Wrong font size on R3 Demo Virtual Machine

If you’ve noticed that the font size in the Microsoft Dynamics AX 2012 R3 Solution Demo Package V1.0 looks wrong then I hope the information in this post will be of use.

The issue appears immediately when I open the AX client:

Font size
Odd font sizes in R3 client

You can see in the screenshot above that the font in the Navigation pane and on the Help drop-down menu is much larger than the font in the Content pane. After some investigation, I find that there is more than one factor in play.

The font size in the AX 2012 client can be altered using the DPI scaling functionality in Windows, but I find that the AX 2012 R3 client is not properly honouring this setting. In the screen shot above the font that AX should be using is the larger font. The font in the Content pane is incorrectly a smaller font. I find the same problem in AX 2012 R3 systems which have been built using the installer i.e. its not a problem limited to the R3 Solution Demo Package. I also find that the latest R3 kernel (6.3.1000.1414) does not fix it. The problem causes some other noticeable graphics glitches, for example when resizing columns on a List Page:

Graphics glitch
Graphics glitch when resizing columns on a List Page

In the screenshot above, resizing the ‘Phone’ column on the All Suppliers list page produces odd results.

Whilst I wait for a fix from Microsoft, I find that a workaround is available. It involves setting DPI scaling so that the font size is small, which is how I personally would like AX to appear in any case. How you go about doing that is probably not quite so straight forward….

If you’re running the R3 client on your local PC, you can just head to Control Panel -> All Control Panel Items -> Display and change the slider all the way to the left:

Display settings
Display settings in Windows 8.1

Unfortunately, if your R3 client is in the R3 Solution Demo Package, or just installed on a server to which you have only remote access, you may find that this setting cannot be changed:

Display settings cannot be changed
Display settings can’t be changed from a remote session

The cause of this depends on how you connect to the remote computer. If you’re using the Hyper-V Virtual Machine Connection, new functionality called ‘Enhanced session mode‘ is responsible.

If you’re using the Remote Desktop Connection (mstsc.exe), changes in Windows 8.1 are responsible.

If you’re using Virtual Machine Connection, you can opt to turn Enhanced session mode off. Otherwise, you’re going to have to set DPI scaling on your local PC to ‘Smallest’:

Improved appearance
All fonts are now the same size

Whilst this improves the appearance of AX, it reduces my local PC to a headache inducing mess and is not a long term solution*. However, I at least feel better knowing the reasons and that a workaround is available when I need it.

I have logged the issue with Microsoft support, and will update this post when I have more information details of their response can be found here.

*Since I wrote this post, have changed my local PC to the ‘Smallest’ font setting. It doesn’t induce a headache, and I’ve got so used to it that I now think this size is the way forward.

Published by Guy

AX Functional Consultant

9 thoughts on “Wrong font size on R3 Demo Virtual Machine

    1. Thanks a lot!
      Although it didn’t bring all the AX client fonts/spacing exactly to normal 100% small scale, it did improve the situation substantially (consistent font sizes, no glitches on column resizing…):
      Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Dynamics AX\60\Client\Bin\
      right click Ax32.exe -> Properties -> 2nd tab (Compatibility) ->
      Select: Disable display scaling on high DPI settings
      -> Apply / Ok

  1. The solution above worked perfectly for me! The font and spacing looks a bit different but at this moment it is a massive improvement with all the weirdness that was going on!

    Thanks to Guy for bringing this up and thanks to Alex’s reply.

  2. My experiences with RDS to an AX VM from a high DPI screen have been similar. And while disabling display scaling as Alex described works for the AX client’s business workspace, if anything it seems to make a development workspace worse. Of course this is all with the standard RDS client (mstsc.exe). Two options to consider are Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Connection Manager (RDCMan.exe) and mRemoteNG. Both work fine for me on a high DPI screen.

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