Black & white copyright-free images from Tack-o-Rama
I had a really good question sent in by Lindart, and also by Tina at Beansie Babbles and Beansie's Blessings who can't see the sides of their blog backgrounds.
It's all to do with your screen resolution - so here is why you can't see the sides of your blog, and what to do about it.
Unfortunately, it's the size of your monitor that determines how much of your background you can see. With my current background, all I could see were the black borders (like a black chain, at either side) as I only had a 17in monitor. Believe, me it was hard designing backgrounds and trying to imagine how they would look on different monitors.
Have a look here: Itkupilli shows exactly the whys and wherefores, and so does JannyPie.
About the MINIMA Template
Just about everyone recommends you change your Blogger template to Minima before adding fancy blog skins. But did you know you CAN use other templates than Minima? I make the column section of my backgrounds wider, so more templates will fit.
JannyPie also uses other templates: Black&White has settings for Minima, Denim and TicTac, and Blue Burst has settings for Minima, Rounders and Dots .
Try them out - but be sure to save a copy of your blog first by going to Layout > Choose New Template. You'll see a link marked Download Full Template, just click this and it takes a couple of seconds for your saved template to load as a desktop icon. If all goes wrong, just reload it! Or Preview before saving any alterations, and Clear Edits.
Adjusting resolution on your monitor
I can't help Mac users here - but I would imagine they have very similar control/adjustment settings.
For PC users, what I would suggest is that you adjust the resolution on your monitor - this will make everything seem a little smaller, but at least your blog background will "fit" better. There should be a way to adjust the controls directly on your monitor.
This is where you can adjust the size and appearance of your display . On my old monitor (17in square) the resolution was set at 1440 x 900 pixels. On my new 22in landscape monitor, I have my settings at 1680 x 1050 pixels resolution.
For your normal computer stuff: if your desktop icons appear too small now, you can make them larger as well. Click Start button > Control Panel > Display > Appearance, and choose Larger (the arrow at the bottom of the box will probably be showing Normal at the moment). You can also choose another style - eg: I prefer Windows Classic... but you can choose others from the drop-down menu, including some that are automatically larger fonts anyway.
Adjusting the size of your email text
And don't forget you can reset your email in Outlook Express or Office Outlook (go to Properties) and enlarge incoming mail to whatever you are comfortable with, eg: Arial 12pt.
Or just hold down your CTRL key and move the scroll button on top of your mouse - that will also automatically enlarge the appearance of text on your page. So will left-clicking on your mouse (hold the button down) and move the scroll button on top at the same time. Let go, and the type will stay at that size.
Otherwise, you are just going to have to grit your teeth and persevere with only seeing little bits of your blog background. You could always buy a bigger monitor, but I'd try the above solutions first!
Adjust the template background colour
I also advise you adjust your template background colour to reflect the colour of the background you are installing, then if your monitor is adjusted so that you show BEYOND the edges of the blog skin (some blog skins will stop short and show a blank section on either side in landscape monitors as they have been designed for a square monitor) you'll see compatible colour - not plain white. So it will just look part of the blog, as if it were meant to look like that.
To do this, go to Layout > Fonts&Colours, and it will be the very first option you see. Pick a colour that goes with your blog.