Apple and Arqade both have some community ads that are twice the usual size — specifically 440 x 500 pixels. Apparently these work, and are for improved display on Retina screens.

Do all Stack Exchange sites support these double-size ads? In addition to Community Ads, will they work in Stack Overflow's Open Source ads?

I suspect they might, but there's enough site-specific special case features across the network that I'm not sure. I'm looking for something conclusive, like a staff response or a link to something from staff.

  • My assumption would be yes. It wouldn't make much sense to special case the retina sizing for just two sites, and I believe it worked from the start in Arqade. Jan 21, 2015 at 0:10
  • @KevinBrown That's my suspicion too, but there's plenty of network precedent for all kinds of site-specific special case features: Role-playing Games has dice in its chat rooms as an easter egg, Board & Card Games has chess boards and magic [mtg:cardname] links, Mathematics and other sites have mathtex parsing, etc. Maybe similarly only some of the sites have retina ads. Jan 21, 2015 at 0:13
  • 1
    The number-of-bounties ad works on Mathematics too, and we did nothing special to put it there other than posting in the Ads thread.
    – user259867
    Jan 27, 2015 at 0:24
  • An official♦ answer to this would be great, downvotes have already started to fall on High DPI ads, with comments that double size is not explicitly OK. Jan 17, 2016 at 5:30
  • @NicolasRaoul RPG.SE just got a new round of community ads which explicitly allows double sizing: "The image that you create must be 300 x 250 pixels, or double that if retina." This might become not an issue in a year! :D Jan 17, 2016 at 5:32
  • @doppelgreener: The biggest of them all does not say "or double that": meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/314722/… Jan 17, 2016 at 5:35
  • @Nicolas Oof. Looks like someone's asked for that to be clarified at least. Jan 17, 2016 at 5:47
  • Does this answer your question? We're standardizing the sidebar width at 300px on all sites, they do (should, or it's a bug) work on all sites. See also: meta.stackexchange.com/q/300461/282094 - not only should they work but the size has been increased to match the redesigned right sidebar. - So this is a duplicate of a later asked questions, or no-repro due to updates in the software (which seems like a less fair? close reason).
    – Rob
    Mar 27, 2020 at 10:04
  • @Rob That's an altogether different question and doesn't appear to dive into anything about the nature of high-res ads specifically. That one is "we're changing the ad size". This is "we've got ads that are double that size, do those work everywhere?" Mar 27, 2020 at 10:09
  • I don't know how you could have read that in less than 30 seconds but it's a correct duplicate, also it's (the comment) not a question but a post automatically generated by the system. People are free to review as they wish, the outcome will be known shortly.
    – Rob
    Mar 27, 2020 at 10:12
  • @Rob My comment came five minutes after yours, not thirty seconds. I gave it a read. I understand how the system works. You're suggesting that's a duplicate, so I've responded it's not and explained why: people wouldn't find an answer to “[how] do high-res ads work?” in that question about expanding the sidebar. -- It is probably however a dupe of the "see also" you linked which covers this and is more up to date. Mar 27, 2020 at 10:16

1 Answer 1


The source of the page around the community advert is:

<img width="220" height="250" title="How to be a Programmer by Robert L. Read"
 alt="How to be a Programmer by Robert L. Read" src="https://i.stack.imgur.com/spkcb.png"/>

While the original image is a 440 x 500 image:

when this is put within the constraint of the img tag above, it becomes:

The web browser itself handles the scaling. If the scale is not an integer multiple of the base size or not the same for the x scale and y scale, it will look funny. This isn't anything site specific - but rather "it works because there is nothing funny going on."

However, as long as it's the proper size it looks ok.

It's not that Stack Exchange supports (or doesn't support) retina graphics but rather the browsers support it already. Even this ghastly IE 10 or Firefox 3.6 that I happen to be stuck with on this machine - it works.

The biggest challenge for the people creating the images is the size of the image fitting within the size (you don't want the image to take too long to download - and yes, you'll note that the image above is quite simple).

With that background, from the staff I will point you to the comments of this advert. The advert started off with one that was a bit askew to start with and later corrected (and another retina scale image).

@JimmyHoffa The display part forces it to 220x250. If its double size, it scales nicely (and high res screens show it nicely). If it's not the right size, it scales funny. You could make it 440x500 and it would work nicely. – MichaelT Jan 1 at 22:54

For the record: nobody manually adds these ads into the system. It's all automated, so unless the ad is sized correctly, as @MichaelT points out, it'll just look weird. – Anna Lear♦ Jan 2 at 1:21

Thus, by implication, a 440x500 image is sized correctly.

  • 1
    I will add that I know very little about how our ads work. :P But proportional scaling that maintains aspect ratio is a thing on the web, so the ads will at least not appear malformed.
    – Adam Lear StaffMod
    Feb 19, 2015 at 4:07
  • 2
    @AnnaLear Is that an official answer? If yes, could you make it one? If not, is there someone else to make one? It still causes a lot of confusion :-( Thanks a lot!
    – yo'
    Feb 26, 2015 at 2:34

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .