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Article ID: 820286 - Last Review: August 30, 2007 - Revision: 3.4

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The typical resolution on most computer monitors is 96 dots-per-inch (DPI). Until recently, most computer hardware was not able to produce higher resolution, but this is changing. Several hardware manufacturers (especially manufacturers of laptop computers) are building computers that have higher resolution screens.

A user interface that was designed to look good on a 96-DPI monitor may not look as good at higher resolutions. Text and graphics that are small at 96 DPI may appear much smaller at 200 DPI. When the number of pixels-per-inch increases, the size of each pixel decreases. If you double the density of the pixels, the size of the text may be halved so that the text is no longer readable. As a result, Web pages that specify pixel sizes for containers and text appear half their size, and the layout around them is adjusted accordingly.


Internet Explorer version 6 and later versions solve these problems by proportionally adjusting the scale on screens that have higher resolution.

Scaling is not a perfect solution. Embedded Microsoft ActiveX Controls, binary behaviors, and other elements that use Microsoft Windows Graphics Device Interface (GDI) calls do not scale well or do not scale at all. The GDI does not perform automatic scaling based on the density of the display.

Internet Explorer 6 (and later versions) automatically adjusts the scale on higher resolution systems when the DPI setting is higher than 96 DPI and the UseHR registry value is added to the registry. (For higher resolution systems, the manufacturer typically does these tasks.)

Changing the DPI Setting

To change the DPI setting on your computer, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the Windows desktop, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu. The Display Properties dialog box opens.
  2. Click the Settings tab, and then click the Advanced button.
  3. On the General tab, DPI settings appear in a list in the Display area. To change the DPI setting, select a size from the DPI setting drop-down list under Display, and then click OK.
  4. Restart your computer to allow the changes to take effect.
  5. Add the UseHR registry entry:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
    UseHR= dword:00000001


Native support for high-DPI monitors will be included in the next major operating system release from Microsoft.


For additional information, visit the following MSDN Web sites:
  • Adjusting Scale for Higher DPI Screens
  • How to Write High-DPI Applications

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional SP2
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 3
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Service Pack 1
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