Running Designer on a 4K HiDPI display

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Recently I changed my work computer, a Lenovo W530 to a Lenovo P50 with a beautiful HiDPI 4K display that has a resolution of 3840x2160.

To be able to see anything on such a small screen (15 inch) with such a high resolution, Windows 10 scales everything to 250%.

This works for modern HiDPI aware applications but many older programs have serious issues that make them either very hard to use or unusable.

Designer is one such application that becomes hard to use, the text is too large but it is sharp, the icons are too small. Many GUI elements are too large or too small.

I was able to find this Eclipse bug that is about this particular problem:

Bug 421383 - [Graphics] Scaling issues on high DPI displays

The bug in question was resolved in the Eclipse Neon release that was published on 2016-06-22. In the bug there was a workaround described for Windows 10, which is what I am using.

Basically the solution is the following:

  1. Make sure Designer is closed.

  • Start regedit.exe

  • Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\SideBySide

  • Create a new DWORD value named PreferExternalManifest with the value 1.

  • Restart Windows

  • Create a new XML file named: javaw.exe.manifest

  • The content must be:


  • <?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" standalone="yes"?>

    <assembly xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v1" manifestVersion="1.0" xmlns:asmv3="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3">

    <description>eclipse</description>


    <trustInfo xmlns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v2">
    <security>
    <requestedPrivileges>
    <requestedExecutionLevel xmlns:ms_asmv3="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:asm.v3"
    level="asInvoker"
    ms_asmv3:uiAccess="false">
    </requestedExecutionLevel>
    </requestedPrivileges>
    </security>
    </trustInfo>

    <asmv3:application>
    <asmv3:windowsSettings xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/SMI/2005/WindowsSettings">
    <ms_windowsSettings:dpiAware xmlns:ms_windowsSettings="http://schemas.microsoft.com/SMI/2005/WindowsSettings">false</ms_windowsSettings:dpiAware>
    </asmv3:windowsSettings>
    </asmv3:application>

    </assembly>



  • Save the file in Designers jre directory, where the javaw.exe file resides. In my case since I installed Designer into C:\netiq\idm\apps\Designer452, I needed to put the file in the C:\netiq\idm\apps\Designer452\jre directory.

  • Start Designer as usual.

  • The text and icons will be a little blurry but it's much more usable than before.

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