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Changing Affinity Photo user interface font size in Windows 10

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Others have called attention to problems caused by the tiny fonts in the Affinity Photo user interface. I put off buying Affinity Photo for some weeks because of the tiny fonts and tiny icons. These are a special problem for anyone with vision deficits (including most people my age) and for anyone with high definition monitors.

It turns out the problem of tiny fonts exists across the Windows universe ever since Microsoft removed font size options (and many other adjustments that were available even in Windows 3.1) from the Windows control panels. Users of Quicken complain frequently about small fonts, although Quicken has an option for setting font size for the account registers. Unfortunately, Quicken's font size adjustments do not affect the investment transaction registers, only savings and checking and charge account registers.

The Vivaldi web browser enables you to scale the entire user interface continuously from extraordinarily small to extraordinarily large. You can also scale the contents of any window independently of the surrounding user interface. I do wish that Affinity Photo had such a capability. If a free program can do it, why not a paid program.

In the meantime, I have found that the free utility Advanced System Font Changer lets you adjust several Windows 10 system fonts that Affinity Photo uses in its menus, tooltips, and layer names. I increased my system fonts from the default 9 point to 11 point and now Affinity Photo is a real pleasure to use at my normal trifocal viewing distance rather than having to press my nose close enough to my screens to use bifocal distance. Affinity Photo is now even more of a joy to use, though I still wish larger icons were available.

Advanced System Font Changer is available free from https://www.wintools.info/index.php/advanced-system-font-changer

It is available from many other shareware sites and recommended by The Windows Club at https://www.thewindowsclub.com/advanced-system-font-changer


Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123, Windows 10 Pro x64 version 1809, 
Dell XPS 8930, 16 GB Ram,  Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

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On 12/13/2018 at 6:32 PM, Granddaddy said:

Others have called attention to problems caused by the tiny fonts in the Affinity Photo user interface. I put off buying Affinity Photo for some weeks because of the tiny fonts and tiny icons. These are a special problem for anyone with vision deficits (including most people my age) and for anyone with high definition monitors.

It turns out the problem of tiny fonts exists across the Windows universe ever since Microsoft removed font size options (and many other adjustments that were available even in Windows 3.1) from the Windows control panels. Users of Quicken complain frequently about small fonts, although Quicken has an option for setting font size for the account registers. Unfortunately, Quicken's font size adjustments do not affect the investment transaction registers, only savings and checking and charge account registers.

The Vivaldi web browser enables you to scale the entire user interface continuously from extraordinarily small to extraordinarily large. You can also scale the contents of any window independently of the surrounding user interface. I do wish that Affinity Photo had such a capability. If a free program can do it, why not a paid program.

In the meantime, I have found that the free utility Advanced System Font Changer lets you adjust several Windows 10 system fonts that Affinity Photo uses in its menus, tooltips, and layer names. I increased my system fonts from the default 9 point to 11 point and now Affinity Photo is a real pleasure to use at my normal trifocal viewing distance rather than having to press my nose close enough to my screens to use bifocal distance. Affinity Photo is now even more of a joy to use, though I still wish larger icons were available.

Advanced System Font Changer is available free from https://www.wintools.info/index.php/advanced-system-font-changer

It is available from many other shareware sites and recommended by The Windows Club at https://www.thewindowsclub.com/advanced-system-font-changer

 

You can now do this in Windows again.  Microsoft removed the setting from the Control Panel before they finished moving it over to the Settings app, however in the Windows 10 1809 update, the setting to make text bigger has been added to the settings app.

Therefore, there are now two different system-wide settings in [Settings App > Ease of Access > Display]:

1) Make text bigger.  This slider allows you to adjust just the text size.  This will make the text in most menus in Affinity Photo bigger (although some text such as panel names will remain the same size).

2) Make everything bigger.  This is the same setting as [Settings App > System > Display > Scale and layout].  This will make everything bigger in Affinity Photo (text, icons, etc.).  Although the problem with this setting is the setting jumps in 25% steps (I.E. from 100% to 125%) and although on a device with a small screen (such as a laptop) 125% will probably look OK, on a desktop 125% makes everything too big.  It’s possible to manually enter a custom scaling between 100% and 500%—which can be found by clicking on the ‘Advanced Scaling Settings’ link in the ‘Scale and layout’ area—however this may cause problems in some software and is therefore labelled as ‘Not recommended’.  Another issue with this setting is that depending on the software, using the ‘Make everything bigger’ setting may make parts of the application blurry and the ‘Let Windows try to fix apps so they’re not blurry’ setting may not be able to fix it (UWP apps should be OK though).

Screenshots:
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003.thumb.png.44cc8e2ebe0c18822c293af51edf070b.png

 

 

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1 minute ago, - S - said:

You can now do this in Windows again.  Microsoft removed the setting from the Control Panel before they finished moving it over to the Settings app, however in the Windows 10 1809 update, the setting to make text bigger has been added to the settings app.

Therefore, there are now two different system-wide settings in [Settings App > Ease of Access > Display]:

1) Make text bigger.  This slider allows you to adjust just the text size.  This will make the text in most menus in Affinity Photo bigger (although some text such as panel names will remain the same size).

I don't have 1809 yet, so I can't test this myself.

Is this new setting application-specific, or does it apply to all applications in the system?


-- Walt

Windows 10 Home, version 1809, 16GB memory, Intel Core i7-6700K @ 4.00Gz, GeForce GTX 970
Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 and 1.7.0.331 Beta       / Affinity Designer 1.6..5.123 and 1.7.0.331 Beta    / Affinity Publisher 1.7.0.330 Beta

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1 minute ago, walt.farrell said:

I don't have 1809 yet, so I can't test this myself.

Is this new setting application-specific, or does it apply to all applications in the system?

The settings are system-wide.

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17 minutes ago, walt.farrell said:

Is this new setting application-specific, or does it apply to all applications in the system?

See:  Change the size of text in Windows 10

Quote

To make just the text on your screen larger, adjust the slider under Make text bigger. To make everything larger, including images and apps, choose an option from the drop-down menu under Make everything bigger.

 


☛ Affinity Designer 1.6.1 ◆ Affinity Photo 1.6.7 ◆ OSX El Capitan

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3 hours ago, - S - said:

You can now do this in Windows again.  Microsoft removed the setting from the Control Panel before they finished moving it over to the Settings app, however in the Windows 10 1809 update, the setting to make text bigger has been added to the settings app.

Thanks for the heads up on this.

I'm still waiting for Microsoft to deliver the October update 1809 to my computers. I know they had withdrawn it suddenly when it was first released because it was wiping out personal data on the machines of early adopters. I am looking forward to trying that scalable text feature, though it appears to remain a shadow of what was available with Windows 3.1 more than 26 years ago and even what is available now in Advanced System Font Changer.

As for Affinity products specifically, the company really ought to provide larger icons. At present I can't really recommend the software to anyone else. There are many alternatives, both free and commercial, that are better for the casual photo hobbyist. I stick with Affinity because I like it in principle and I'm hoping for improvements. I'm wondering whether my hope is in vain given that nothing of any significance to me has improved in the year since I bought the software. I do wonder about Serif's commitment to developing it.

Many programs offered a choice of both small and large icons and small and large buttons beginning many years ago, long before high resolution monitors were available. Meanwhile, Affinity users have been complaining about Affinity's lack of user friendliness since it was first released. I don't see anyone expressing any hope that Serif will do anything about it. Although being identified as complainers, these same people are not complaining about tiny icons in other applications they use, not even in other photo editors. That this poor user interface has been implemented today after decades of computer development and research into ergonomic design and laws about accessibility is both amazing and disappointing. Then again, making things unreadable seems to be a common practice in magazines and on web pages where gray type on a gray background and other "innovative styles" seem to be fashionable. Certainly Chapter One of the Affinity Photo Workbook became something of a monument to poor design and inadequate proofreading because of such choices. There was a time when readability was the primary requirement, after which stylistic flourishes might be allowed. Ah well, I'm ranting...


Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123, Windows 10 Pro x64 version 1809, 
Dell XPS 8930, 16 GB Ram,  Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

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I've been following such content, but still I don't see any change in UI even after change in Panels, Layer's names, Studios, or any thing within APP.. only menu font size is changed. 

 

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3 hours ago, mfarooqi said:

I've been following such content, but still I don't see any change in UI even after change in Panels, Layer's names, Studios, or any thing within APP.. only menu font size is changed. 

 

What I see in Windows 10 version 1809 using the Windows 10 Settings/Ease-of-Access/Display/Make-text-bigger slider is that text labels in the Studio Panels are NOT affected. They all are stuck with the Affinity Miniscule font (as I call it).

But many other text elements in Affinity Photo can be enlarged using the Win10 slider that enlarges Windows system fonts. You will get larger fonts in Affinity Photo's Menu Bar, Toolbar, Context Toolbar, Tools Panel, and Status Bar. In addition, menu items in the dialog boxes or panels that control individual Adjustments (for instance Levels) are affected by the Windows text slider. The pop-up menus such as the list of Adjustments or Live Filters that appear when you click the icons at the bottom of the Layers Panel also respond to the Win10 system font slider. Also, the text Hints that pop up when you hover the mouse pointer over tool icons on the Toolbar and the Tools Panel are affected by the slider. 

I have my Win10 text slider set for 120%. If I set it to 200% and maximize the Affinity window, then the Status Bar text gets slightly clipped at the bottom. 

I continue to hope for some improvements to the Affinity Photo user interface, but Serif seems primarily interested in other markets and has let Affinity Photo languish for the past year or so. Perhaps users of the Beta version have a different view of progress. I've read in these forums about a couple of good improvements that might make it into version 1.7 affecting the HSL adjustment and the Perlin Noise filter that might finally generate more than one pattern, but I'll not try the beta given that Affinity makes no promises about the future usability of .afphoto files saved by the beta. 


Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123, Windows 10 Pro x64 version 1809, 
Dell XPS 8930, 16 GB Ram,  Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

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On 3/20/2019 at 6:46 PM, Granddaddy said:

the Affinity Miniscule font (as I call it)

*Minuscule: minus-cule, not mini-scule. smartass.gif


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.12.86 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.2 (iPad Air 2)

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1 hour ago, Alfred said:

*Minuscule: minus-cule, not mini-scule. smartass.gif

Thank you for pointing out my spelling error. It led me to investigate further.  I learned that "minUscule" with a "U" is true to the Latin origins of the word. It is the accepted correct spelling.

From https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/spelling/minuscule-or-miniscule I learned that this is a word undergoing a spelling change. The "I" spelling "minIscule" now makes up about 52% of the use of the word in all sources. This newer spelling with an "I" appears in publications ranging from a newspaper in @Alfred's home country to scientific journal usage.

The "I" spelling first appeared at the end of the 19th century (before even I was born). It became more popular in the 1940's and some dictionaries now list it as an accepted variant spelling. See https://www.grammarly.com/blog/minuscule-or-miniscule/ . 

In the Affinity forums I find that "miniscule" has been used 11 times in posts, while "minuscule" has been used 32 times. Thus, the "I" spelling has been used in 25% of the posts using the word (though I did not search for other variants). Compare this frequency to that in the usage frequency chart in  https://writingexplained.org/miniscule-or-minuscule-spelling

Since the tiny fonts used by Affinity Photo are frequently discussed as being a problem for users, I would have thought "minuscule" or "miniscule" would be more popular adjectives among contributors to the forums.

Still, the "I" spelling is considered an error by those empowered to make such decisions. Indeed, it is flagged as an error by the forum spellchecker as I type this. One needs to be alert to the red underline indicating spelling errors.

I shall leave my incorrect spelling unedited in my previous post above so as to provide context for @Alfred's and my comments.

 


Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123, Windows 10 Pro x64 version 1809, 
Dell XPS 8930, 16 GB Ram,  Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

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46 minutes ago, Granddaddy said:

In the Affinity forums I find that "miniscule" has been used 11 times in posts, while "minuscule" has been used 32 times. Thus, the "I" spelling has been used in 25% of the posts using the word (though I did not search for other variants). Compare this frequency to that in the usage frequency chart in  https://writingexplained.org/miniscule-or-minuscule-spelling

Thanks for the link. I wonder why  the usage of “miniscule” dipped in the mid-1990s.

I found it mildly amusing to see the following on that page:

Quote

Some people mistakenly think that minuscule is spelled as miniscule, presumably based on the assumption that the word relates to the prefix –mini.

Mini is a prefix but mini would be a suffix.


Alfred online2long.gif
Affinity Designer 1.6.5.123 • Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123 • Windows 10 Home (4th gen Core i3 CPU)
Affinity Photo for iPad 1.6.12.86 • Affinity Designer for iPad 1.6.4.45 • iOS 12.2 (iPad Air 2)

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Posted (edited)
51 minutes ago, Alfred said:

I found it mildly amusing to see the following on that page:

Mini is a prefix but mini would be a suffix.

Your interest in correct grammar and spelling leads me to think you would be interested in the writings of the late Richard Mitchell, The Underground Grammarian.

All of Mitchell's works are available at https://sourcetext.com/grammarian/. His books about academe are hilarious. As he concludes in "Why Good Grammar?":

""Good grammar," in the fullest sense of the term, is neither an embellishment nor an accessory to anything else. It is the Law by which meaning is found and made. It may be, of course, that a good "education" ought to provide something more, but it is preposterous, perhaps even wicked, to suggest that it can be had with anything less."  https://sourcetext.com/why-good-grammar/

And for those who ridicule those concerned with good grammar and proper speech we need only point to Ben Johnson who wrote:

Neither can his mind be thought to be in tune,
  whose words do jarre;
Nor his reason in frame,
  whose sentence is preposterous;
      - Ben Johnson, Discoveries, 1641

And to bring our discussion back to Affinity Photo, we should note that it is attention to correct details and proper form that is the essence of good photo editing just as that attention is the foundation for good photo editing.

Edited by Granddaddy
First post got away before I finished

Affinity Photo 1.6.5.123, Windows 10 Pro x64 version 1809, 
Dell XPS 8930, 16 GB Ram,  Intel Core i7-8700 CPU, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

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