Scaling the Display

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Today’s Question: You said: “Note that on the Windows platform you are able to adjust the scaling of Photoshop to help improve the experience on high resolution displays.”  How do you do that?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Windows users can adjust the overall interface scaling in the Display section of Settings for the operating system, provided you are using Windows 10 Creators Update or later. Photoshop will make use of that setting, with a few additional options available for fine-tuning the scaling of the Photoshop interface.

More Detail: This is a follow-up to yesterday’s answer about using a high-resolution display on a Macintosh computer. I mentioned that Macintosh users don’t have the ability to adjust the interface scaling in Photoshop, while Windows users do. That said, similar to Macintosh, you may find that simply adjusting your operating system settings provides an adequate solution.

In the Settings for Windows you can go to Display in the System category. There you’ll find a scaling control, which enables you to enlarge the overall interface independently for each monitor display you have connected to your computer. Most applications (including Photoshop) will be affected by changes you make to these settings.

There is also a separate UI Scaling control that can be changed in Photoshop on the Interface tab of the Preferences dialog. In addition, on both Windows and Macintosh you can adjust the UI Font Size control to adjust the size of text within Photoshop. Increasing the font size can obviously make that text easier to read on a high-resolution display.

On the Workspace tab of the Preferences dialog you can also choose a couple of options to reduce the amount of space consumed by some of the controls after scaling your overall display. You can turn off the Large Tabs checkbox if you’d like to reduce the size of the tabs for each image you have open in Photoshop. You can also turn on the “Enable Narrow Options Bar” checkbox if you would like to reduce the overall size of the Options bar below the menu bar.

Note that some of the changes you make in the Preferences dialog in Photoshop will require you to restart Photoshop before the changes take effect.