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Rainmeter and DPI in Windows 10

Tips and Tricks from the Rainmeter Community
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jsmorley
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Rainmeter and DPI in Windows 10

jsmorley » December 12th, 2015, 5:34 pm

While this isn't going to go into all the ins and outs of how DPI (Dots Per Inch) works in Windows 10 , I did want to address one facet of it that can impact Rainmeter.
Dots per inch (DPI)) is the physical measurement of number of pixels in a linear inch of a display. DPI is a function of display resolution and size; a higher resolution or a smaller size will lead to higher DPI, and a lower resolution or a larger size will lead to lower DPI. When a display has a higher DPI, pixels are smaller and closer together, so that the user interface (UI) and other displayed content appears smaller than intended.

Windows ensures that everything appears on the screen at a usable and consistent size by instructing applications (including the Windows desktop shell) to resize their content by a scale factor. This number depends on the display DPI as well as other factors that impact the user’s perception of the display. Almost all desktop displays and most current laptop displays are in the range of 95-110 DPI; for these devices, no scaling is required, and Windows sets a scale factor of 100%. However, there are a number of new devices, particularly in the premium laptop and tablet markets, which have higher displays with over 200 DPI. For these devices, Windows sets higher scale factors to ensure that the user experience is comfortably viewable.

When you change the DPI scaling level for your displays, it changes the size of text, apps and other items to appear larger or smaller. A higher DPI level has everything appear larger, and a lower DPI level has everything appear smaller.

The default DPI level is 100% (96 DPI).
If Windows has automatically set the DPI level to 125%, which it may do on some high-resolution monitors, laptops and tablets, or if you prefer the 125% DPI level and set it manually, Rainmeter will obey that setting like any other Windows application.

However, that may not be what you want. Most of the skins you might download and use were almost certainly designed with a DPI setting of 100% (96 DPI) in mind. They may display much larger than the author intended, and not fit where they used to, and may be somewhat "pixelated" and ugly.

What you might want is to allow Windows (the Windows interface elements and application windows) to be at the 125% or even larger value, but have Rainmeter use 100% (96 DPI) for its skins. You can do that.

The setting for DPI is done in the Setting panels in Windows. Here we are set to 125%, which we want.
DPI1.jpg
To change Rainmeter to ignore this and use 100% DPI, find the "shortcut" for Rainmeter, which you will find in your Startup folder in Windows:
DPI2.jpg
Right-click that shortcut, and select "Properties". Under Properties, select the "Compatibility" tab, and check the box labeled "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings".
DPI3.jpg

Restart Rainmeter using the shortcut.

Note that there are a couple of places in Rainmeter that won't be effected by this, since they are things that are not actually created and rendered by Rainmeter, but by Windows itself. These are the FontSize in InputText fields, and the size of context menus in skins. These will always use the DPI setting in Windows.
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Borck
Posts: 2
Joined: January 29th, 2016, 2:23 pm

Re: Rainmeter and DPI in Windows 10

Borck » April 25th, 2017, 8:38 pm

I implemented a rainmeter skin which supports HiDPI:
http://fav.me/d9hqg96
socrates
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Joined: September 17th, 2017, 11:39 pm

Re: Rainmeter and DPI in Windows 10

socrates » September 17th, 2017, 11:57 pm

Thanks mate, this helped a lot. I've just posted this issue in the help section.
I have a dpi scaling of 150%, use a 80" TV as a HTPC monitor from about 8 feet away.
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dvo
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Re: Rainmeter and DPI in Windows 10

dvo » September 18th, 2017, 5:12 pm

it doesn't matter how big your thing is ...it's what you can do with it :) not even see a nixel ( transparant pixel ) :D :rofl: :oops:
same here 40 inch :P ;-)
phcreery
Posts: 1
Joined: October 9th, 2018, 10:09 pm

Re: Rainmeter and DPI in Windows 10

phcreery » October 9th, 2018, 10:13 pm

I have Microsoft Surface Pro 4 and default scaling is 200% and this trick worked perfectly.
You can also change it by:
Right Clicking C:\Program Files\Rainmeter\Rainmeter.exe > Properties > Compatability > etc