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Re: 72 dpi vs actual dpi

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg66008] Re: 72 dpi vs actual dpi
  • From: "Chris Chiasson" <chris.chiasson at>
  • Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 04:38:25 -0400 (EDT)
  • References: <e0dtem$rch$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Assuming the monitor is set to the same dpi that windows "renders to",
the following workaround from Tom Zeller at WRI should make onscreen
Mathematica graphs and fonts exactly the same size as they are on
paper. Also, if you use Format->Show Ruler (in ver 5.2), the onscreen
ruler will match a real ruler held up to the screen.

Take your screen dpi and divide it by 72 to make a machine precision
number. In my case, this was 86/72=1.1944444444444444`. Open the
options inspector, show options for global, and search for
magnification. Paste the aforementioned value into the magnification
field and okay everything. You're done.

One problem with this workaround is that if you use change
magnification later, then you have to manually set the magnification
again to get real size fonts, unless someone knows a way to add the
custom value to the menu and would like to correct me.

Method for obtaining a properly calibrated display dpi under Windows
1. Find your monitor's active display area specs (width, height) and
confirm them via measurement.

2. Set a (high) resolution such that the horizontal number of pixels
divided by monitor width is equal to the vertical number of pixels
divided by monitor height. Write down this ratio; it is the dpi. A
higher dpi is usually better.

3. Go to: Display Properties->Settings->Advanced->General->DPI
Setting->Custom Setting. Adjust the percentage value until the pixels
per inch shown in the display text equals your monitor dpi. Okay
everything. Reboot if necessary. Your onscreen text will look strange
at this point.

4. Go to: Display Properties->Appearance->Font Size. Choose a font
"size" (if they had given real sizes here, this would be easier) that
makes the onscreen fonts approximately the same size as they were
before adjusting the pixels per inch.

5. If you have an LCD, or just want to try it, launch Microsoft's Clear
Type tuning page, presently located at

and follow the onscreen instructions, which will probably include
installing an ActiveX control to adjust the fonts for you. After
everything is done, I recommend rebooting.


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