Is there a way to set custom DPI on Mountain Lion (MBP Retina)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by obender, Aug 3, 2012.

  1. obender macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2012
    I'm talking about setting DPI to 96 or 110 basically anything in between standard 72 and retina one.
    I'd like to use the hi res modes (1900x1200 or even full retina) but I want to get screen elements to be larger.
    The so called optimal for retina resolution, is basically half or the retina full res, and it is simple provides too little space.
  2. leman macrumors G3

    Oct 14, 2008
    This is what the scaled modes do for you actually. Best for retina will emulate a 1440x900 screen (corresponding to 110 PPI with that dimension). All the UI elements is rendered at native resolution though, only two times bigger.

    Higher-res modes will emulate 128 PPI (1680x1050) and 146 PPI (1920x1200) thus making the UI even smaller and giving you more space. If you want bigger UI, you can always go down (although thats pretty useless IMHO). AFAIK, you can't set a custom setting for this. You can always try playing with the scale factor (, but I am not even sure if it will still work. Apple planned on supporting flexible scale factors but later decided to use only integer (specifically, 2x2) scale factors combined with supersampling. Thus, 1920x1200 will be rendered as 3840x2400 (supersampled 1920x1200 with scale factor 2.0) and then downsampled to native 2800x1800.

    BTW: 72DPI is just a historical number. In Apple world, it is just often used to state that one logical point (a coordinate unit in drawing space) is equal to a physical pixel. The time of 72DPI monitors is long gone.

    Hope it helps.
  3. stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    changing any DPI anywhere is not going to help at all. the only thing you can really do is wait for apps to update and actually support retina display. in the case of adobe apps, they're completely unaware of being on a retina display and clearly don't have retina-optimized UI assets so everything is just a blurry mess, including the files you're working on. this is in contrast to retina display-optimized apps like aperture, which will display the photo at the correct unscaled setting while scaling the UI to make it usable.

    unfortunately waiting for apps to update (if they ever will) is just part of the experience of being an early adopter.
  4. obender thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2012
    You are correct it is no go anymore, the Quartz Debug doesn't have this option any more, well it still has that menu but the only option there "Enable HiDPI" no scale to set.

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