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10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays System 10.7
The earlier hint, "Signs of resolution independence" in Preview reminded me of another discovery that points to not necessarily full blown resolution independence but perhaps a compromise of making larger widgets on high-resolution displays.

To enable HiDPI mode, you first need Xcode 4.1 for Lion. It's a free download from the App Store. (Xcode 3 will not work.)

Launch Quartz Debug from /Developer/Applications/Graphic Tools, then enable the 'HiDPI' support. This setting is found under Window » UI Resolution. You'll be forced to log out and re-login to activate the change.

Now, check out the Displays preference in System Preferences. Some resolutions will now have '(HiDPI)' appended to their name. Choose one to see this feature in action.

HiDPI mode uses graphics (and fonts) that are twice as large as standard DPI mode, similar how how the retina display on the iPhone 4 works. If a high-resolution image is not provided, pixel doubling is used instead. While it might be a little large for daily use now (although I wonder if it would be useful on media centers or other 10-ft-UI devices), perhaps Apple is thinking about doing this in the future when displays catch up due to apparent difficulties vectoring and supporting arbitrary resolutions, which seems to have been in the works since at least 10.4.

[crarko adds: When I tried this on my MacBook the only HiDPI resolution enabled was 640x400, so I didn't go very far in trying to use it. If you do this with a large display please post your findings in the comments. Quartz Debug will be running when you login, so you can set it back to the old settings and then logout/login again, and things are back the way they were.]
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10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays | 7 comments | Create New Account
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Not well supported yet in 10.7
Authored by: lullabud on Aug 24, '11 08:09:43AM

Almost none of the UI elements currently support this feature in 10.7. All of Safari (except the 1Password plugin, incidentally), the, system prefs, etc. display plixelated. Only the menu bar, Finder and dock show with finer text and graphics, and not even all of those work. iTunes or CMD-Tab and others do not display high res, and there are visual artifacts behind some screen elements like shadows and text.

Also, in order to enable this you need to log everybody out simultaneously. The Quartz Debug app doesn't detect that other people are log in and doesn't prompt you to log them out, so be sure to check that when enabling.

Tested on a 27" 2010 iMac.



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10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays
Authored by: richwiss on Aug 24, '11 11:10:06AM

I tried it on a 2560x1440 display and the highest HiDPI resolution available was 1024x576. There was also a 960x540 that said "interlaced & HiDPI"

Edited on Aug 24, '11 11:10:21AM by richwiss



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10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays
Authored by: Lorphos on Nov 12, '11 12:45:18PM

That seems odd, it should have offered you 1280x720 HiDPI on a 2560x1440 screen.



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10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays
Authored by: Crazor on Aug 28, '11 01:49:33AM

It seems that after switching to a HiDPI mode, not every app recognizes the new setting. Logging out and back in *again* after changing the res (or quitting every running app) made even more applications HiDPI aware.

This looks very promising. I'm stunned every time I watch HD video on my iPhone 4, and I'm really looking forward to a MacBook Pro with a Retina display ;)



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10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays
Authored by: Lorphos on Nov 12, '11 12:43:06PM
Thanks for showing how to enable HiDPI mode. I tried this on a "retina" Viewsonic VP2290b monitor (a relabeled IBM T221, 22 inch TFT, 3840x2400 with 204dpi). All operating systems that I've used with this monitor have a huge problem if you connect a normal 100dpi monitor and this 204dpi behemoth.

The HiDPI solution of Mac OS X is great. I can use both monitors and the size of the text etc stays (approximately) the same, no matter which screen I use. But the text is still razor sharp on the 204dpi screen. Kudos to Apple. They found the best solution for working in an environment with both normal and quadruple resolution monitors.

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10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays
Authored by: TheFLP on Jul 06, '12 06:21:40PM

To maybe save other people the aggravation I went through: do not bother downloading Xcode from the App Store if all you want is Quartz Debug. You'll just waste time downloading 1GB+ and find that most of the Developer Tools aren't there anymore.

Instead, go to https://developer.apple.com/downloads/ and search for the Graphics Tools for Xcode package. And it's only 118MB.



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10.7: Enable HiDPI mode for higher resolution displays
Authored by: Lri on Aug 24, '12 02:31:24PM

You can also enable the HiDPI modes without Quartz Debug by running d=/Library/Preferences/com.apple.windowserver; defaults write $d DisplayResolutionEnabled -bool true; defaults delete $d DisplayResolutionDisabled and logging out and back in.



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