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Scaling ERDAS IMAGINE on a 4K monitor

by Technical Evangelist ‎07-20-2018 09:10 AM - edited ‎08-20-2019 07:01 AM (1,639 Views)

Scaling ERDAS IMAGINE on a 4K monitor


The Problem


Modern computers can be purchased with 4k and 5k graphics card and monitors. For example, the HP ZBook I use (and which is used for the screenshots in this article) came with NVIDIA Quadro M5000M graphics and a built-in display, capable of 3840 x 2160 resolution.


With this many pixels available across the display extent, applications can appear tiny, with text that's too small to read, and buttons too tiny to click accurately. This is because applications are generally defined in terms of a number of screen pixels in size. For example a button might be 64 pixels wide. So on a laptop screen that is 15" wide, the button would be 0.5" wide on a 1920 x 1080 display, but is only 0.25" wide on a 3840 x 2160 display.


The screenshot below shows ERDAS IMAGINE 2018 maximised to a 3840 x 2160 display with Windows set to 100% scaling (more on that later):




This configuration was too difficult for my tired old eyes to work with.


This article shows one way of scaling up ERDAS IMAGINE so that the user interface is more comfortable to use on high resolution displays.


The Solution


Bigger Monitor


The first solution is usually to purchase a larger display device. The same 3840 pixels wide would therefore be spread over a larger extent. I purchased an HP ENVY 27 monitor and hooked it up to the laptop. ERDAS IMAGINE was bigger, but still too small to use comfortably.


Scale Applications


The normal way to make applications (such as ERDAS IMAGINE) scale up so they are bigger on higher resolution displays is to use Windows' option to Scale text, apps and other items. On Windows 10 this feature can be accessed by right-clicking on the desktop background and selecting the Display Settings option.




The Settings dialog should come up defaulted to the Display category. There is a Scale and layout section with the following field:




Change the percent scaling value to something appropriate. For my laptop display I set it to 200%, and for the external monitor I set it to 175%.


At this point you may need to Sign Out and then sign back in again to have the changes applied. A reboot may sometimes be required. 


Once you've done that, ERDAS IMAGINE should already be looking better and easier to use. The Ribbon toolbars scale up as requested (see screenshot below and compare the Ribbon buttons with those shown above). However not all dialogs behave consistently. For example, the Subset & Chip dialog looks like this:




Override System Scaling


So the final step is to make use of a capability available to Windows 10 after all Updates have been installed. 


Start a Windows Explorer dialog.


Navigate to the location where ERDAS IMAGINE has been installed and find the eWkspace.exe program (which is the program that starts the ERDAS IMAGINE ribbon interface). If installed to the default location it would be here:


C:\Program Files\Hexagon\ERDAS IMAGINE 2018\bin\x64URelease


Note that if you routinely use the 32-bit version of ERDAS IMAGINE 2018 you would do this in the Win32Release directory instead. Or you can alter both.


In Windows Explorer right-click over the eWkspace.exe program and select the Properties option.


In the eWkspace.exe Properties dialog change to the Compatibility tab.


Turn on the Override high DPI scaling behavior checkbox and change Scaling performed by: to System






Click Apply and OK.


Again, you may want to sign out or even reboot the system to ensure the Windows changes take effect. After that restart ERDAS IMAGINE and try the Subset & Chip dialog again:





You may still come across applications which start from the ERDAS IMAGINE ribbon interface, but which are separate applications, which are not scaled correctly. If you encounter one of these check the Task Manager to determine the name of the program and alter that program's Properties in the same manner as you did for eWkspace.exe above.






by Technical Evangelist
‎12-06-2018 07:30 AM - edited ‎12-06-2018 07:31 AM

Addendum, December 2018


The above settings suddenly stopped working for me after my laptop decided it needed to update its BIOS.


The solution turned out to be a need to update Windows 10 to the latest version. To do this:


  1. Start the Windows Settings dialog
  2. Select Update & Security
  3. In the Windows Update section click Check for Updates
  4. If there is a pending update, such as Windows 10 Version 1803, go ahead and install
  5. After all the reboots required to complete the update process go back and check the settings detailed in the article above.



by Technical Evangelist
on ‎08-06-2019 05:21 AM

Addendum, August 2019


My computer did it again. The above settings suddenly stopped working for me for no apparent reason.


The only solution I could find was again to update Windows 10 to the latest version. This time upgrading from v1803 to v1903 fixed the problem.




on ‎11-21-2019 06:00 AM

Worked great for me - thanks Ian