Slideshow: Adjust DPI scaling in Windows 7

If the available settings don't yield satisfactory results, you can experiment with a Custom DPI Setting

Using a custom DPI setting

If one of the available DPI settings doesn't yield satisfactory results or if you just want to experiment a little, you can click Set custom text size (DPI). When you do, you'll see the Custom DPI Setting dialog box, as shown.

There are several ways that you can create a custom DPI setting. First, you can use click the drop down arrow and select one of the preset percentages from the list, you can type a percentage value in the text box, or you can click and drag the ruler to increase the DPI to whatever percentage that you want. As you can see the default setting is 100% which is 96 DPI. At the bottom of the ruler you'll see some example text that shows you what the 9-point Segoe UI font will look like at 96 pixels per inch - which essentially is 96 DPI. Table A lists all of the preset percentages in the drop down list and the accompanying DPI setting.

Table A


DPI Setting









It's a good idea to give a couple of the preset percentages a try before you begin using the ruler method. Doing so will allow you to determine a baseline that you can then use to set your custom percentage.

To use the ruler method, just click on the number 1 and drag to the right. As you do, you'll see the percentage increase and the example text changes to keep pace with the increase.

Keep in mind that if you use a DPI setting higher than 96, the text and other graphical items in programs that are not designed to work with the DPI scaling engine might appear blurry. To compensate for those types of programs, Windows 7 incorporates a backward compatible DPI scaling feature that will kick in when you run those programs. As such, it is advisable that you leave the Windows XP style DPI scaling check box selected.

About Greg Shultz

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

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