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Screen fonts sizes

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Richard Lim

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Jan 30, 1992, 7:36:20 AM1/30/92
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I have a question about the screen fonts that some MS applications
use. I know that WFW 1.x and Excel 3.0 keep their fonts cached in
the PREV.FON files. To get these apps to recognize a resolution
change (eg. from 96 dpi to 120 dpi), all I have to do after changing
is delete PREV.FON and these apps will regenerate it appropriately.

Now, I also use ATM extensively. Occasionally, MS-Write will screw
up the Courier font. It still prints OK, but the screen fonts
suddenly appears bigger than normal. What gives?

The last straw came with new MS apps such as MS Publisher. After
swapping my screen resolutions a few times, some of the fonts in
MS Publisher (especially Page Wizard displays/prompts) are now too
small to be readable. Now MS Publisher does not have a PREV.FON.
So how the heck do I get it to adjust for the resolution changes?


Regards
Richard Lim "A conclusion is where you get tired of thinking"
======================================================================
E-mail: hpsgm2.SGP.HP.COM!limrcd Snail-mail: Hewlett-Packard S'pore
Tel: (065)-279-2525 (APD-ThinFilm SS/EE)
Telnet: 520-2525 1150 Depot Road
HPDesk: Richard Lim/HP3200/30 Singapore 0410.

Bradley L. Richards

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Jan 31, 1992, 5:48:45 PM1/31/92
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In article <344...@hpsgm2.sgp.hp.com> lim...@hpsgm2.sgp.hp.com (Richard Lim) writes:
>The last straw came with new MS apps such as MS Publisher. After
>swapping my screen resolutions a few times, some of the fonts in
>MS Publisher (especially Page Wizard displays/prompts) are now too
>small to be readable. Now MS Publisher does not have a PREV.FON.
>So how the heck do I get it to adjust for the resolution changes?

I have exactly the opposite complaint. I recently went from 800x600 to
1024x768, expecting to gain quite a lot of screen area. Wrong! Instead,
most applications automatically increased the size of their fonts, so that
they now occupy just as much space as before.

Here's a hint to software developers: don't assume that you know what
your user wants--make things like this changeable in "preferences."

Bradley

Joe ROBISON

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Feb 12, 1992, 10:19:28 PM2/12/92
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From: bra...@cs.utexas.edu (Bradley L. Richards)

>
>In article <344...@hpsgm2.sgp.hp.com> lim...@hpsgm2.sgp.hp.com (Richard Lim) writes:
>>The last straw came with new MS apps such as MS Publisher. After
>>swapping my screen resolutions a few times, some of the fonts in
>>MS Publisher (especially Page Wizard displays/prompts) are now too
>>small to be readable. Now MS Publisher does not have a PREV.FON.
>>So how the heck do I get it to adjust for the resolution changes?
>
>I have exactly the opposite complaint. I recently went from 800x600 to
>1024x768, expecting to gain quite a lot of screen area. Wrong! Instead,
>most applications automatically increased the size of their fonts, so that
>they now occupy just as much space as before.
>
>Here's a hint to software developers: don't assume that you know what
>your user wants--make things like this changeable in "preferences."

Take a look at your WIN.INI and your SYSTEM.INI (run SYSEDIT).

In WIN.INI, in the fonts section, you will see something like:

Helv 8,10,12,14,18,24 (8514/a res)=HELVF.FON
Courier 10,12,15 (8514/a res)=COURF.FON

or possibly something like:

Helv 8,10,12,14,18,24 (VGA res)=HELVE.FON
Courier 10,12,15 (VGA res)=COURE.FON

Notice that the first one is 8514/a res and the font filename ends in an "F"
The second is VGA res and the font filename ends in an "E"

If you are running 1024x768, the Setup program installs the 8514 fonts.
These are larger, because Windows is trying to provide a correspondance
between the size of the fonts on the screen and what you will see if you
print, and the dots are closer together at the higher resolutions so you
need bigger fonts. However, if you want smaller fonts on your 1024x768
screen, just change your WIN.INI to point at the "E" fonts (make sure they're
in your System directory).

Likewise, in the boot section of SYSTEM.INI you will find lines like this:

oemfonts.fon=8514oem.fon
fixedfon.fon=8514fix.fon
fonts.fon=8514sys.fon

or possibly:

oemfonts.fon=vgaoem.fon
fixedfon.fon=vgafix.fon
fonts.fon=vgasys.fon

Again, if you want small system fonts on your 1024x768 screen, edit these
lines to point to the vga*.fon files (and make sure they're in your System
directory as well).

If you're changing screen resolutions a lot and you start seeing problems,
checking these two files is a good place to start.

Hope this helps.

Joe Robison

...posted with experimental news browser software...
...please ignore glitches...
I am not a Microsoft spokeshuman: usual disclaimers apply

Russ PAUL-JONES

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Feb 13, 1992, 8:20:03 PM2/13/92
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In article <kojkid...@pheasant.cs.utexas.edu> bra...@cs.utexas.edu (Bradley L. Richards) writes:
>
>I have exactly the opposite complaint. I recently went from 800x600 to
>1024x768, expecting to gain quite a lot of screen area. Wrong! Instead,
>most applications automatically increased the size of their fonts, so that
>they now occupy just as much space as before.
>
>Here's a hint to software developers: don't assume that you know what
>your user wants--make things like this changeable in "preferences."
>
>Bradley

In this case, I think that the software already is letting you
control it; it isn't a single item in the preferences dialog,
though. I'd guess that the most blatant offenders you are
seeing are word processers, which are attempting to present a
WYSIWYG view of the document.

The screen-size of a graphic is dependent on the number of pixels it
has in it and the size of the pixels in the screen. Let's say you
are trying to display a line 1" long. The application knows that
it should be 1" long, so it queries the device driver to find out how
large the pixels are. Now, the device driver doesn't really know
either, since it doesn't know what monitor is hooked up to the
graphics adapter; it only knows the resolution of the adapter and a
range of reasonable target display sizes. Some standard answers are
96 pixels/inch (for VGA and 800x600 SVGA) or 120 pixels/inch (for
1024x768 8514). Now, some 1024x768 SVGA drivers follow the 8514
convention of having fewer, higher resolution inches on the screen,
and some jam as much area as possible, figuring that VGA density
is adequate.

To keep the display WYSIWYG, most word-processing applications also base
the display font by the pixel density of the screen. It would be
possible for the application to give the user some control over this,
and many do through a display X% of actual size option. Fonts start
to look crappy at some point, but you are in control.

For a system-wide fix, you just need a device driver that reports a
pixel density of 96 per inch, and these applications will fall into
line. Perhaps the vendor has one. Another poster has explained how
to spoof windows into changing the system fonts, but I don't think
that this will change how applications view the system.

Note that on the Mac, this isn't a real problem. Most applications
just assume that a pixel is a point, 72 per inch. Of course, this
means that higher density monitors always display objects smaller for
these apps, and you lose some of the WYSIWYG you might want. I don't
think there are any popular high density Mac monitors, but maybe
somebody has found a way to hack existing apps.

-Russ Paul-Jones
rus...@microsoft.com
I don't speak for Microsoft, but my product (WinHelp) always sizes
its display based on the device driver's pixel density metrics.
This is the way that I think it should be. We don't provide a
method for adjusting the on-screen size, which is a shame.

Timothy Stuart Harvey

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Feb 17, 1992, 6:44:51 AM2/17/92
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In article <1992Feb14.0...@microsoft.com> rus...@microsoft.com (Russ PAUL-JONES) writes:
>In article <kojkid...@pheasant.cs.utexas.edu> bra...@cs.utexas.edu (Bradley L. Richards) writes:
>>
>>I have exactly the opposite complaint. I recently went from 800x600 to
>>1024x768, expecting to gain quite a lot of screen area. Wrong! Instead,
>>most applications automatically increased the size of their fonts, so that
>>they now occupy just as much space as before.
>>
>>Here's a hint to software developers: don't assume that you know what
>>your user wants--make things like this changeable in "preferences."
>>
>>Bradley
>

In your setup.inf file (in your windows/system directory) you will
find under the [display] section information that you can alter to have
windows automatically set you up with different size fonts. Example:

[display]
vga = 6:svga.drv, "SVGA", "100,120,120", 6:vgacolor.gr2,.... stuff omitted

[xxxfonts]
1:vgafix.fon,"VGA (640x480) resolution Fixed System Font","100,96,96"
1:8414fix.fon,"8514/a (1024x768) resolution Fixed System Font","100,120,120"


This is a very brief descrioption, but basically the Windows Setup
program determines which fonts to setup for you. You can go through and
change your 'oemfont','sysfont',and 'fixedfon' manually as mentioned in a
previous article, but you can also have setup do it for you. Setup matches
the resolution of the screen driver (the "100,120,120" under the display
info with the "100,120,120" in the various fonts section. You can add items
to the [display] section with the identical information accept changing the
font resolution. A 100,96,96 font res will give you a larger font than a
100,120,120 resolution.

More info can be found on this in the 'sysini.txt' and 'winini.txt'
files that come with Windows.

Tim

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