Anybody tried Scrivener with an Ultra HD (4K) monitor

If so, how does it work? Some programs have real problems with the way the interface scales (i.e. dialogs and menus too small to read). Generally Windows 8.1 is supposed to cope with 4K, but I’ve heard of problems with some software (Photoshop for example), so I’d like to know if Scrivener runs OK before I splash out almost £500 on a new monitor.

Many thanks, Jim

From what I hear it is possible with a few tweaks: … rry-fonts/

I have done a little experimentation at hardware stores that have demo models set up, and although I couldn’t achieve a look that precisely fits how Scrivener is “supposed” to look, and the tweaks did reduce the fidelity of the raster graphics used for icons and such, I was able to find a balance that suited me. I am perhaps more forgiving than some however. I went through the Retina transition from start to “finish”, and for about a year I was using software that had variable quality—some were in fact so bad that the entire program appeared blurry. You just kind of have to accept that this is very much bleeding edge, still, and that for the moment the physical technology of LCD panel fabrication has outstripped many of the design assumptions and even foundations for programming. It still works best in very confined and controlled systems, like mobile tech.

A note for the future: we do definitely have plans for doing what we can to take Scrivener into the high-res future, with high quality icons and UI layouts designed to work with scalability.

I’ve been using Scriv on a 3200x1800 laptop that’s 13.3" diagonal, which is about 275 ppi (the densest display I’m aware of so far), and it’s been just fine. I do use fullscreen mode a lot, at 200%, depending how far away I’m sitting. The icons are small, to be sure, but not uselessly tiny like some apps. It would be nice if there were a Hi-DPI mode, but even without a formal setting in Scriv, and without enlarging the system fonts (or doing the horrendous mac scaling thing, which kinda defeats the whole point of 4K), it’s completely usable.

As for the Adobe apps, they seem to be suitably adapting to the hidpi environment now, with the CC2014 release last month.

Nevertheless, now that high pixel-count displays are appearing in all sizes, it’s essential to become familiar with the real issue—pixel density on the fovea. In other words, the so-called “resolution” of a display doesn’t tell the whole story. Without specifying display size and viewing distance it’s almost meaningless. My cell phone and my living room TV are exactly the same HD pixel dimensions, and if I wear reading glasses I can easily use my phone as a full “size” display at 5" from my eyes, which gives the same viewing area and “resolution” as the TV at 10 feet (i.e., same pixel density on my retina). A billboard with a 1920x1080 print on it will look like a perfect photo from 60-100 feet away, even though the PPI might literally be one pixel per inch.

So a 4K TV that’s 50" diagonal and 12 feet away might not look any better than an HD of the same size. But a 4K monitor that’s 40" diagonal and 20" from my nose will be almost exactly the same PPI as four 24" HD monitors (except gloriously lacking all the black plastic bezels).

My laptop is very roughly 3K, and at 13.3" it’s impossible to see the pixels until you’re only a few inches away. This makes text super smooth and sharp, and it allows tons of data to be displayed at once, but viewing distance is an inescapable factor. I am comfortable working on it for an hour or two at 10", but it’s still a relief to return to my desktop with a bunch of 24" 1920x1200 panels on it. OTOH, stuck in a waiting room with my phone, HD on a 5" screen 5" away is pretty sweet.

Sorry for the TMI, but at least I can definitely confirm that Scriv at 4K is quite usable if you’re OK with an appropriate viewing distance based on the physical size of the display. Without saying what size the monitor is, and how far away you’ll be viewing it, it’s impossible to evaluate. “4K” by itself is just a pixel count.

Thanks, that’s very helpful. I am thinking of buying a Samsung U28D590 28" 4K 60Hz LED Monitor and it will be about 60cm (24") from my nose. If I can scrape the money together, I will report back on how I get on.

I’m evaluating Scrivener at the moment and like one of the earlier posters, I’m running on a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro. Yeah, it’s 3200x1800 on a 13.3" screen, so it’s very high DPI. I agree that it’s usable and that it’s not as bad as some software, but it’s not pleasant and some dialog boxes are a bit of a mess. Having owned this laptop (which is superb btw!), for 6 months, I’m somewhat used to seeing software that doesn’t support high-DPI, but over the months, various products have been updated to deal with it. Dropbox used to be terrible, but now it’s great.

I’ve attached a screenshot so you can see part of the problem.
[screenshot removed because it was sending this page loopy!]

Is there any plans to update Scrivener to support high-DPI? I suspect this ‘problem’ is only likely to become more commonplace.

As noted above:

I was able to get a better look than what you posted, it involved scaling the graphics somehow as well. They were a bit blurry, but everything fit together correctly. Maybe try playing with a few other settings in Control Panel.

Ah, sorry, somehow I missed the bit about the plans. Hopefully this will come sooner than later! Beyond Compare is another program that thankfully has recently addressed this problem.

I am also using the Lenovo Yoga 2. While Scrivener is “usable” with the higher resolution display, I am trying to learn to fully utilize this awesome software and finding that the display is killing my ability to use certain features.

For example, the meta data box is completely screwed up. See screenshot (which I downsized by half so hopefully it won’t appear too terribly large here).

I cannot utilize the meta data checkboxes and the labels are VERY difficult to read. If I didn’t still have a desktop machine with which to do certain tasks, I would find Scrivener’s usefulness cut significantly by its inability to display on my laptop.

The worst part is that I cannot seem to simply “change my display resolution” and fix the problem. Why, oh, why doesn’t Scrivener look better when I change my Lenovo to a lower screen res? Anybody have some technical insights on that one?

Would truly love to have some technical genius figure out a workaround. I’ve gone so far as to investigate virtual machine emulators and such, just in case I could somehow run a normal, low-res Windows machine in a VM and use Scrivener inside of that. But I didn’t find anything that worked for me (which could be due to my ignorance of the subject… I know just enough to get myself into trouble sometimes).

Hello everyone!

I just wanted to add my voice and respectfully request that Literature and Latte supports high-DPI in Scrivener. I was first exposed to this software on a 11 in MacBook Air, but now I have a Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro on which I’d really love to write. Such support doesn’t seem to be an easy task, so all I can do is cheer for the developers and wait for it. I really like Scrivener and I think it would shine to its full potential with the added real estate of a high resolution screen.


Well, I finally took the plunge and bought an ASUS PB278Q (which I’m generally happy with). In addition to the other problems highlighted in the posts above, the text in my main document doesn’t fill the central working area in Scrivener; I have acres of wasted space to the right of my text (see screenshot). I feel like there should be some simple fix to this, but I can’t figure it out. Any suggestions would be very welcome (and, of course, I too would love to see very high DPI displays fully supported in future versions). Thanks, Jim

It looks like you have a right-indent set. If you toggle on Format > Show Ruler, you can select all the text in the document and then drag the marker on the right all the way off the right edge. It should attach itself to the edge of the ruler then so that the text will wrap to the width of the editor (equivalent to wrapping at the right margin).

After many experiments, I have sadly had to conclude that Scrivener is unusable on a high-res monitor. For proof, see the attached screen shot. On my screen the cards on the corkboard are almost too small to read. If I click on the options icon (almost too small to see in the bottom right hand corner), I get what you see in the image: the dialog box is unusable because it can’t be resized so I can’t see (much less adjust) the options for the corkboard. This kind of thing happens repeatedly throughout the program. So, for now (unfortunately), I’ve had to retire Scrivener in hopes of a new version fixing these problems eventually.
Scrivener problem 2.png

Until the developers resolve all issues with high resolution displays there is a workaround to force windows to scale the application. The result may look blurry depending on the display and the Windows settings but at least it is usable.

This applies to all applications that misbehave in this manner. Example instructions to follow: … plays-fix/

Since this is actually a property in the application, the developers could consider releasing a version of the application that includes this manifest change (‘DPI-Awareness’ set to no) until they have been able to reproduce and fix all issues.

I tried a 4k monitor, but to get the benefit of extra screen real estate, I ended up sitting it somewhere between 18" and 2 feet from my face. Not a comfortable way to work (and I think I was getting a tan from it) so I took it back.

I didn’t try to scale within Scrivener; I just scaled the OS (Windows) to 125%. Any higher than that and I wouldn’t be gaining enough extra real estate to make it worthwhile.

I think if a 4k was 50" or larger it might be better because then I could get it back a few feet. I’d probably have to change my glasses, though. :smiley:

Rontarrant is exactly right. If we have a screen that’s twice as many screen pixels wide and twice as many pixels high – compared to a standard “HD” monitor – then if the pixels are going to LOOK the same size, the panel will have to be physically twice as wide and twice as high.

(FYI, for those new to all this, UHD (3840x2160) is exactly twice as many pixels wide and twice as many high, as full HD (1920x1080).)

If we’re planning on using this UHD panel at the same viewing distance, then we will want the pixels to be about the same size as what we’re used to. That has to mean a panel that’s 4x the size of HD, or typically about 42 inches wide. That’s a TV diagonal of 48 inches.

If we want to sit farther back, then the pixels themselves have to be BIGGER.

For example, for a panel at 30 inches viewing distance to look the same (i.e., to be equally readable, assuming we can focus at this distance) as HD at 24 inches, it would have to be roughly 55 inches diagonal. This sounds pretty cool – more room for keyboard, nice big screen – but when we actually put a 55" TV on the desk, 30" from our keyboard, it’s gigantic. Half of our extra real estate is UP, and it’s probably not quite as much fun to use as we’d like.

What most people are doing is getting UHD on a much smaller scale, and the tragic truth of this is that although the picture is sharper (if we stay 24" back from it), we can’t USE all the extra pixels the way we’d like. To do that, somebody has to design a completely different set of proportions for all the GUI elements – text, menus, icons, borders, pretty much everything. And that’s not something that can be done with some settings. (We can lower the effective resolution of the panel, or ask the OS to double all the pixels, but then we’re just simulating a non-UHD display and wasting our money.)


Yup. Something like this (see link) would make more sense, a curved screen 3440x1440. … 912081en02

Would just like to add my QQ. Scrivener is unusable for me at high resolution. :confused:

PKoster (above) posted a link to a blog post by Dan Antonielli that explained how to fix this problem with Adobe apps. (Here’s the link

I finally got around to trying this with Scrivener and it works a treat! :smiley:

If you would like to try, follow the instructions on Dan’s post. I attach my Scrivener manifest file, but it’s only a renamed copy of one of Dan’s; it doesn’t need to be customised for Scrivener in any way.

Two final points: I find this works best if you set Scrivener’s Windows Compatibility Properties (right-click on the Scrivener icon in the start menu and choose the “Compatibility” tab) to allow “display scaling on high DPI displays” (i.e. untick the box that disables this if necessary). Also, you can use the Font options in Scrivener (Under “Tools | Options | Appearance | Fonts”) to make various default font sizes bigger, so that you can make them readable when sitting a comfortable distance from the screen.

Just wanted to mention that I recently acquired one of these lovely monitors, and while it’s not a 4K monitor the scaling issue can make it a challenge. However, following the directions linked to by jje and PKoster, it seems to fix some of them.

Note: all screenshots were taken at of Scrivener full screen at UWHQ resolution (3440x1440), but to get the pictures uploaded I had to resize them 66.7% to get the files under the size limit. They are still useful to compare against each other.

Here’s the baseline Scrivener with 100% scaling, without the manifest fix; many folks may find this text to be a bit too small for comfort:

100% with the manifest fix shows no difference, as expected.

Now at 125% scaling in Windows, without the manifest fix:

And finally, at 125% scaling with the manifest fix:

Thank You! My old eyes can see again.

Jon Stonecash