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Getting Back The Valuable Screen Space Your Trading Platforms Deserved from Windows 8 and Windows 10

By Lawrence  

There is one drastic difference between Windows 8 (and Windows 10) and all the prior releases of Windows including Windows 7. It is a feature called dynamic scaling of the elements displayed on the screen. For normal computer users, it is a very nice feature to have as higher density displays, meaning those monitors with more pixels per inch, will be able to display everything you normally expect with a regular monitors having lower density. For traders, however, we often purchase monitors with higher resolutions for the valuable screen space so that we can display more information. Dynamic scaling makes it impossible to utilize the higher resolutions. I am going to show you how to get your valuable screen space back.

How Dynamic Scaling Works

Dynamic scaling in Windows 8 will automatically adjusts the font size, window size and other elements displayed on your screen based on the dots per inch (DPI) specification of the display device. If the DPI is higher than a normal display, Windows will increase the size of the elements to make them bigger so that they look about the same size as displayed on a regular monitor. This feature is very important when you are using a tablet or cell phone because these devices often have very high DPI.

In short, dynamic scaling has its usage but there are times we need to display things exactly the way we want. For instance, when we display our charts with our trading platform, we do not want Windows to mess with our settings.

What It Messes Up

For those traders who have experience using laptops with high DPI or those traders who purchased the high end 4K ultra resolution monitors, dynamic scaling makes it impossible to display more bars on the charts even though you know your display can do it. Windows even refuses to acknowledge your display is having resolution higher than the regular ones.

Windows 8 is also guilty of wasting lots more screen space for the captions and borders of each individual window. When we display many windows, the screen space wasted adds up quickly.

The two problems stated above, when combined together, make trading platforms look weird and sometimes not usable due to overlapping of the displayed elements.

The common trading platforms all have their own detail display settings on almost everything. There is really no need of Windows to take over the task. What is needed is a way to turn off Dynamic Scaling so that the trading platforms can be left alone. In order to do so, however, you have to make changes in three separate places.

Setting 1: Overall Scaling

In Windows 8 Control Panel, you can open the Display settings and see the Size of All Items setting. The choice of Smaller does not really mean smaller, it means 100% or display as-is. If you want to maximize your ability to use every pixel on your display, choose Smaller.

image

Setting 2: Application Option

Within Windows 8, there is the ability to turn off Dynamic Scaling for each individual application. Simply find the application and right click to access its property window. Check the option “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings”. Once it is done, your trading platform will be left alone and you will have to adjust the size of the elements yourself within the program to suit your need.

image

If you do not know where your application is located on your computer hard drive but that you have a shortcut on the desktop, you can right click to access the shortcut’s property window. There is a button for you to open the application location so no need to search it on the hard drive manually.

Setting 3: Registry Entries

For those traders who find the extra space used by window borders and caption area a waste of valuable screen space, the following changes to the Windows registry can force Windows 8 to display them just like the earlier versions of Windows. To effect the changes to the registry, follow the steps below:

1. copy the code below into a text file and save it with the extension reg

2. launch the regedit program

3. locate the registry entry WindowMetrics and Export the current settings as a backup in case you need to restore them

4. Import the settings from the file you have created earlier

5. the changes will show after you restart Windows

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop\WindowMetrics]
    "CaptionHeight"="-285"
    "CaptionWidth"="-285"
    "CaptionFont"=hex:f4,ff,ff,ff,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,90,01,00,00,\
      00,00,00,01,00,00,05,00,53,00,65,00,67,00,6f,00,65,00,20,00,55,00,49,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,\
      00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00,00
    "ScrollWidth"="-240"
    "ScrollHeight"="-240"
    "PaddedBorderWidth"="0"

 

Summary

The next generation of monitors are here. They have higher DPI in general. The better laptops and tablets are also coming with higher DPI displays now. Hence the display problem with trading platforms on Windows 8 and Windows 10 will become a very common issue soon. I think this article will help many traders to deal with the issue and end the frustration quickly.

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