# Mathematica 11 with High DPI 4k screen

My laptop has a 17 inch 4k screen, running Windows 10 and Ubuntu 1604. Both systems are set to 2x scaling. But Mathematica 11 (released 2016-08-08) is still blurry like version 10. Is there a simple fix to this problem?

• I do not believe Mathematica on Windows/Linux supports High DPI screens as of this point in time.
– ktm
Aug 11 '16 at 18:34
• – Kuba
Aug 11 '16 at 18:43
• @user6014 Is 4k supported on a Mac? Aug 11 '16 at 19:22
• @QuantumDot I know retina displays are supported, yes
– ktm
Aug 11 '16 at 19:52
• @Kuba The fontsize is not small, they are just blurry. Aug 15 '16 at 15:50

The best thing to do, IME, is to set the default notebook zoom level to something higher. This way, the text is rendered crisply and at a reasonable size.

You can do that as follows:

1. Go to Preferences -> Advanced -> Open Option Inspector
2. Set Show option values to Global Preferences
3. Go to Notebook Options
4. Go to Display Options
5. Change magnification to whatever works for you.

Now, "100%" (default mag) will be rendered at whatever magnification you chose here.

• This doesn't seem to address the resolution issue or am I missing something? I have my Windows setup at high DPI too and this doesn't alter the crispness of the resulting display. Aug 15 '16 at 12:38
• @MohammedAlQuraishi Disable "DPI scaling" for Mathematica, then do what is suggested, which effectively boils down to SetOptions[\$FrontEnd, Magnification -> 1]. A lot of things will not look quite right after this though (e.g. the search box in documentation), but better than nothing. Aug 18 '16 at 18:54
• On 4K, I recommend Magification -> 3 at least. Aug 23 '16 at 11:39
• The problem with this solution is that the Welcome screen and file names in the initial window are not scaled and are unreadable. Only once I open a Notebook I can read the text properly. Aug 29 '18 at 18:23
• I'm on Mathematica 12 and unfortunately this doesn't make any difference for me.
– iBug
Nov 24 '19 at 11:57

Mathematica 11.2 seems to use Qt 5.6 framework which supports DPI scaling override. At least on Linux, it's possible to get bearable results by starting Mathematica as follows:

QT_SCALE_FACTOR=1.5 Mathematica


QT_SCALE_FACTOR is an environment variable that defines UI scaling. It seems to work quite well except for the splash screen.

• Does this work in Windows as well?
– Pirx
Nov 8 '17 at 12:13
• You could try setting an environment variable either from CMD prompt or globally (remember to remove it later as it may break other QT apps) Nov 8 '17 at 13:02
• That doesn't seem to do anything. I have a hunch that Mathematica does not use the QT framework on Windows. Oh well, with the disaster that is Windows 10 I may be switching to Mac OS soon anyway (Macbook Pro is on order). Then I hear that the Mac frontend is still 32-bit, with accompanying limitations. Can't win. Unless I switch to Linux...
– Pirx
Nov 8 '17 at 23:24
• It wouldn't make sense to use one toolkit on Linux and another on Windows. You can check the program directory to see if there are files like QtCore5.dll. I have tried to run another Qt app in Windows and it worked for me this way: C:\Users\User>set QT_SCALE_FACTOR=2 \\ C:\Users\User>"C:\Program Files (x86)\SpeedCrunch\speedcrunch.exe" Nov 9 '17 at 8:58
• There are no Qt libraries for Mathematica on Windows, and no acceptable high-DPI behavior can be achieved in Windows. Mathematica is near-unusable under high-DPI Windows scenarios.
– Pirx
Dec 24 '17 at 3:52

With Windows 10 Build 15002 and above, you can use the following settings to obtain a higher resolution of MMA than magnification for 200%, for example.

• This makes Mathematica readable, but the fonts are still blurry and not as crisp as they should be on such a high-resolution screen (see here community.wolfram.com/groups/-/m/t/1202244) Aug 31 '18 at 13:37
• Two figures/screenshots before & after the ticking are appreciated. Nov 6 '18 at 9:20
• Is there a way to do this in Linux? Dec 2 '20 at 22:38

After a long wait, finally, Mathematica 12.1, launched in March 2020, introduces full support for high DPI monitors for both Windows and Linux. The upgrade from previous versions of Mathematica is beautifully impressive on a high-DPI screen!

In order to achieve proper scaling, one should navigate to Format → Object Inspector → Global Preferences → Global Options → System Configuration and set ScreenResolutionCompatibilityMode → False. Then inside the field ScreenInformation in the same panel, one should set Resolution→xxx, where xxx can be obtained by running xdpyinfo | grep resolution in Ubuntu.