Running at higher DPI

A couple of days ago i spotted a blog post by Daniel Moth called 10 Tips on How to Setup Your Laptop before a Demo

10 pretty solid tips but what caught my eye was the second one.

“Run at (120) High DPI.Task Subject Start Date Reminder Time Due Date In Folder Categories 
Expo Bespoke None None None Tasks To-Do  I cannot stress this enough. If you are on Vista this requires a reboot but give it a try now and you’ll never look back (all icons suddenly come alive)”

Since I’m so easily influenced 🙂 i decided to try it out

It wasn’t immediately obvious (to me anyway) where to do this but eventually i found it

Goto to control panel, select the personalization option (or just click start, and start to type personalization). On the left hand side of the windows, under tasks you’ll have an option “Adjust font size (DPI)”. You’ll need admin rights to change this

Change from the default setting of 96DPI to the larger 120 size and reboot your PC. You can set a custom setting if you want but i wouldn’t recommend it.

So why did i do this?

Well i’m firmly in the multiple monitor camp and consider it a serious fetish of mine where bigger and more is better! I’m currently running two 19 inch screens. I’d love to get a couple more screens and up the sizes to 22-24inch but money and office space are sort of stopping me at the moment.

I digress.

I’m running both screens at 1280 x 1024 so anything to make the most of those pixels is good in my eyes (pun not intended)

As daniel mentions in his blog the icons look great and a lot of text cheap ativan online becomes much more readable. Outlook almost looks like a completely different app!

However, there is a downside which means i don’t quite agree when Daniel says “you’ll never look back”

The problem is that applications have to be “DPI aware” (as i understand it)

This means Outlook, Word, etc all look fine

Web browsing is a different matter.

I’m currently typing this in a form field on the wordpress site. The control itself must be DPI aware as the text it’s in the larger font size i’ve seen over the last few days. However the rest of the site is rendered normally. This means i have lots of small text in amongst larger text. If i visit the BBC website after reading some emails it throws the eyes slightly as your switching between the text sizes

Also some sites render “correctly” in the new large size as they must be DPI aware. This seems to throw the layout all over the place and sites don’t always display as expected.

Vista sidebar items also stays it’s normal size so my gadgets are tiny in comparison

I’m sure this will improve over time as screen sizes are getting bigger and prices are getting smaller so applications will need to be more intelligent

I decided to run in this mode for a couple of weeks as the stuff that does work, works really well so i might be happy to sacrifice the little annoyances

Note: Couple of good posts explaining this more

Nice visual demo of how it looks in different DPI settings here

Some screenshots of how to change the settings with some good developer information

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Andy Parkes is Technical Director at Coventry based IT support company IBIT Solutions. Formerly, coordinator of AMITPRO and Microsoft Partner Area Lead for 2012-2013. He also isn't a fan of describing himself in the third person.

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