Fix: Blurry Fonts or Poor Display Scaling in Office Programs

To match the theme of Windows 8/10, Microsoft Office 2013/2016 also follows the same Metro UI concept. DPI Scaling plays an important role in using programs having Modern UI. When the scaling is not properly configured, fuzzy and blurry content comes into play. Poor Display Scaling makes the programs look quite bad.

Dots Per Inch (DPI) Scaling is one of the additional feature introduced in Windows 8.1/10 regarding projection of display to external devices. For a specified resolution say 1366×768 pixels, DPI Settings must be above 100%. DPI Settings are of important concern when you project the Windows Start Screen or Menu to a projector. If the DPI Settings remains below a predetermined level, the Metro tiles will loose their charm and fluidity, and will be displayed as mere boxes.

Blurry Fonts in Office Programs

How-To-Get-Rid-Of-Poor-Scaling-In-Office-2013 Programs

So how does one avoid poor scaling of Office 2013/2016 components? Well, you can try disabling external monitors and see if it helps. Or you can try using the Compatibility option. If these do not work, you can try this method.

1. Open your Microsoft Office installation folder. Right-click on the icon of the Office program for which you’re facing the issue of poor scaling and select Properties.

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2. Now in the Properties window, switch to Compatibility tab and put a check mark against Disable display scaling on high DPI settings. Click Apply followed by OK.

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Now reopen the Office programs, and you will find that their content will not be blurry.

There may be a possibility that you may find that the option is disabled or grayed out. In such a case, you will to manipulate the concerned registry setting. To do so, press Windows Key + R combination, type put Regedt32.exe in Run dialog box and hit Enter to open the Registry Editor.

REGEDIT Fix: Youve Been Signed In With A Temporary Profile error In Windows 8

2. Navigate to the following location:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers

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3. In the right pane of this location, create a new string value using Right click -> New -> String Value. Name this string so created as the file location of your Office 2013 component program. For instance – say PowerPoint, – in my case its located at E:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\POWERPNT.EXE. Now double click on the same string to modify its Value data:

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4. In the Edit String box, put the Value data as ~ HIGHDPIAWARE. Now, close the Registry Editor and reboot the machine to make changes effective. After reboot you won’t see poor scaling issues with Office 2013 programs.

You may also try the following. From the Office program options, under the Advanced section, check the Disable hardware graphics acceleration setting and see if it helps you. For eg. open Outlook 2013 > File Options > Advanced > Display > Check the Disable hardware graphics acceleration box > OK. Restart your computer.

Hope something helps.

You may want to also check this post on how to Disable DPI virtualization or Lower the overall Windows DPI setting system-wide to resolve such issues.

Additional readings to help issue of blurry fonts:

  1. There are some additional steps you may want to take if you find that Web fonts appear blurry in Internet Explorer.
  2. To fix the issue of Blurry Fonts in Windows 10/8.
  3. Make text easier to read using ClearType Tuner in Windows 10/8/7.
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An Electrical Engineer by profession, Kapil is a Microsoft MVP and a Microsoft Content Creator. Please read the entire post & the comments first & create a system restore point before making any changes to your system.