Photoshop: Introducing scale the UI 200% for high-density displays for Windows

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  • Updated 2 years ago
  • (Edited)
The Photoshop team welcomes your feedback on this experimental feature. Let us know what you think!

Photoshop user interface controls may appear small and hard-to-read on high-density displays. Also, on touch-enabled screens, you may have trouble clicking the smaller controls. 200% scaling solves this issue by doubling the size of the user interface.

Since the user interface elements increase in size by 200%, depending on the size and resolution of your display, you may need to adjust the layout of existing workspaces. For example, on a 1080 px screen at 200%, the Tools panel extends off the bottom of the screen. You can change to double-column orientation in order to fit the panel on the screen.

Note: This feature is only for Windows users. HiDPI on Mac has been available for high-density Retina displays since Photoshop CS6.

Caveats

You may encounter some cosmetic issues while using this feature. While many Photoshop dialogs have been reworked so that they fit on the screen at 1080 px, viewing some dialogs (such as Smart Sharpen) completely may require you to collapse sections.

Disable 200% UI scaling

If you need to return to the default 100% scaling, do the following:

1. Select Preferences > Experimental Features.
2. Deselect Scale UI 200% For High-Density Displays (Windows Only).
3. Restart Photoshop.
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Photoshop FAQ, Official Rep

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Posted 6 years ago

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Quenten Brouwer

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Hello,
This feature works good for me on my surface pro 3, now I hope they can fix the size of the anchor points real quick in Photoshop its mine most used tool. now I still cannot work on it.

Hope this will be solved soon so I can fully use my surface pro 3.
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jessica bacigalupi

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so I changed to 200% and now my desktop of my pc is too small! I did not change screen resolution only experimental features in Photoshop. How is that possible??
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Topper Harley

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This 200% scaling option is a pretty crude workaround, but it works at least. Sort of. I just dropped $2000 on a new work machine with a HiDPI display, and expected Photoshop to work on it (despite what I've read about Windows 8.1's kludgy handling of scaling.) I mean, Adobe made their name in graphics. It's not like they couldn't see this coming.

Anyway, the 200% scaling option has Photoshop usable on my main screen but utterly unusable on my secondary monitor, which is much larger but of a lower resolution, and as such all the UI elements are childishly gigantic. And I'm sure I'm not the only person out there with a similar setup. Is there any way to apply the 200% scaling to only one monitor?

If Adobe doesn't get this sorted, and soon, I'm going to drop using their product suite entirely and switch over to open source. This is an unacceptable state of affairs.
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Chris Cox

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Again, we have been working with Microsoft for quite some time to fix the OS bugs around UI scaling, and to find workarounds for the OS bugs that could not be solved in time. We are continuing to work with Microsoft to make the UI scaling more flexible.
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Andy Henderson

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Fixing an OS bug is a new feature? CS 5.5 is obsolete?
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Thomas Carter

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200% is too much even at 3840 x 2160, i.e. full 4K. I suggest that options of 125%, 150% 175% and 200% be available for the user to select...
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Sierra_Rambler

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wow, that's great... I typed my comments here before I signed in. Upon clicking the "reply" button, my reply was held while I was given the opportunity to sign in. But when I signed in, since it had been a long time, the site sent a confirmation code to my email address. I went and got that, which only took a few seconds, came back and entered the code. It then successfully logged me in but did not submit my comments, and it lost my text entry. Also my comments were no longer in my system clipboard because I used it to cut and paste the confirmation code. Something in that system of letting the user log in during a suspended reply process is broken and needs some loving attention.

What I was going to say is that I fully agree with Thomas Carter above (from 9 days ago) -- 175% would be just great on my 3840x2160 Dell Ultrasharp UP2414Q display. 200% is pretty close though, and I'll take it for now.

It would also be a good idea to go ahead and move the 200% scale option to the Interfaces preference. No one is looking for it under Experimental until after they tear their hair out for an hour or more of filtering through forums full of UI complaints.

Thank you, Chris and other Photoshop engineers, for listening.
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Sierra_Rambler

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I just noticed that the 200% does not apply to the Camera Raw filter. Not a complete deal breaker but that does really bring some hardship... As long as someone's working on it I can get by.
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Chris Cox

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Yes, ACR and some other teams are still catching up on the Windows UI scaling work started in Photoshop.
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HG K

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I installed the photoshop CS6 extended on surface pro 3 and found "experimental features" menu missing. I need that menu to scale up the UI. Thanks.
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Chris Cox

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That's because those features were not added until CC 2014, which is two major versions beyond CS6.
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christian

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This is still ABSURD. Is everyone missing the elephant in the room here? Adobe has completely IGNORED software standards.

Every program "should be" inheriting my system settings. That means when Surface is set to 175% font sizes and my desktop is set to 200% that Adobe programs should inherit this.

Simple as that. This should not be an "experimental" feature.

This has been on the Adobe feature request for 5 years, FIX THE FONT SIZES. The menus in every program and especially the absurd 7pt spell check font in inDesign.

How does this topic make me feel? Like a fool who has been "investing" in Adobe since Flash was owned by Macromedia...
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Ethan Hunt

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Just awesome on my 3200x1800 13.3in notebook ... can't wait for this option in the rest of Creative Suite (mainly After Effects, Premiere, Media Encoder and Dreamweaver)
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Eric Hanson

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Where can I download this? I'm running CS6 standalone; not CC. Does that matter?
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SG..., Employee

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Hi Eric,

The feature update is not available to the perpetual Ps CS6 version, sorry.

You can read more about support for 200% scaling on Windows in this post too:
http://blogs.adobe.com/crawlspace/201...

regards,
steve
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Diane Lewis

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Mauricio Perez

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I bought the high end surface pro 3 and loved the high res display so that I could have a decent workspace. The issue is that 100% is too small but 200% is too big. There should be variants of scale factor to allow for people with different screens, sizes, resolutions, etc. to get the most out of this feature.
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Chris Cox

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Please see the previous replies in this topic. We are still working with Microsoft to solve more general UI scaling issues in Windows.
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Joe Wackerman

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Would have been nice to know Adobe can't handle hidpi BEFORE I bought my new laptop! Really unbelievable that a company the sells software that manages photos and videos can't handle screen resolutions. Stunned and disappointed. I'm still on V11, but why would I update to 2014 when it's so totally broken?
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Chris Cox

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The topic says that Photoshop does handle high dpi displays via 200% UI scaling, and that was added in Photoshop CC 2014.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Hi Joe, have you install the Photoshop CC 2014 trial? What broken behavior are you seeing?
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Lee

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Joe, it's pointless - many people have said this but they don't care. Even though they had plenty of time when addressing Retina to know this was coming for PC... It's just a way of making people move to their subscription model because nobody wants to do it by choice...
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8TH4N

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Yay to experimental fixes that are sorely sorely needed and uh oh to talks about it being available (only at this moment hopefully and not in perpetuity) for subscription members.

Though I understand that on some levels, this issue is partially dependant on Microsoft, I am still astounded that with retina display/high density displays being all the rage that this issue still hasn't been resolved for the Windows/PC userbase and yet has been resolved for the Mac userbase.

I very recently finally jumped ship to a new machine - Surface Pro 3 with a 2160 x 1440 default display - with one of the major reasons being for me to make better use of my CS6 Master Collection of products which I paid good money for and am not giving up anytime soon - and was astonished and very disappointed to discover that not only does Adobe's UI scale horribly (in other words, it doesn't and changing my resolution does diddly squat), but that the experimental features being pushed out to help resolve this issue are currently only available to current subscription customers.

I am really hoping that when this issue gets fixed-fixed, this 'fix' will get pushed out to CS 6 customers as well as part of Adobe's promise to continue to support (re: 'bug fixes' and 'compatibility support') CS6 and will NOT consider fixing something so important as UI appearance re: scaling as a 'new feature'.

When CS6 suites were released, the Creative Cloud was released a year later and I'm sorry, but I like my 'pay all at once and keep for however long' suites.

Adobe gave me the option to do it and I did it because that's what suits me best and I - and others like me - ought not be punished because we chose to pay for our products and our rights to use it all upfront.

If Adobe wants to make or considers the CS6 suites obsolete and something so vital as the UI scaling issue to be a 'new feature' and available only to their subscription customers, they ought to look at some basic math, first, and see how pricing and subscription numbers translate between the CS6 boxed suites and the cloud suites.

Some math: Master Collection at $2000 (nice round number with some discounts to account for age of product, but actually costs more) = 40 months' worth of the Creative Cloud subscription at $50 a month.

40 months = 3 years and 4 months.

CS6 was complete and the suites available as of May of 2012.

I did not purchase my suite right away as I waited a bit, but for someone who did, that means that upfront, 40 months' worth of Creative Cloud (the $50 a month version) was purchased.

That's the equivalent of Creative Cloud from May 2012 (not yet in existence) to May 2015 PLUS 4 more months which puts it out to September of 2015.

Last I checked, it's still 2014 and September of 2015 is still over a year and a half away.

Even if Adobe wants to tell me/us that CS6 is outdated and is an 'old' product, that doesn't and will not change the fact that we were given the option to and therefore chose to pay for our product - ALL of it - upfront by giving Adobe a huge chunk of change all in one go as opposed to on a monthly basis.

Speaking from strictly looking at numbers, I (and others like me who bought CS6) have monetarily supported Adobe more than any other single user using Creative Cloud (closest equivalent to the Master/full suites) has as the money I've dropped is more than what the earliest Creative Cloud member has paid for their subscription since subscriptions were first released.

If Adobe refuses to push such a fix - seriously, people, this is a FIX and NOT a FEATURE - to CS6, then Adobe is telling me/us that that money I dropped upfront - worth MULTIPLE YEARS of Creative Cloud which was offered right after and has yet to 'expire' as demonstrated by the simple math - isn't good enough and I don't think that that's a good message to send.

That said, I'm hoping for the best and patiently waiting for such a fix to make it to all of my products that need it in my CS6 Collection.
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wemux

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1. The Surface Pro 1, 2, and 3s do not ship with 200% scaling. 175% scaling max, I don't know where you got the 200% is the most common number from. None of the other hidpi Windows laptops I've seen ship with 200% scaling.

2. Illustrator scales properly on my Surface Pro 2, if you're using the same widget toolkit for both programs, why can't you just port that over?

I know you guys have been blaming Microsoft's APIs for this situation, but as a developer who's been supporting hidpi on Windows, this stuff isn't hard. You can get Illustrator working properly, but why not Photoshop?
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Tom Burchill

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Bingo! After struggling with getting a readable font size on my new 4K Samsung U28D590 monitor, this fix did the trick! Strangely, LR had no such scaling issues - everything looked fine out of the gate - only on PS CC2014 did I have this issue.
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dan taylor

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I'm using CS3 on a Dell 4k monitor and don't see the options for 200% scaling. Is this something not supported with CS3?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Correct, this feature was added in CC 2014 (5 versions after CS3).
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Philip M

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photoshop CC 2014 menus microscopic compared to other programs.

I have a hires laptop and the only way to use photoshop is to switch my resolution back to 1600x900 but that makes everything else HUGE.3200x1800, besides 900 is not enough to do serious photo retouching.

See the picture to compare a small "normal" font 11 pt, vs my experience with PS

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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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Go to Preference>Experimental Features and enable 200% scaling. Quit and restart Photoshop for the change to take effect.
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Philip M

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ok thanks just discovered the Experimental menu... well i noticed the menu but had no idea that was where this would end up (you do have an "Interface" menu....). in any case looks good on my 3200x1800 :)
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Bernard Marusic

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It's a fantastic feature, every program should have something like this so tablet computers like the surface pro become more easy to use. Really shows how committed the photoshop team is to make the user experience better.

My suggestion is to introduce a custom interface mode so the user chose what part of the interface should be larger and how much larger it should be. At the moment we are limited to 200%.

The way I imagine it is, you click custom interface mode, you get red or blue framers around different areas of the interface, to resize a part of the interface you snap on a corner or the side and then drag to make it larger/smaller or to change shape, click on the middle to move, like with regular program windows. This way one could keep a large drawing space while making the buttons we use most more easy to click.

Touch/pen devices are becoming more common and to give the user a way to adjust photoshop to their needs on smaller screens would really catapult photoshop.

If I was not clear enough(English is not my first language) or if you, the photoshop team wants to get in touch with me my email is ink_by_mega@hotmail.com

Best Regards//
Bernard
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Liana Popa

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I have CS6 web & student, and there's no "experimental" features under the preferences. How do I access this feature?
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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This feature isn't in older versions of Photoshop. It was introduced in Photoshop CC 2014.
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Alexander Wong

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So much so I like this feature, you gusy should introduce 150% scaling along with the 200% option. On the SP3, 200% is really too big.
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Chris Cox

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We are still working with Microsoft to address the Windows API issues needed for more flexible scaling on Windows.
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Robert Fohr

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Please incorporate larger menu and dialog box text..

At high resolution, the menu and dialog box text is too hard to see. Even with the interface set to huge.
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Denise DeLuca

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Teeny tiny display impossible to use!.

I have a 2014 HP Envy laptop with a high res screen. All Adobe products show up extremely small on the screen, making them virtually impossible to use. I can't figure out how to make them bigger.
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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In Photoshop CC 2014.2.2:

1. Select Preferences > Experimental Features.
2. Enable Scale UI 200% For High-Density Displays (Windows Only).
3. Restart Photoshop.
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Michael Jenkins

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The aesthetics of this feature are great, however the blow it gives my performance makes it unusable. I am using a Dell P2715Q 27" 4K display, 16GB Corsair RAM, 120GB Crucial SSD as boot and scratch disc, and XFX R7 250X GPU; all in Windows 7. I was running PS CS5, but decided to do a trial run with PS CC 2014 due to the ridiculously small UI in CS5 at 4K resolution... The performance slow down from CS5 to CC 2014 is ridiculous with the 200% UI enabled, and disappointing even without it. My actions that run lightning fast on CS5 take a significant amount of time in CC 2014. All in all, I will be reinstalling my CS5, and reducing my resolution to standard high definition again... unfortunate that my brand new screen has to be held back to half of it's capabilities due to poor development on Adobe's part.
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Chris Cox

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OK, for everyone else CC runs faster or the same as CS5. So you need to check your system to see what might be slowing down CC.

And yes, drawing on a high res display is a bit slower than drawing on a low res display - which can be hidden by a good GPU, but not all GPU drivers are yet optimized for high res displays.
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G Imrie

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As a result of problems, I had a CS rep give me a couple months free subscrip to CC or whatever, in a tel conversation, but my account is still billed in the month after. Adobe has problems deeper than consideration for its hi-rez customers.

The dinosaurs never saw it coming.
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Chris Cox

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That needs a new topic, as it has nothing to do with this topic.
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Michael Jenkins

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The only thing that makes it slower is initiating the 200% UI feature. If I disengage it, it is comparable to CS5 speeds, though still notably slower- if I activate this feature, it slows down unbearably. The resolution is the same while running both programs, the only variable is this feature. I am running the same preferences as I was in CS5. Also of note, the speed on CS5 doesn't change regardless of the resolution. My system is in good shape, I don't know what would be wrong there. Just sharing my experience, if there are additional details I can provide to be of assistance I gladly will.
(Edited)
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Jeffrey Tranberry, Sr. Product Manager, Digital Imaging

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This is a great conversation that's separate from the main one, so I created a new conversation to continue the discussion.

Please reference the new conversation here: Photoshop CC 2014: Running with 200% scale for the UI degrades performance
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happynikon

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I reinstalled CS6 extended on my HTPC since it's a lot faster than my laptop along with SSD. But the font is way too small on a 52" monitor, sitting 12 feet away. And after reading all the consumer frustration, Adobe seems to sound like Activistion/Blizzard where the devs don't really care for the consumers.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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Sit closer? CS6 is not a video game. There are actually pixel-level details that are important.
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Chris Cox

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Again, the new feature for UI Scaling by 200% was introduced in Photoshop CC 2014. Photoshop CS6 is two full versions behind the current release, and will not get new features.
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happynikon

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Steve, read my comment again. Then think about what I said. If your respond is just to spite, it didn't work and you're not contributing.

Chris, I know. Hence the move itself is as described. Business decisions has to be made right?
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I sit 2 feet away from a screen that is slightly less than half the diagonal of yours and I'm pretty sure if I sat 5 feet away from mine I'd have problems, too, and mine is only a 1.6K monitor, so no I'm not joking.

I didn't see any other recent replies from you, so perhaps there is more information further up that I didn't see, but what is your 52" monitor's pixel dimensions? Is it a 4K or 5K monitor or just a standard HD 2K monitor?

I don't have much patience for people complaining that their obsolete software isn't magically supporting their new hardware.

Now, if you are using the current CC 2014.2 and it is slow, like others have complained about, then I'd have a more positive attitude about the issue being reported.
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happynikon

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Well, for starters, sitting closer to 52" HDTV is not comfortable to the eyes and it's not a monitor. Maybe for a short time but not for an hour. And no, not using the CC '14. I would have preferred my HTPC as it is more than capable hardware compared to my laptop. And not every one has to fund to keep adding devices.

I'm just looking at both sides and I do understand each person's vision and visual tolerance are different. CS6 is not obsolete and it came out at the time where high native res monitors are out. If the OS have adjustable DPI for fonts/icons, it seems an over sight that all adobe software don't have such features as it does serve a diverse population.

You can't look this one sided as what works for you doesn't work for someone else. We are at an age in tech the things like this should be standard, rather than an addition. To those who are professional and buys this software would be glad to have this feature as an update, rather than upgrade.

But then again, I'm just one of them small consumers so it doesn't really matter. It is what it is.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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I am 2-feet away from my 2-foot diagonal monitor. Why are you more than 4.5 feet away from your 4.5 foot monitor? The angle of view and the pixel sizes would be similar on the retina. Is there some other consideration that requires pixels to be more than 1/4 the size on your retina because your monitor is 52"?

CS6 was released May 2012, and was obsolete the moment CC was available June 2013. After that, the only work on CS6 was for licensing and allowing ACR to still run with it. Adobe still sells it as a courtesy for users who don't want the cloud, but that doesn't mean it's being actively updated, which is what my term obsolete refers to.

Hopefully Adobe will be able to get cooperation out of Microsoft and have a more arbitrarily resizable interface, but it's not going to be in CS6, I'm sure of that.
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happynikon

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It's a TV on HTPC, not on monitor. Computer monitors are different in pixel size.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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TVs are monitors connected to tuners; what's the resolution? And is it rear projection or plasma or LED?
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happynikon

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LCD. They're not as friendly to the eyes up close compared to regular monitors. But thanks anyways.
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David Warren

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hello,
I'm using a dell xps 12, as everyone has said, 200% far too much, 150% by far the better solution. As I use my laptop for quick picture editing for newspapers the file info box is a major issue for me. In Bridge the font is tiny, in PS the whole dialogue box is different but better, but, doesn't allow me to batch process IPTC info like in Bridge, any way I / you can sort that? any plans for future development on that score?
thanks, Dave.
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Chris Cox

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Again, we are still working with Microsoft to address the OS issues needed to make more flexible UI scaling work on Windows.
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David Warren

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thanks for your prompt reply Chris, does that include making the File info and metadata panels better/easier to use in bridge/PS or is that an issue you feel you don't need to address or think is not relevant.
thanks, Dave.
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Chris Cox

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That is not directly related. The File Info functionality comes from another team.
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David Warren

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thanks Chris, reply appreciated.
Dave.