Using Live Writer on High DPI Computers

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.

Categories: Blogging, Live Writer

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