Very High Resolution Monitors – things to consider

Those of us who do precision work on computers have a love/hate relationship with high-resolution monitors, it seems. And there are always growing-pains as monitors step up a level in their capabilities. On the one hand, high resolution monitors provide crisper detail and more densely packed information on the screen. On the other hand, in some applications, the feature sizes can become prohibitively small.


We’ve had some customers contact us about difficulties getting PCB123 to function well with very high resolution (3840×2160) monitors. Here’s what seems to be happening.


In setting up a normal sized, but very high resolution monitor (3840×2160), and compensating for the consequently extremely small size of the objects on the screen, users sometimes cope by enlarging the font size.  When the screen is in such a high resolution on a normal sized monitor, many users are dissatisfied because everything is so very small.  Sometimes the user will attempt to maintain the high resolution and compensate by creating large fonts to make text easier to see when everything else is so small.  However, those larger fonts do not scale the other graphics on the screen (such as bitmaps in controls and custom owner-drawn controls). 

PCB123 uses a lot of owner-draw controls (the layer color/visibility grid, etc.) and even more bitmaps in controls (the checkboxes in the layout appearance panel).  These items will not scale when using Large Custom Fonts (Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display) and will look kooky compared with how it looks at normal resolutions.
Recommended solution:
  • maintain a normal resolution for the size of your monitor
  • purchase a larger size monitor that can properly display at that high resolution (3840×2160 requires a monitor of about 56″)
  • use the high resolution, unadjusted fonts, and squint.
If you find yourself in this situation, and want to revert back:
  • go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display and select the default custom font size (Smaller – 100%)
  • reduce the monitor’s resolution to that recommended for the size of the monitor (go to Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\Display\Screen Resolution).