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I have monitor LG Flatron W2243S. I've tried to set screen resolution to 1440x900 but picture is very blurry. Only clear resolution was 1920x1080. But then, font is very small.
I've set up font size to 125% in control panel. Font on desktop icons is fine now, but font in other programs (skype, web browsers, etc) is still very small.
Is there any solution for this or do I have to change setting in each app individually?

Thank you!

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    For information, LCD screens are always better in their native resolution. Any resolution under will be a bit blurry. It's a matter of LCD technology, as opposed to the old CRT. – Gnoupi Jul 14 '10 at 7:45
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Not all software is well written. This includes not respecting DPI settings, and includes web sites that use pixel (absolute) sizes.

  • Amen brother, websites with specific pixel sizes are everywhere. I have a high(ish) res display, and assumed that setting the default font size in my browser appropriately would make 95% of websites display at a decent size. No, no, no ): – Andy Jul 14 '10 at 9:44
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:) man, your screen resolution is 1920x1080 and you try to scale smaller image on those 1920x1080 pixel, so what you want?! Setting the lower resolution, you got scaling image on pixels that your monitor actually has... There's difference between LCD and CRT monitors, that CRT's oscilloscope have no pixels at all, it just projecting an image to the screen.

If you want to see larger fonts on 1920x1080, change your screen DPI: It's right click on desktop then select Personalize than find Display on left sidebar and than find Set custom DPI size, when you change this, windows will ask you to reboot.

  • I've set custom DPI size but apparently you didn't read my post carefully. – šljaker Jul 14 '10 at 8:06
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    @šljaker, wtf man... i think you changed not DPI -> but Font size which shown with 3 radiobars (100%, 125%, 150%), DPI is absolutely other thing at all!!!!! Watch the sidebar in windows named Display! – Anotomix Jul 14 '10 at 8:26
  • When you change DPI size, you get the same screen with 3 radio buttons + 1 radio button called 'Custom' with value from DPI picker. So, it's the same. I'm sorry that I can't down vote you twice, because you're very rood. – šljaker Jul 14 '10 at 8:53
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Introduction

Apparently Microsoft developed a new installation routine for Windows 7 that checks for the native resolution of your monitor during installation. If Windows 7 has a correct display driver at hand during installation, then it will determine which base resolution to set and based on that resolution which DPI setting it will use.

Examples

Example 1: If you have a small 18" LCD monitor with a 1280 x 800 native resolution and install Windows 7 it will determine that your fonts do not have to be resized and will set your default DPI to 100% (default) in the display settings. Your fonts will be displayed at 96 DPI.

Example 2: If you have a bigger 24" LCD monitor running with a 1900 x 1200 resolution and install Windows 7 it will determine that your fonts would be displayed pretty small at 96 DPI and will instead set your default DPI for fonts to 125% (default) in the display settings. The system fonts will be displayed at 120 DPI which is approximately 125% of 96 DPI.

Example 3: If you have a bigger 24" LCD monitor running with a 1280x 800 non-native resolution and install Windows 7 it will determine that your fonts do not have to be resized and will set your default DPI to 100% (default) in the display settings. In this example you will have small fonts when you resize from 100% (default) to 125% DPI.

Example 3's issues explained

Why is this? Well during the installation routine if your default DPI setting was installed at 100% (default) then some of the system fonts are set incorrectly in the registry. These system fonts do not scale like most of the other fonts.

If you resize from 100% to 125% then these system fonts will stay small. This seems to match your issue.

The fonts that are affected by this phenomena are:

  • MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24
  • MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24
  • Courier 10,12,15

During installation at 100% DPI (or 96 DPI) the registry setting for "MS Sans Serif..." will probably have been set to SSERIFE.FON (language dependent).

Fix

To enable correct scaling to 125% you would have to change the registry setting to SSERIFF.FON as this will allow for correct font scaling at 125%.

Registry

The registry setting you have to change can be found at:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts\MS Sans Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24  
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts\MS Serif 8,10,12,14,18,24  
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts\Courier 10,12,15  

Windows Default DPI Setting

Now before you go and change anything, have a look at your default DPI setting in the display settings.

If your default DPI setting is 100% (default) then your fonts should be set to the SERIFE variant, which is the correct setting for small monitors that would not scale up to 125%.

If your default DPI setting is 125% (default) then your fonts should be set to the SERIFF variant, which is the correct setting for bigger monitors that can scale up to 125%.

Caution

Depending on the language of your Windows 7 you might find different values for the fonts. Following is a list (possibly not complete) of values available for different languages:

MS Sans Serif

125% DPI font file | 100% DPI font file  
--------------------------------------- 
SSERIFF.FON        | SSERIFE.FON  
SSERIFFE.FON       | SSERIFEE.FON  
SSERIFFG.FON       | SSERIFEG.FON  
SSERIFFR.FON       | SSERIFER.FON  
SSERIFFT.FON       | SSERIFET.FON  
SSEF1255.FON       | SSEE1255.FON  
SSEF1256.FON       | SSEE1256.FON  
SSEF1257.FON       | SSEE1257.FON  
SSEF874.FON        | SSEE874.FON  

MS Serif

125% DPI font file | 100% DPI font file  
--------------------------------------- 
SERIFF.FON         | SERIFE.FON 
SERIFFE.FON        | SERIFEE.FON 
SERIFFG.FON        | SERIFEG.FON 
SERIFFR.FON        | SERIFER.FON 
SERIFFT.FON        | SERIFET.FON 
SERF1255.FON       | SERE1255.FON 
SERF1256.FON       | SERE1256.FON 
SERF1257.FON       | SERE1257.FON 

Courier

125% DPI font file | 100% DPI font file  
--------------------------------------- 
COURF.FON          | COURE.FON 
COURFE.FON         | COUREE.FON 
COURFG.FON         | COUREG.FON 
COURFR.FON         | COURER.FON 
COURFT.FON         | COURET.FON 
COUF1255.FON       | COUE1255.FON 
COUF1256.FON       | COUE1256.FON 
COUF1257.FON       | COUE1257.FON 

After you have changed the values in the registry, you have to reboot your computer.

Bonus Display Settings (XP Style)

If you are still encountering issues with old programs (like I did with Groupwise) there is an option in the display setting on the right called user defined text size (DPI) to manually enter a text size in DPI. If you click on the XP style... check box in the dialog, you might be able to solve other issues you encounter with older programs.

Additional Resources & Sources

Windows 7, bitmap fonts and Microsoft Dynamics GP
More on Windows 7, bitmap fonts and DPI settings

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