfect rectangle now.

Play around with the vertical keystone correction, and horizontal if you have it, until the image projected is a clean rectangle. Then, you’re ready to move on to the next step of fitting to your screen.

After adjusting the angle and applying keystone correction, if the image still overlaps the screen edges or doesn’t fill it completely, use the projector’s zoom function to reduce or increase the image size.

It’s probably still going to be too high, or too low, but for the last finishing step, keep reading to the next section.

How to Straighten Projector Image: Iteration

The last step, straightening the projector image once and for all, is a bit of a misnomer. What it really means is to repeat everything above but in smaller increments this time.

If you adjusted the angle, and then the keystone correction produced a rectangle that seems to sit crooked, you probably need to adjust the angle again now. If zooming in to fit the screen left the image above or below the screen vertically, then you may need to raise or lower the projector and aim it a bit higher or lower to line up with the screen.

However, adjusting the zoom may slightly alter the keystone projection, requiring readjustment. All you need is patience – tackle one adjustment at a time, and soon you’ll be enjoying your large screen setup.

If you happen to be in the market for a new projector, consider checking out our recommended projectors page! This page contains our recommended picks for great projectors at very fair and affordable prices.

Troubleshooting Common Projector Screen Issues

One of the common issues that may arise when adjusting the projector’s screen size is the projector showing a reduced screen size. This is commonly caused by incorrect zoom settings or the projector being positioned too close to the screen.

Though you probably can’t prevent it when shrinking a screen, you can adjust the zoom and move the projector further from the screen, especially if it’s a small projector. Additionally, take a look at our related article on improving the projector’s image quality.

Focus and Sharpness

If you encounter blurry sections in the image or the entire image appears blurry, or if achieving consistent sharpness throughout the image is challenging, follow these steps:

  • Adjust the focus ring until the image becomes sharp.
  • Ensure the projector is at the correct distance from the screen.
  • Check for any obstructions or dirt on the lens.

Brightness and Contrast Issues

If your images appear overly dark or excessively bright, or if distinguishing colors is difficult, generally it’s because of brightness and contrast issues. To troubleshoot:

  • Change and adjust the brightness and contrast settings in the projector menu.
  • Calibrate the projector using built-in test patterns (if available).
  • Ensure the room is adequately darkened to enhance contrast.
  • Check if the projector’s lamp needs replacement.

Color and Quality Issues

  • Adjust the color settings in the projector menu.
  • Perform a color calibration using a calibration tool or built-in projector settings.
  • Ensure the projector’s color mode matches the content type (e.g., cinema, sports).
  • Check the quality and compatibility of the input source.