Is it even possible to increase the font size in the Illustrator CC UI? Panels are unreadable!

Community Beginner ,
Jul 11, 2013 Jul 11, 2013

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With the demise of my beloved Fireworks, I am giving Illustrator CC a try. Right off the bat it is unusable due to the microscopic font sizes in the UI, panels in particular. Is there any way to make the UI more readable?

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Adobe Employee , Feb 13, 2019 Feb 13, 2019
ellencarnahan  wrote126% made a big difference for me. Thank you Sanjay! Suddenly it's like the '90s all over again Thanks for reviving this old thread. We have this feature in Illustrator CC 2019 - How to customize the Illustrator workspace

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 11, 2013 Jul 11, 2013

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In so many words: No. That stuff is hard-coded at the core.

Mylenium

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 11, 2013 Jul 11, 2013

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Well that just stinks. Not sure what I'm going to use now, but Illustrator sure isn't it.

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Advocate ,
Jul 11, 2013 Jul 11, 2013

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you can change the resolution of your monitor.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 11, 2013 Jul 11, 2013

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No, I should not have to change my screen settings to accomodate clueless design.

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Advocate ,
Jul 11, 2013 Jul 11, 2013

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I suppose.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 24, 2016 Feb 24, 2016

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Adobe can afford to be stupid because we're all signed up with contracts to their jacked up software. Adobe, the innovator in high resolution rendering that can't build an interface for a high resolution screen. Previous versions didn't have these problems.

Maya (2011) software you can't adjust the UI text either, at least from the UI. What you need to do is edit the code from within the program. That's what I did so I could see the type. 5 years ago 4k wasn't common so I think it's justifiable options aren't available in this old software. 

Adobe on the other hand has no excuse, this is pure incompetence. Adobe, the company of innovation, web scaling to bring sites to every device, video rendering in 4k and 6k for the 5 years I think but some genius has over looked the UI's for the industries most valuable creative tools. What is going on here?

And I would like to reiterate that previous versions didn't have these flaws. Get it together, I'm forced to use "animate" because "flash" disappeared from my computer when I updated, thanks.

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Explorer ,
Feb 25, 2016 Feb 25, 2016

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I would like to suggest that you all save your voice, energy, and angst.  This same string of commentary has been going on regarding Photoshop for at least 18 months.  Here is the sequence of events.  Someone invests in Adobe subscription and opens up the software expecting a creative and (for us geeks) fun experience.  And, then the font is unreadable on our high resolution monitors (which by the way is the normal investment for someone using an Adobe product).  We play around with the settings - yes, preferences is the first place we go, this is not our first rodeo.  We go to the "community" and have no problem finding comment after comment, complaint after complaint. 

Fellow users offer all sorts of work arounds including hand-jamming the registry (don't).  The Adobe "expert" obviously doesn't live with this issue (if they did, it would have been fixed in beta testing).  He/she directs you to the preference panel with the 200% UI fix.  Oh, it does fix the font issue, but renders the workspace and panels unusable.  On the Photoshop threads, the Adobe expert actually had the nerve to declare this problem "resolved"  twice.  But finally, after taking so much virulent feedback pointed the finger at Microsoft.  Really?!?  If Microsoft was the source of the problem then Windows 10 should have fixed it, since it runs beautifully with all of my other software.  No. 

I do not understand this from a company that has been the indisputable  leader in graphics software.   My solution was to reload my CS6.  I have reduced my Adobe subscription to the absolute minimum.  If I didn't have to deal with this company, I would not.  Arrogant.  Unresponsive.  Greedy. 

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Explorer ,
Feb 25, 2016 Feb 25, 2016

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Indesign is worst I have to use "Control Option" keys to bring up a magnifier so I can see the numbers in the option bar. The people at Adobe must be using LOW res screens. This is BULLsh#%

I am using an iMac 2014.

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Mentor ,
Feb 25, 2016 Feb 25, 2016

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What are you even talking about? Everything is the exact same size on my 5K iMac as it was on my old iMac. The text isn't smaller, only sharper. Is this a Windows problem or something?

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New Here ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

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I assure you, at least some previous versions DID have this problem. Here I am with CS2, and Illustrator with teeny little microlabels, apparently for teeny little eyes. Photoshop did let me adjust 'em (proving that it can be done) but Illustrator does not, and at 1920x1080-120DPI, they're about 4pt. (I did try tweaking DPI, no joy. I can't alter resolution as then aspect ratio gets buggered up.)

I don't suppose there's a patch for CS2, if only to let it use PS's label-font scaling? no?? of course not.

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Explorer ,
Oct 17, 2013 Oct 17, 2013

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Changing the monitor resolution doesn't change the the size of menu fonts or other interface feature in Adobe.  I've tried. 

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 18, 2013 Oct 18, 2013

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What is your resolution and operating system?

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 18, 2013 Oct 18, 2013

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If the products used native widgets and controls, O/S and screen resolution would be a non-issue. As is, the product is unusable because I apparently deviate from  your "standard" settings, whatever they are.

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Explorer ,
Oct 18, 2013 Oct 18, 2013

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Rama,

Monitor 1 is a Dell S2340M set to 1920x1080.  Monitor 2 is a Samsung S20B350, set to 1600 x 900.  Both of these are the "recommended" settings for their respective monitors. 

I am running Windows 8.  Using the control panel,  I've adjusted all items to a medium setting of 125% as a normal practice.  In trying to resolve my issues with Illustrator, I experimented with increasing the Text Size for various items (title bars, menus, icons, etc) from the default of 9 to higher settings.  The effects showed in places like Office, but did not have any impact in Illustrator.  I am guessing that my text is being displayed at 8.  Here is a screen capture which will give you an idea of the relative size of the menu and icons to the overall screen

To some degree I have gotten used to dealing with the small text size in Photoshop because there are not as many icons, menus, etc, but Illustrator is really a challenge.  Any ideas? Risher_AI-Screen-Capture.jpg 

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Valorous Hero ,
Oct 18, 2013 Oct 18, 2013

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Risherp,

I searched for your monitor model and saw that it is 23 inches. I  used this link to find  out the physical size you are viewing your screen image.

http://members.ping.de/~sven/dpi.html

in comparison, on my monitor Illustrator is worse. This is my screen.

Untitled-1.jpg

To see the physical size I'm viewing it on my monitor, place this image in Illustrator and set its size to  23.53 inches wide by 13.24 inches high. Then display the rules and zoom until one inch  on the ruler in Illustrator equals one inch on a real life ruler.  Then you will see how small and cr*** the Illustrator UI is. It is pain in the a**

I have no doubt that the Illustrator UI design team use monitors from the last century with a fixed resolution of 72 ppi.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 18, 2013 Oct 18, 2013

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Unfortunately there is no way the Icon & Font Size can be changed in Illustrator CC at present, but this is in our list.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2013 Oct 19, 2013

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Curious where that change is on the list of things to do. Near the bottom?

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Explorer ,
Oct 19, 2013 Oct 19, 2013

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Thank you Rama...

Hopefully it is near the top of the list!

Regards,

Paulette

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New Here ,
Jan 05, 2014 Jan 05, 2014

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This is an unbelievably frustrating issue. I asked about a dozen designers and its a silent grudge everyone seems to hold against the suite. I can't imagine why it would be difficult for a design pioneer like Adobe to make menues elastic. Photoshop does it badly with interface labels that try to scale inside of a fixed size menus causing readability issues, but at least it tries. The company pushes updates for things that don't exist as far as I'm concerned, yet this issue seems to be continously overlooked for years - why? Accessibility is not optional. It's not a 'nice-to-have'. Workflow speed and performance would be substantially improved if we didn't have to squint to read 6 point font. I'm sorry but I'm going to have to start a bunch of social media posts on the subject to try to get your attention. Every time an interface causes blood pressure to rise, it's time to act.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 11, 2014 Jan 11, 2014

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Dave is absolutely right. I just started using a new 27" iMac thinking all my workflow speed issues will now be resolved... finally... but no. Adobe somewhere forgot that the basic interaction between man and machine is paramount. Seems like everything now (iOS included) is being designed by 22 year olds with perfect vision.

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2014 Jan 13, 2014

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Actually, my age is not far off the mark, and I am not a 'low-vision' user. I don't think demographics have anything to do with it actually; it's a matter of usability and productivity which suffer considerably when an interface is hard to use.

What gets me seeing red is that its a seemingly simple fix. The application is not universal by any means. It does not suffer from the crippling need to be backwards compatible going back several versions (if anything, Adobe's stance on upgrades has been rather militant, which I suppose is a good thing in this case), it does not run on mobile or some obscure build of linux.

It's definitely not a constraint of app size and considering they already chucked interface conventions used by Windows/OS X about 5 versions ago, why not just go the extra step and solve this problem. I would happily trade in the ability to select the shade of grey (really?) to selecting the font size. What do you think will have a greater impact on my performance?

All we can do is wait. On the other hand maybe its time to check out alternatives.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 15, 2014 Jan 15, 2014

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17.1 update is released for Illustrator CC, this update contains support for HiDPI devices, with this update you can see Illustrator in enlarged mode.

Here is the excerpt from Release Notes

Adobe Illustrator extends HiDPI support to Windows-based devices. You can now view Illustrator in enlarged mode, as per text size preferences on a high-resolution displays.

  • For displays with resolution greater than or equal to 1920*1080 & less than 2560*1440, Illustrator can be launched at 1.5 times scaled-up UI, depending on the OS text size.
  • For displays with resolution greater than or equal to 2560*1440, Illustrator can be launched at 1.5 times or 2 times scaled-up UI, depending on the OS text size.

For information on viewing or making adjustments in Windows, see:

-Rama

Illustrator Team

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 16, 2014 Jan 16, 2014

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"For displays with resolution greater than or equal to 1920*1080..."

That is so not helpful. Screen size and dpi are two different things, and it's the dpi that matters. You'd think the maker of graphics software would know that.

So where does my 1600x1200 screen size (higher than 96dpi) fall into their equation?

It probably doesn't so I'm probably still out of luck. I need font 2x now. 😞

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Adobe Employee ,
Jan 17, 2014 Jan 17, 2014

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Actually we have set the limit of scaling to 150% on a monitor having at-least 1920X1080 because we have tried to keep all our UI usable at 150% scaling at this resolution. If user have less resolution then some of the UI elements will go out of the screen and will become unusable.

Similary, there is minimum resolution required for 200% scaling and it is 2560*1440 to avoid UI elements truncation.

Sanjay.

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