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Windows: Blurry Text, Huge UI

If you are using ZBrush on Windows with a high resolution display such as a 4K monitor you may find that everything is enlarged to ridiculous amount and text is blurry.

The cause of this is that Windows doesn't know what kind of application ZBrush is and thinks that it needs to scale the contents such as it does for your web browser or word processor rather than leave it alone like it knows to do with Photoshop or a game.

To correct this in Windows 10, do the following:

  1. With ZBrush closed, right-click on the ZBrush desktop shortcut or go to your ZBrush installation directory and right-click on the ZBrush application itself.  Either way, choose "Properties" from the context menu.
  2. In the Properties window that opens, click the Compatibility tab.
  3. Near the bottom of that window, click the button to "Change high DPI settings."
  4. A new window will open.  At the bottom of that window, check the box in the "High DPI scaling override" section near the bottom.  Leave it on the default option of "Application."
  5. Click OK to accept the change and close that window.
  6. Click OK again to finalize the change and close the Properties window.
  7. Launch ZBrush.  At this point, your text will be clear again.  But depending on how high resolution your display is everything may be too small for your liking.  If so, go to Preferences >> Interface >> UI and adjust the Buttons Size slider to a higher value.
  8. The change will not take effect immediately.  Store your UI by pressing Ctrl_Shift+I, then restart ZBrush.
  9. You may need to repeat steps 7 and 8 a few times to find the exact setting that you're happy with on your particular display.

Please be aware that this will affect the size of all buttons.  It will also affect dynamic text, such as palette and sub-palette names, slider names, etc.  It will not affect iconic text -- that text that is part of a button icon.  An example of this are the various button to the immediate right of the canvas such as "Frame."  The text within those buttons is part of the button icons rather than coming from the ZBrush UI engine.  There are multiple versions of these images included with ZBrush, and ZBrush will always use the largest version that fits within the current button size.  On a very high resolution display, the icons themselves may be a fair bit smaller than the button itself because there simply isn't a larger version of the icon available.  This means that the text within those buttons will not get any larger no matter how high you set the Buttons Size slider to be.

Important:  Each new ZBrush installation on your computer is a new copy of the program and therefore treated by Windows as a unique entity.  This means that whenever you install a new ZBrush version you will almost certainly need to repeat these steps for the new version.  Also, Windows will most likely not remember the settings if you reinstall ZBrush.


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  1. Matthew Yetter

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