Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: C:\Users\Graeme\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Word\Candy Technote-small.jpg The downsides of new high-resolution monitors


Terms used

Monitor = your computer’s screen

DPI = dots-per-inch

PPI = pixels-per-inch

UHD = ultra high definition

Resolution – how finely a device can display something.

Points – officially 72.27 units per inch – used for the size of text - nothing to do with pixels. Apple used 72, MS used 96.


New monitors have come onto the market with many more pixels-per-inch than before. When a font is created at say 12 points, on old monitors this would have been readable (12/96 = 1/8” = ~3mm high), but for various reasons (that prove that MS do not understand points), on a high DPI monitor this will be unreadably small. Unless you set your computer to “Large fonts”, you would be looking at tiny, unreadable text on your new UHD monitor.

In Windows 8 and 10 Microsoft has attempted to address the problems associated with high resolution monitors. Their solution is to simply enlarge everything and smooth it, which makes the window contents fuzzy.

The correct solution is to make the text and controls larger, relative to the tiny pixels.

External or secondary monitors

However, with the practice of having a second monitor that does not have the same resolution as the primary, the problem gets worse. When you drag a window from one to the other, the text sizes change dramatically.

In Windows 10, we can get the resolution values per monitor. This means that we can detect the pixels-per-inch and adjust all our drawing accordingly. Fonts should remain approximately the same size across very different monitors.

What to do if things are fuzzy in Candy.

  1. Set up your monitors individually to the recommended resolution and text sizes in Windows Display properties.
  2. Make sure that you have restarted your computer. The windows settings require this.
  3. If an application appears fuzzy, go to its launcher (probably the desktop icon, right-click for the Properties, and go to the Compatibility tab. Turn everything OFF except for the “Override high DPI scaling” option, which should be ON. This will make the application windows sharp again.

What to do if Candy’s text is very small or very large on my second monitor

  1. If you have monitors with different DPI values (i.e. a high DPI laptop and an ordinary monitor or a computer with a UHD second monitor), in Candy, go to System Settings->Interface and set the “High DPI aware” option ON.
  2. Restart Candy.

How to optimise sizes of fonts and controls with two monitors.

Windows decides on the sizes of fonts and controls by looking at the primary monitor when it starts up.


Laptops with external monitors

Problem: You have a laptop with a UHD external monitor. Fonts and Controls are very small on your UHD external monitor.

Solution: Make the external monitor the primary one and the laptop screen the secondary one. When the external monitor is connected, windows looks at that one. When it is disconnected, it defaults to looking at the laptop screen.

Other combinations of monitors

Generally, make your preferred working monitor the primary one.


Future development

We are still working on true font sizes and in future versions of Candy, the document font sizes may change after an upgrade. You can easily set these back to preferred sizes. Please bear with us while we make these changes to the new high-res world.