18 Replies Latest reply on Jan 1, 2016 10:59 AM by Richard Wagenaar

    SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless

    Richard Wagenaar

      When working on high resolution monitors or tablets you could

      encounter visability problems in SW2013 and even more in SW2014.


      Find the pictures of the font size modify menu vs propertymanager

      in SW2013 and 2014. Settings are the same for both 2013 and 2014.


      Here you can see how small the font size is in the property

      manager when compared to the modify menu.  In 2013 and 2014

      the fontsize in the modify menu is the same, however in the

      property manager the font size has decreased at least 30% in 2014.

      There is nothing you can do about this. I already had problems

      with the 2013 font size,  now it is again 30% smaller in SW2014.


      Still Windows scaling does not work in SW2014. In SW2013 150%

      caused corrupt menus. But now in SW 2014  even 125% already causes

      corrupt menus see problem description of scaling problems

      at 125% from  Ben Daniels here



      I have tried to change the font size and button size in the

      customize menu, it appears that this was added in SW2014 to

      improve things but it appears things only get worse.


      In the picture SW2014 FONT AND BUTTON SETTINGS BIG.png you

      can see that it doesn't fix anything to set the new customize option

      font/button to big size. The small font sizes just stay the same.


      In the picture SW2014 FONT AND BUTTON SETTINGS BIG causes scrolling.png

      you can see that the RMB options get huge and the vertical font

      distance is far too big. The same is also true for the tree.

      Even if you only set the buttons size to big, the RMB options get huge.

      This will cause a lot of unnecessairy scrolling and mouseclicks.

      The distance between fonts in the RMB options and the tree should be

      as small as possible to prevent from unnecessairy scrolling and mouseclicks.


      So the new font and button settings are useless,  the big problem

      is the small font for the modify menu and the property manager.

      Solidworks should just fix the problems with the small font and

      set it the same size as the big fonts in the menus. They should also

      correct the vertical distance between the fonts.


      There is just no way you can set these small most used fonts bigger,

      you can only make the big fonts bigger and have an even more

      useless UI.


      I wonder why it is this difficult to only get the most basic things right.

        • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
          Kevin Berni



          I’m a member of the User Experience Design group here in the SolidWorks R&D team. We are responsible for the the usability and user interface design of SolidWorks.


          First, let me acknowledge and apologize for the issues with font scaling on high resolution monitors. In both SolidWorks 2013 and SolidWorks 2014 we made some changes which have had unintended consequences. These changes were largely focused around support for touch devices like the Surface Pro, and involved things like increased button sizes and active button areas when using touch. We thought the changes worked across different devices, screen sizes, and resolutions, but obviously we were wrong. We screwed up, and we apologize for this.


          We are taking this issue seriously, and it is getting priority attention in the R&D team. We are actively working on fixes right now. These fixes are rooted in the Service Requests (SRs) that have been submitted, and the SPRs that came out of those SRs. The first batch of fixes will be included in SolidWorks 2014 SP02, which will be available in the coming weeks.


          The fixes in SP02 are focused on the text sizing issues, and on making sure our text sizing does not clash with the Windows font scaling. To do this, we needed to redesign the UI for touch support, and we have re-worked the Tools Customize dialog box to provide an “Optimize spacing for touch” setting; this new setting will drive the sizing of user interface elements for touch interaction. This change also allows us to fix some of the inconsistencies with the height of text in the FeatureManager tree, menus, and PropertyManagers.


          We are committed to get this right, but unfortunately it isn’t as simple as just setting a font. Everything will not be fixed in SP02, but you should see a significant improvement. In the near future, we plan to complete the work of fixing these issues and streamlining the interface for text, button, and touch sizing.   Development resources have been and continue to be committed to working on this.


          Please continue to document issues you see. This has been extremely helpful to us in diagnosing and ultimately coming up with a plan to fix these problems.  We’d love to hear your feedback on the changes as they get made and how they are working on your system.


          Thanks again for your patience,




          Kevin Berni

          SolidWorks R&D, User Experience Design

            • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
              Gavin M

              Hi Kevin,


              Was there a lot of demand from users to optimise SolidWorks for the Surface Pro? I'd like to see a show of hands at SWW next week to see who is currently using a Surface for anything and for SolidWorks in particular. I worry that something like the Surface is diverting scarce developer resources and introducing problems to the vastly more common desktop use case for very little benefit.


              Maybe it's all a consequence of Microsoft's insistance on the "no compromises" tactic with Windows 8 and that you're just trying to do the right thing and make SolidWorks work well across any installation of Windows 8. However, with HP touting Windows 7 machines as being 'back by popular demand', I'd hazzard a guess that even the propotion of your user base that is running Window 8 is very low.

              • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                Eric Vincenot


                I have been using dual 30" 2560x1600 setups since 2004 when these displays were first introduced (Apple cinema, Dell 3007wfp).

                I was not using any Windows or Solidworks font and icon scaling options and had no particular problems although fonts and icons were on the smallish side.


                One of my two Dell 3008WFP died in December 2013 and I replaced it with a 32" 4k resolution Dell UP3214Q keeping the remaining 30" as the second screen.

                At this resolution Display scaling is an obligation and is now set at 150% in Win7x64.

                Most applications are scaling well, some are troublesome but useable, Solidworks is by far the worst offender. SW2014 in 4k resolution in Win7x64 is horrible and I say that having used Solidworks since SW98 on Windows NT and gone through many resolution increases and OS changes since.  As this has been exposed at length by Richard Wagenaar I will not expand on it.


                There is an additional problem, now that I am using a second screen with a different resolution the "View>Workspace>Dual Monitor" menu command which I was previously using sends the CommandManager and PropertyManager into the wrong position. I can see the bottom of the related windows but there is no way to drag them back in a useable position. Sometimes they just disappear somewhere and I have to use "View>Workspace>Default" and drag and resize them to the second monitor.


                However I am glad that the issue of scaling on high resolution screens is being taken seriously. 4k displays will become common place within a couple of years and it looks like they are mostly going to be 28" and below making the current problem worse.

                  • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                    Richard Wagenaar

                    SP2 fixed some problems, the scrolling problem in the right mousebutton

                    and the tree has improved. The distance between the text in the tree is

                    based on Windows OS scaling and the font height is adjusted by Windows

                    OS icon size,  that is not logical. The vertical distance should be calculated

                    on the real necessary height.


                    The fontheight of the text in the tree can be adjusted by the Windows OS icon size,

                    but you cannot change the size of the most used text: the property managers

                    and the edit dimensions menus. 

                    The biggest problem is font height in the property managers and

                    the edit dimension menu in part/assembly mode, you can't change that.

                    These fonts are far too small for high resolution monitors.

                    This is not fixed in SP2.

                    You still need 150-200% scaling and that still causes problems

                    I hope SP3 will finally fix this biggest problem.


                    It would be better if Solidworks has it's own adjustments for font heights that are

                    the most often used  like tree/propertymanagers and edit dimensions.

                  • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                    Roy Potter

                    Slighly off subject but still asscociated with UI, why go to buttons/title bars with dark text on dark background?

                    I've never had an issue with SW UI but 2014 is dark. The display has always worked with my seating and screen position but now 2014 makes all the titles in the various headers difficult to read. Instead of having my screen at the angle I've had for the past 8+ years I have to angle the top towards me to get the titles to be clear. They're not unreadable just diffiucult to scan across the screen and pick up the text .i.e. having to concentrate harder on reading the screen rather than the job in hand.

                    Then when switching out of 2014 all the other applications seem very bright. I've seen many changes to the UI and always got on with them and thought they were good changes but this one, no.

                    Why change?



                    • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                      Alberto Bia

                      Hi Kevin,


                      I installed a SP2 today on a new Dell M4800 with 1800x3000 screen.

                      The fixes o the font and icon size do not even by far solve the problem. Menu end property manager windows are cut and dialog windows/boxes are horrible. Widgets like Solidworks exploer are unusable.


                      I solved the porblem only by reducing the sreen resolution at 1080x1920, but clearly the picture quality is blurry. Using Windows 8.1 should help a little because it already supports (even if still not perfectly) this type of displays.


                      So I am glad that you are working to address the problem and I hope that a better soluton will come soon.


                      Best Regards

                      Alberto Bia

                      • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                        Richard K.

                        Hi Kevin,


                        Appreciate all your efforts toward improving the UI.  I thought this thread would be a sensible place to post this.


                        I noticed the DPI setting in Windows (Start | Run | DpiScaling.exe) has an unfortunate side-effect in Solidworks of increasing vertical spacing between menu items.  The result is they don't always fit on the screen and you need to do an obnoxious amount of scrolling.


                        On 100% DPI:



                        On 125% DPI:



                        Laptop displays tend to be smaller than desktop ones of equivalent resolution, and at high resolutions you need the bigger DPI to keep text a comfortable size.  Unfortunately it's on exactly these type of displays where vertical pixels are at a premium (laptops tend to have large X resolutions but small Y ones).


                        It would be great if Solidworks could address this.  I've tried the "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" application compatibility option but it doesn't seem to have an effect.

                      • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                        Adrian Canoso

                        This is a relief, currently SW2014 R1 is barely readable on a apple retina display. Eagerly awating the fix and thanks for the official update.

                        • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                          Jesse Vanderhoff

                          I'm currently running SolidWorks Education Edition Academic Year 2013-2014/ 2013 SP5.0 and I have similar issues on a Dell M4800 with 3200 x 1800 display. Any resolution planned for the academic users?


                          • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                            Josh Glessner

                            Just wanted to echo the concerns of other users here... we are starting to acquire some high-dpi laptops for our engineering team (Dell XPS 15 Touch w/ 3200x1800px display) and SW2014 SP5 still does not handle Windows 8.1 UI scaling properly. This computer defaults to 200% scaling, and basically requires it in order to make on-screen elements visible, but tons of elements in Solidworks do not obey the OS-level scaling.

                            • Re: SW2014 property manager font 30% smaller and new font/buttons options are useless
                              Kevin Godfrey

                              And now we have SW2015, yet the problem remains. It's ridiculous in this day and age to have to go back to an older monitor just to be able to read text.



                              SW font problem.JPG