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#64770 by Mark F. Madura
Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:02 am
Customizing DataCAD's Interface for Hi-Rez Displays
Note: This article has been updated to reflect the newly-expanded Program Preferences dialog that now includes all of these settings. Prior to DataCAD 19, you'll have to change these settings, as noted below, by editing DCADWIN.INI using a text editor such as Notepad.

Starting with Windows Vista, Microsoft introduced display scaling to improve legibility on smaller, high resolution displays. The recent introduction of tablets like the Surface Pro 4 have pushed the typical 96 ppi of legacy laptop displays to 267 ppi. This means a 16 pixel icon that used to appear about 3/16” square, will be reduced to less than 3/32” square.

Display Scaling tries to overcome this problem by resizing the display by 150% or more. This can cause DataCAD's interface to look ‘chunky.’ You can often correct this problem by enabling DataCAD’s Logical Pen Width setting. Starting with DataCAD 19, Logical Pen Width is TRUE by default. On older versions, you'll have to manually change the value.

In the [General] section of DCADWIN.INI, set the key, Logical Pen Width=TRUE.

You can prevent Windows from scaling DataCAD’s interface by changing a compatibility setting.
- Right-click on your DataCAD program icon and select Properties.
- Select the Compatibility tab and check 'Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.'

Program Shortcut Compatibility Tab
DataCAD_Shortcut_Compatibility.jpg (76.49 KiB) Viewed 20275 times

After making these changes, DataCAD’s display should look sharper because the program interface will be shown 1:1, or pixel for pixel. However, everything will also appear smaller. On a 220 ppi display, the default interface will be too small to read for most of you. You’ll want to adjust some of DataCAD’s Interface settings to improve legibility.

In DataCAD's Tools, Program Preferences, Menus tab, you can bump the font size to 12 or 14. This will increase the size of the text on your left-hand menus.
Menu Button Font Settings
Menu_Font.png (12.75 KiB) Viewed 16980 times

On the Toolbars tab, you can increase the size of toolbar icons to 24 or 32 which will make them look about the same size as you’re used to. Note: You'll have to restart DataCAD to see the larger icons.
Toolbar Icon Size
Icon_Size.png (21.06 KiB) Viewed 16980 times

Some of DataCAD’s interface text such as the application title bar and pull-down menus is controlled by Windows. So you’ll need to change them using the Windows Control Panel.
Windows Personalization: Display
Personalization_Display.jpg (112.4 KiB) Viewed 20275 times

- Right-click on your desktop and select Personalize.
- In the lower-left corner under See Also, select Display.
- On this page, you can 'Change only the text size' if 'Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays' is unchecked.
- You can individually set the text size for Title bars, Menus, Message boxes, Palette titles, Icons, and Tooltips.
- Select Menus from the drop-down list and change it from the default of 9 to 12 or 14 to match the size you set for DataCAD's left-hand menus.
- Select Apply, and after a few moments Windows will update your display.
- You should see the change in DataCAD immediately.

There are a couple other interface settings you may find useful to customize the menus to your liking.

On the Menus tab, you can increase the Menu Button Spacing. This value determines the vertical space, measured in pixels, between left-hand menu buttons. You can increase this value to 'spread out' the buttons to make better use of the available menu area.

You can increase the Menu Button width. This value determines the additional width, measured in pixels, to increase the left-hand menu width by. Setting this value to 64 should add a little more than 1/4" to the menu on your tablet's display.

You can hide the function key indicators that normally appear next to the left-hand menu buttons. In the Function Key Indicators section, check Hide Function Key Indicators to remove the F1 through S0 labels.
Menu Button Width
Menu_Button_Width.png (19.77 KiB) Viewed 16980 times

In the [MenuBtn] section of DCADWIN.INI you'll find the following corresponding keys which are not accessible through the program interface prior to DataCAD 19.


Menu Window
Menu_Window_Large.jpg (46.64 KiB) Viewed 20275 times

On the Toolbars tab, you can increase the drop-down width of status bars. Setting this value to 64 will increase the width of drop-down elements such as Wall, Door, and Window types, a little more than 1/4" on your tablet's display.

Prior to DataCAD 19, you'll need to modify the the key, DropDownWidth, in the [StatusArea] section.
Drop-down Width
Drop-down_Width.png (5.25 KiB) Viewed 16980 times

Status Panel

On the Interface tab, Symbol Browser Docked Width allows you to increase the docked width of the Symbol Browser. Unlike Menu Button Width and Drop-down Width however, Docked Width is the total width in pixels. You'll have to use a value above the minimum width to see any effect. So start with a value above 160, like 256.

Prior to DataCAD 19, you'll need to modify the the key, DockWidth, iIn the [SymbolBrowser] section of DCADWIN.INI.
SB Docked Width.png
Symbol Browser Docked Width
SB Docked Width.png (15.55 KiB) Viewed 16980 times

The last thing you’ll want to do is calibrate DataCAD’s display aspect ratio so that squares and circles appear uniformly square and round. This will also ‘correct’ your display so that a display scale of 1/4" = 1’ - 0" will be true. In other words, you could use an architect’s scale to measure the drawing on your display.
Screen Calibration.jpg
Screen Calibration
Screen Calibration.jpg (42.91 KiB) Viewed 20275 times

Screen Calibration
- Choose “Program Preferences” from the “Tools” pull-down, and then choose the “Drawing tab.”
- Click on the “Screen Calibration” button. DataCAD displays the test pattern.
- Use a ruler to measure the length of each line on the screen, and then type their values in the fields below. Values may be entered using either decimal inches or millimeters.
Note: Make sure to enter the decimal value for each line, without the label; for example 9-1/4” would be 9.25.
- After you have entered both values, click OK on the “Screen Calibration” window, then OK again on the “Configure DataCAD for Windows” dialog. You have completed the process of calibrating your screen.

The best way to test the calibration is to draw a circle inside a square using coordinate input. Measure the length of the lines as they appear on the screen to confirm accuracy of the screen calibration, and check the display of the circle to ensure that it does not look like an ellipse. It should be noted that the shape of the lines and circle in the test pattern does not change after the screen is calibrated. Calibration only calibrates the drawing area.
Last edited by Mark F. Madura on Sun Dec 11, 2016 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Updated for expanded Program Preferences dialog.
#69838 by Neil Blanchard
Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:43 am
Hi Larry,

You Right Click on the file, and select Open With ... and select NotePad. When you save it, be sure it keeps the .INI extension; and not have a .TXT extension. If that happens, you just need to rename it, to get the INI extension.
#70655 by ROBERT PENN
Fri Jan 20, 2017 12:47 am
Hi Mark,

Thank you for this very informative guide.
It has been very helpful to me to set up my new hi-res screen.
However I still have a couple of issues -

- The pen table colours are only showing at a quarter of their size - see attachment
Screenshot 2017-01-20 16.31.37.png

- The layer manager menu text is very small even though the layer list is very readable.

Can you advise how i can correct these anomalities.
Screenshot 2017-01-20 16.31.51.png
#74984 by Neil Blanchard
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:49 pm
I am going to bump this thread, because this topic will be needed.

We want to increase the size of the 3 minimize / maximize / close buttons on the upper right of the DRAWING window (as opposed to the DataCAD window) - is this possible? If so, where?

The menu fonts are very crisp on the 4K display, but the Preferences dialog itself is quite pixelated and jaggy. And some of the labels (the font size in the menu in the Interface tab) are cut off, so you only see about 1/2 the words.
#74985 by Neil Blanchard
Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:55 pm
I asked how to get the drawing area clearer on a 4K monitor, in Win10, and this is Dave G's answer:

David A. Giesselman wrote:Right-click on dcadwin.exe and bring up its Properties dialog and go to the Compatibility tab. Towards the bottom of the Settings panel select Change high DPI settings. On the next dialog, make certain that nothing is checked in the Program DPI panel. In the High DPI scaling override panel, try checking Override high DPI scaling behavior and set the dropdown to Application. Apply the changes and let us know if that makes any difference.

#75986 by Neil Blanchard
Thu Mar 14, 2019 9:05 am
Any chance that the original post can be updated for Windows 10?

When I set the Menu Button Display Setting Font size to 16 on the dialog, and go back to the Preferences, it says 11. If I set it to 18, the Preference says 12.

On the Toolbars tab, if I set the Toolbar Font to 16, the preferences then says 11, as well.

Same things on Interface tab, and setting the Layer Manager List Font - set it to 16, and it shows as 11. The LM is also controlled by the Interface tab / Dialog Box Size, so that even if I set the LM List Font to 9, it still looks too big, and shows on the preference dialog as 11.

So, in the LM if I scale dialogs at 100%, and set the LM font to 16, it shows as 11 on the Preferences, and it shows nicely on my monitor. But the Preferences dialog is pretty small, and the buttons in the LM are also tiny.
#80503 by Ted B.
Thu Dec 16, 2021 12:27 pm
Geez....you get in your 60s and suddenly you're half-blind squinting at the screen. I think I need to do this. I'm also going to hook an unused 19-inch 4-K Sharp flat-screen TV up as a second monitor. They say it's easy.

Do I have to keep the Segoe Ul font? Maybe something easier to read?
Getting old sucks......

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