How to change face and size of menus, status bar text, tool icons, dialogs, etc.?

How to change face and size of menus, status bar text, tool icons, dialogs, etc.?

111
Basic UserBasic User
111

    May 16, 2020#1

    Most of the UI for UE is too small for me. Also, the UI text is smaller than almost all other Windows programs. Is there a way inside UE preferences to change the UI fonts? I don't want to change Windows global settings, since they work fine for other programs and for the Windows UI.

    6,602547
    Grand MasterGrand Master
    6,602547

      May 16, 2020#2

      You have not written which version of UltraEdit you use and which user interface mode (ribbon mode, toolbar/menu mode with contemporary menus, toolbar/menu mode with traditional menus). So I can only write some general advice.

      The size of the icons on ribbons are controlled by UltraEdit depending on screen resolution. The higher the screen resolution the greater are usually the icons on using currently latest version of UltraEdit.

      In toolbar/menu mode the size of the icons are also predefined by UltraEdit depending on screen resolution on using currently latest version of UltraEdit. But the user has additionally the option to right click on any toolbar to open the toolbar context menu and left click  on menu item Large buttons to use larger icons.

      In ribbon mode there is on ribbon tab View in first group Display the item Fonts with the symbols [+] and [-] to increase/decrease the size of used font in the document windows showing file contents. Click on down arrow below item Fonts to open the pop-up menu for even more options to configure the used fonts for the document windows in normal text editing mode (proportional font with individual width for each character possible) as well as in hex and column editing mode (only fixed width fonts possible).

      The font size can be increased/decreased also at any time by holding key Ctrl and roll the mouse wheel.

      The settings for increasing/decreasing font size and change the fonts used for displaying file contents exist also in toolbar/menu mode in menu View.

      Some other fonts can be customized in Manage Themes dialog. Click on ribbon tab Layout in first ribbon group Look and feel on Themes to open this dialog. In toolbar/menu mode with contemporary menus the dialog can be opened by clicking in menu Layout in submenu Themes on Manage themes. In toolbar/menu mode with traditional menus the dialog is opened by clicking in menu View in submenu Themes on menu item Manage themes.

      On tab Application can be customized the font used in most views, on tab Output the font for the output window.

      Some fonts can be configured only by editing the INI file directly.

      See also:
      Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

      111
      Basic UserBasic User
      111

        May 16, 2020#3

        Thanks for the detailed answer. For UE Version 26.20.0.46, is there a way to change the font in menus and submenus? If they are determined automatically, then we may have a problem due to the fact that new computers tend to have ever greater resolution on the same-sized screens.

        My main computer screen is 1920x1080 in only 14 inches. We've come a long way from my first Windows computer, which was 640x480 in the same 14 inches. Some products (like Registrar Registry Manager) have gotten tinier and barely visible UIs while most have compensated for the increased pixels per screen dimension.

        6,602547
        Grand MasterGrand Master
        6,602547

          May 16, 2020#4

          The font and the font size used for displaying the command names in ribbon mode as well as all menus in both toolbar/menu modes is still controlled by the Windows desktop settings and not overridden by a font setting of UltraEdit.

          So it is necessary to configure the font and font size for menus in Windows desktop settings for a larger menu/ribbon text size on a small screen with high resolution. Microsoft recommends to use Medium font size configuration which means 125% of default font size or in other words 120 DPI (Dots Per Inch) instead of just 96 DPI.

          It is possible to change just the font used by Windows for menus (and command names on ribbons). This can be done by opening on Windows 7 in Control Panel the Display settings. There is at bottom left Personalization. Right clicking on a free area on Windows 7 desktop and left clicking on context menu item Personalize opens the same window with less clicks. There is in Personalization window at bottom the item Window Color. The menu on the windows preview can be clicked in Window Color and Appearance dialog window to select item Menu on which font and font size can be configured to something better readable on using a high resolution screen with small physical dimensions. The modified setting should be saved into a named theme. UltraEdit must be restarted to get the changed menu settings applied.

          I can see several changes in Windows 7 registry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics on changing just the menu font size. First byte of MenuFont, negative value of MenuHeight and negative value of MenuWidth are modified under this registry key on changing menu font size.

          I found an article on Winaero about how to tweak those Windows registry values on Windows 10 1703 (Creators Update) and later Windows 10 versions, see Change Menu Text Size in Windows 10 Creators Update. There can be also downloaded a small application to configure the window metric settings without manually tweaking the registry keys.
          Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

          111
          Basic UserBasic User
          111

            May 16, 2020#5

            I am not using 96 dpi, or even 125%. I am using the Windows default 150% size. I have found from previous experience that 150% works best for me for most applications. For some reason, though, UE seems to use a very small text size in its menus and dialogs. Relying on Windows to do the right thing in UE is unfortunate, especially in a programmer's editor that is claimed to be customizable.

            The problem with following your instructions for changing the font in Windows menus globally is that it can easily make most menus difficult to read. I know this from experience. My last experiment doing this using WinAero resulted in weird results and finally in corrupting my default Windows font Segoe UI. Since Microsoft does not make that font available for download, and most other fonts don't seem to fit into captions and titles properly, I had to wait until I needed to buy a new Windows computer to obtain the original Segoe UI font set to fix my computer's menus. I won't try Windows menu size or font changing ever again.

            As I said, I'm happy with my menu and dialog text size in other applications, but they seem smaller inside UE. Possibly it's just an illusion due to context, but in any case since you only support Windows menus and dialogs I won't be able to use UE further.

            6,602547
            Grand MasterGrand Master
            6,602547

              May 17, 2020#6

              David, why do you write several times "you". I'm not an employee of IDM Computer Solutions, Inc. I'm just a user of UltraEdit since more than 20 years. You have to contact IDM support by email if you want support by producer of UltraEdit and do not ask for help in user-to-user forum.

              In my point of view all Windows application should use the Windows desktop settings. The problem is that starting with Windows 8 Microsoft decided to introduce new GUI settings no longer using the older window metric settings and so a Windows GUI chaos emerged. Then more and more applications developed natively for Linux were ported to Windows not using native Windows GUI settings at all, i.e. not using the Microsoft GUI libraries, but using other libraries like Qt or Java. The result in year 2020 is that applications which use native Windows GUI libraries are supported worse by Windows than other applications not using Windows window settings at all.

              However, I would be interested in what are your current Window metric settings. Could your run in a command prompt window following command:

              Code: Select all

              reg export "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics" "%UserProfile%\Desktop\WindowMetrics.txt"
              That command line exports the Window metrics settings to your desktop into the file WindowMetrics.txt which you could upload as attachment to your next post. Then I could import that settings and look how the settings work on my Windows 7 with UE v26.20.0.68 and check if something is wrong in the settings. You know that I can modify the settings using native Windows configuration dialogs as they are available on Windows 7. I do not understand why Microsoft removed the configuration dialogs with Windows 10 Creators Update although thousands of Windows applications using the GUI libraries of Microsoft like GDI and GDI+ depend on those settings indirectly because of using the Microsoft GUI libraries.

              Have you tried what happens on changing properties in the shortcut used to start UltraEdit regarding to DPI settings? See this post and some others on the next page. Note: The slow startup caused by the changes made by Microsoft have been fixed all and so does not occur anymore with UE v26.20.0.46. But experimenting with the display related properties may help in your case. Those settings are stored by Windows 10 in registry for the application and are applied independent on being started using the shortcut or with a different method like running uedit64.exe from command line.

              I am sure we can together without or with IDM support solve the small font size issue in menus satisfactory for you without effecting other applications if you are interested in a solution.
              Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

              111
              Basic UserBasic User
              111

                May 17, 2020#7

                Sorry for the length of this reply.

                "David, why do you write several times 'you' "

                The first time I wrote 'you' ("The problem with following your instructions") was not a problem because you had actually given me instructions.

                The second time ("in any case since you only support Windows menus and dialogs") was a mistake in using 'you' to mean the company that maintains UE (IDM Computer Solutions, Inc). The main problem was using this community (user-to-user) forum as a support forum, for which I humbly apologize. I felt it was better than submitting a bug ticket, particularly since there might have been a UE option to do what I wanted, in which case there was no bug in the product (I see now that there is indeed a bug in the product, caused by relying on Windows to handle menus and dialogs). My use of 'you' meant the company through its support forum.

                I hope that explains why I used 'you' twice, once incorrectly.

                "In my point of view all Windows application should use the Windows desktop settings."

                This is fine in principle. But in practice Windows does not always do the same thing for all applications as it should. It did a great job at Windows 3.1, and most applications used the API with no problem. But Windows 10 is so complicated that problems often arise for the simplest of behaviors. In particular, its handling of different screen resolutions and magnifications is problematic (perhaps one source of problems is that the term 'resolution' should be defined as the number of pixels per inch or centimeter, vertical and horizontal, but Microsoft and the monitor manufacturers have defined it as the total number of pixels shown on the screen, vertical and horizontal).

                "The problem is that starting with Windows 8 Microsoft decided to introduce new GUI settings no longer using the older window metric settings and so a Windows GUI chaos emerged."

                I think you have hit the nail on the head here. Windows, like many other important products, tries to maintain back compatibility as it extends into new functionality. The result is bugs, which are low in priority for a company that believes that profitability lies in supporting new devices and technologies.

                "Then more and more applications developed natively for Linux were ported to Windows not using native Windows GUI settings at all, i.e. not using the Microsoft GUI libraries, but using other libraries like Qt or Java."

                Indeed, you are certainly correct. Many text editors are constructed using such technologies and libraries, usually with some success.

                A good example of Windows failure for use in text editors is the Caret. I'm not sure that Windows should have ever promised to display Carets (editing position markers) at all, but they took on that responsibility. For many years, Windows had a design flaw that permitted the on/off flashing rate of the caret to be set by the user, but only within a certain range; there was no provision for turning the flashing off and displaying the caret steadily. At the longest duration setting, Windows would leave the caret on for perhaps several hours, then turn if off completely for several hours. Even though this is clearly a bug, Windows kept this behavior as standard for many years. Text editors that truly cared about being flexible would avoid using the Windows caret, even though it was available. They would instead display their own caret graphic. In addition to fixing the inability of Windows to display a steady caret, it provided other opportunities: changing the width and height of the caret line, or making it a rectangle or other shape.

                Today, Windows is routinely used for menus. Yet many programs display their own menus (particularly within pages rendered using a browser engine). Many text editors (but not UE) support changing the font used in menus, which allows the editor to correct the limitations inherent in text display used in the Windows-provided menu system.

                I'm not interested in arguing these issues beyond stating my opinions. I'm happy with my own beliefs (I have 40 years experience as a professional software engineer) and have the freedom to choose which text editor I use for programming. Unfortunately, that freedom is not sufficient. Although I have evaluated 14 text editors, I have not been able to find a single editor (open source or proprietary) that is mostly problem-free, supports full customization, and whose developers respond quickly to problem and extension requests.

                The closest I've come to finding a great text editor is the very old Notetab Pro, which is still sold but no longer maintained. It has horrible problems with UTF-8, the de facto current standard in character encoding. It cannot do any specialized "intelligence" operations, such as visiting or showing the definition of a function name at references inside program code. But it does some convenient operations that no other editor can do (not even Emacs), such as working with "outline" files, which contain (in-band) indexed and named pieces of text.

                "I would be interested in what are your current Window metric settings."

                I have attached the file. I hope it reveals some misconfiguration.

                "Have you tried what happens on changing properties in the shortcut used to start UltraEdit regarding to DPI settings?"

                No. I was too lazy to do that level of experimentation, sorry.

                "I am sure we can together without or with IDM support solve the small font size issue in menus satisfactory for you without effecting other applications if you are interested in a solution."

                You are very kind, but before using so much of your time, I need to decide that I want to use UE as opposed to (say) VSC. The problem is that I don't recall whether UE can do 'intelligence' operations, such as listing all PHP or JavaScript functions in a project, or instantly showing the function definition for a function reference, or autocompleting references such as "CLASS::NAME", "METHOD->NAME", or syntactically recent long identifiers. I know it can do syntax coloring for many languages, but I don't need syntax coloring at all.

                It's really hard to choose a text editor, because although it's so basic and important, all existing editors are either limited in their features and customizations, or hard to use (Emacs). Yet I'm stuck with no handling of UTF-8 until I can choose a new text editor I can live with.
                WindowMetrics.txt (4.55 KiB)   0

                6,602547
                Grand MasterGrand Master
                6,602547

                  May 19, 2020#8

                  Thanks for the detailed answer. I have to agree with most written by you.

                  I was also very unhappy with display of UltraEdit, Total Commander, IrfanView, WinRAR, etc. after changing on my Windows 7 notebook the display to 150%, logging off/on, importing your window metrics and logging off/on once again. The menus are definitely not useful with a font size of 9 pt. Your font sizes are really configured wrong for usage of 144 DPI.

                  This time I logged what Windows 7 does on changing display from 100% (96 DPI) to 150% (144 DPI). It changes most of the window metrics by increasing all font sizes, heights and widths, even for the borders by applying the multiplication factor 1.5 and round the result to next integer value. So you couldn't be happy with your configuration with a height for menus and title bars being large enough, but the font size set too small, and I'm quite sure also nobody else.

                  I created in total six registry files (with file extension .txt instead of .reg) based on your window metrics with having changed only the font and the font size on all items with a font. Windows 7 adapted the other settings like height and width automatically. I don't have modified them manually.

                  You can extract those registry files to a folder of your choice and import them with the command line:

                  Code: Select all

                  reg import "C:\ExtractionFolder\WindowMetrics_SegoeUI_14pt.txt"
                  You have to sign out and sign in after each import to get the modified settings applied by Windows.

                  The file name indicates which font and font size is used for all six font settings which are on Windows 7:
                  • Active / Inactive Title Bar ... CaptionFont, CaptionHeight, CaptionWidth  in registry
                  • Menu / Selected Items ... MenuFont, MenuHeight, MenuWidth  in registry
                  • Icon ... IconFont  in registry (used for trees by Windows)
                  • Message Box ... MessageFont  in registry (used for message text and button text in message boxes)
                  • Palette Title ... SmCaptionFont, SmCaptionHeight, SmCaptionWidth  in registry (used for title of a floating toolbar)
                  • ToolTip ... StatusFont  in registry
                  Please let me know if you would like some settings with a different size and I should configure that for you using Windows 7.
                  WindowMetrics.zip (3.92 KiB)   1
                  The six registry files with the window metrics.
                  Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

                  111
                  Basic UserBasic User
                  111

                    May 19, 2020#9

                    Before I go ahead and experiment with what you've done for me (thank you), is there any problem that I actually run Windows 10 Home rather than Windows 7? I have never used Windows 7, having skipped past it for some reason. I don't want to import into my Registry if anything changed between Windows 7 and Windows 10.

                    6,602547
                    Grand MasterGrand Master
                    6,602547

                      May 19, 2020#10

                      The registry values under registry key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics are unmodified since Windows 2000 (perhaps even Windows 95 as the configuration dialog of Windows 7 existed already in Windows 95). I compared your registry export with one exported from my Windows XP PC and one exported from my Windows 7 computer and could not see any difference as I wanted to know that also before importing your settings. All Windows applications using Microsoft's GDI and GDI+ libraries use those settings as the libraries use them.

                      I detected following changes under key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop on increasing text display from 100% to 150% in addition to those under subkey WindowMetrics:
                      1. The double word values FocusBorderHeight and FocusBorderWidth changed from value 1 to 2.
                      2. The double word value LogPixels (what a name!) changed from decimal value 96 (hex: 60) to decimal value 144 (hex: 90).
                      There changed additionally under key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\DWM the double word value UseDpiScaling from value 0 to value 1.

                      Further I found out that the registry value AppliedDPI under key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics is adapted automatically on sign in / log in to value of LogPixels under parent key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop. That is also the reason why I needed to first change text font size from 100% to 150% with log off / in as you use before I could import your registry export and see after one more log off / in how your window metrics values affect the display of the Windows applications used by me on Windows 7.

                      In other words it is absolutely safe for you to import one of the six registry files, sign out / in and look on display of your applications. You can at any time import your export and sign out / in to get your settings back. That is also what I did after changing text font size back from 150% to 100% and log off / in. I restored my initial window metric settings with an import and logged off / in to get them applied again.
                      Best regards from an UC/UE/UES for Windows user from Austria

                      111
                      Basic UserBasic User
                      111

                        May 19, 2020#11

                        Thank you for verifying all this. I'll report on my experiments when I have time to do them. Thanks in advance.