If you have connected an external monitor to a Microsoft Surface 2 or 3 (or any other high resolution computer) running Windows 8, you will see that the second screen’s text is fuzzy.
There are several ways to improve the unclear fonts (like increasing the font size, or running through the CLEAR TEXT wizard) but none of those will fix the problem. The root of the issue is that the font scaling on the built in LCD is likely set to 150% and the font scaling on your external LCD’s is likely set to 100%. Windows 8 does a bad job of simultaneously handing different font scales.
There are three solid ways to eliminate fuzzy fonts/images due to mismatched scaling and I will list them in order of practicality:
1: Turn off the new feature in Windows 8 that lets it try different scales.
- Get into the Control Panel
- Click DISPLAY
- Click “Let me choose one scaling level for all my displays”
- Set the CHANGE THE SIZE OF ALL ITEMS to 125%
- Log off / on as prompted
As you now see your tablet (or other high resolution computer screen) now has quite small text and the external screens have fairly large text. This is not the prettiest solution, but it does 100% solve the fuzzy image issue on high Pixel Per Inch (PPI) computers.
2: Set Each Program to “Compatibility Mode” of Windows 7
This is not tremendously practical because:
- You might have to set a lot of programs to Compatibility Mode, and that is just a pain
- Several program shortcuts like Word 2013 do not offer a Compatibility Mode tab
3: Buy Matching External Screen
The other solution is the change your external screens to ones that match the integrated screen. But that is not practical in 2015 as 2160 x 1440 external screens do not exist.