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?
I am so frustrated with Adobe's complete disregard for designer accessibility in their CS and CC programs. There is no good reason that the font size of the commands and labels can't be even modestly adjustable. Even with maximizing the contrast by using the dark theme, working with an excellent monitor, and bringing the panels out of the corners and into the workspace, working with these products is unnecessaryily tiring as I have to sit unnaturally close to the screen just to see what is there (and that is with glasses). I am just learning Illustrator, but the problem exists in Photoshop as well. Disappointing.
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.
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
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.
in comparison, on my monitor Illustrator is worse. This is my screen.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 information on viewing or making adjustments in Windows, see:
"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. :-(
Can you try setting your windows scaling to 135 to 150%, log-off and login and relaunch AI. AI should launch at 150% scaling which should be good. Please let us know if it is working for you.
And this will work only with Illustrator 17.1 patch released on 16th Jan 2013.
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.
This is a step in the right direction, but it creates ugly workflow related issues. At 125% (my default), the font and icon size remains uncomfortably small. If I use the Control Panel and reset my Windows' scaling from 125% to 150%, the Illustrator font and icons are much more readible. Unfortunately, this 150% is awful for everything else.
I don't want to use 150% for all of my Office and other applications. While, for a long work session I will change the scaling to 150%, most days when I am toggling between and among Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Explorer, and the Adobe suite, I can't afford the time to have to reset the scaling.
Just to reaffirm, I am not "low vision" from the accessibility perspective, I am just one of the 225 million Americans (75% of adults) that wear corrective lenses.
Thank you for the effort but please keep this on the list for continued "customer requested" upgrades. I just want to be able to adjust the menu font and icon size from within Illustrator and have those settings become the default.
Can you try 130 % or even 126 %, anything greater than 125%. I guess it will trigger our scaling to 150% and you will not loose much on other app scaling.
Please let me know your experience with this setting.
This is definitely a step in the right direction but I would much, much, much prefer if Adobe apps had a setting the PREFERENCES that allowed scaling of menu and other text instead of setting it for the computer as a whole. There's really no reason I should have to set something universally as a workaround for Adobe. Just sayin.
I am using a new iMac 27” all this talk about changing monitor resolution to use software that I pay more than $50 a month to use is bull. This problem has been around for awhile as monitor ppi has been going up UI font size has been going down.
Adobe fixed it in Photoshop with preference UI font size “Small Medium Large”. If it can be done in Photoshop why not Adobe software?
Its not like Adobe has not heard this before, so get busy and fix this issue. PLEASE
I just updted to 17.1, and it made a difference. I will still not describe it as accessible, just barely able to read. I use a 15.6" monitor with 4K resolution (3200 x 1800). My vision is quite good, but with the WIndows setting to 200%, the toolbars in AI are about 5pt in physical size. Huge improvement, but I would certainly appreciate more control. 4K screens are here now, and Adobe seems to be just now adjusting for conventional HD. I'm working at a display density of around 235 pixels per inch.