What Is An Aspect Ratio?

When looking for a new computer monitor or searching for a movie on IMDB, you’ve probably come across the phrase “aspect ratio.” Aspect ratio is heavily used throughout the photography and video industry. But what does aspect ratio mean?

What Is Aspect Ratio?

Aspect ratio is a mathematical basis at its core. It is the ratio of the width and height of a four-sided shape. Like any ratio, the aspect ratio of a rectangle doesn’t relate to its physical dimensions. Instead, it describes how the width and length of an object to one another. For example, a perfect square must have equal width and height, so their aspect ratio would be 1:1. The aspect ratio gets displayed in whole or decimal numbers. For example, 3:2 or 1.5:1.

You can determine the height and width of an object by using the aspect ratio. For example, 16:9 refers to the width equaling 16 and the height equaling 9. The 16:9 aspect ratio is used for most television content, even though displays come in a variety of aspect ratios. For example, with movies, you’ll commonly see aspect ratios of 1.85:1 (widescreen) and 2.39:1.

Making Aspect Ratio Work For Device

If you want to fit an individual piece of content to a device, you can use an aspect ratio calculator. This can be helpful when trying to apply a wallpaper background to a phone or computer. Using this tool, you can make sure the wallpaper fits properly (correct resolution) and won’t stretch on the screen. (You can download most wallpapers in multiple resolutions).

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