Using Live Writer on High DPI Computers

31 December, 2014 (11:43) | Blogging, Live Writer | By: Mark V

I love Live Writer for blogging. I have used it for years. I will continue to use it until they pry it from my cold, dead hands. However, since using some high DPI (that Dots Per Inch) laptops over the past several months, I have had trouble with it. On very high DPI, the scale was way off and the usable writing surface was very narrow. Figure 1 shows what Live Writer looks like for me on default settings in Windows 8.1 on a Dell XPS with 3200×1800 resolution.

Figure 1


Yuck. The writing surface is only 66 characters wide. That makes laying out posts very difficult since the writing surface is just a bit more than half of what I am used to and the posts will display on my blog.

Figure 2

imageI played around with some settings in Live Writer and in Windows and nothing made a difference for me. I had seen folks mention that I could “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings” for Live Writer. That setting is shown in Figure 2.

Unfortunately, that did not help me at all.


So, I reached out on Twitter about blogging tools people use. I also tweeted to Microsoft’s mighty Scott Hanselman (Blog|Twitter). Scott has an interesting blog post on the topic: Living a High-DPI Desktop Lifestyle Can Be Painful.








He asked about my settings for DPI and scaling, etc. I checked my settings, which you can see in Figure 3.

Figure 3


Ah. So Windows was, by default, doubling the size of all items so they would be large enough to see on that high resolution. Scott said that he used 125% here and that worked pretty well for him. I made that change and kept my 3200×1800 resolution and everything was so small on my screen that I could not function effectively. Perhaps with a giant external monitor, it would be OK. But not on my laptop screen.

I changed the Size of All Items to 125% like Scott had recommended and then lowered my resolution to 1920×1080. Aha. Figure 4 shows Live Writer under these new conditions. Much better. I also repeated the same image from Figure 1 so they can be easily compared.

Figure 4



In this perspective, it is easy to see the difference. So, the settings that work just great for me are shown in Figures 5 and 6 respectively. I just make these changes when I am going to be blogging. Not that changing the Size of All Items setting does require you to log off and then back on to take effect.

Figure 5


Figure 6


I hope this helps. I went to shout out to Scott to say thanks not only for helping out with this issue, but also for championing Live Writer as an excellent blogging tool.


Comment from Ben Thul
Time December 31, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Does that also happen to help with the scaling issues in SSMS’ Object Explorer?

Comment from Mark V
Time December 31, 2014 at 1:28 pm

I just tried SSMS and it was definitely better. Made a huge difference from what I can see.

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