Office 2003 icons appear fuzzy or have poor contrast after you change the DPI setting in Windows to "Large size (120 DPI)"

Support for Office 2003 has ended

Microsoft ended support for Office 2003 on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Important This article contains information about how to modify the registry. Make sure to back up the registry before you modify it. Make sure that you know how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For more information about how to back up, restore, and modify the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows registry
You change the DPI setting in Microsoft Windows to Large Size (120 DPI). After you restart the computer, you may experience the following symptoms:
  • The Microsoft Office 2003 icons appear fuzzy.
  • The Office 2003 icons have poor contrast.
This problem was first fixed in a hotfix that is now contained in a service pack. If you installed the latest Office 2003 service pack, you do not have to install the hotfix.

Service pack information

This problem is corrected in Office 2003 Service Pack 3. To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Office 2003. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
870924 How to obtain the latest service pack for Office 2003

After you install the service pack, follow the steps that are listed in the "How to enable the hotfix" section of the article to set the
registry key and to activate the hotfix.

Hotfix information

To resolve this issue, apply this hotfix. After you enable the hotfix, the scaling range of 97 DPI to 120 DPI is disabled for Office icons. The Office icons will be clear. However, they will be visibly smaller when they are compared to menus.

How to obtain the hotfix

This issue is fixed in the Microsoft Office 2003 post-Service Pack 2 Hotfix Package that is dated July 3, 2006. For more information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
922326 Description of the Office 2003 post-Service Pack 2 hotfix package: July 3, 2006

How to enable the hotfix

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

To enable this hotfix, follow these steps:
  1. Exit all Office 2003 programs.
  2. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  3. Locate and then click the following registry subkey:
  4. After you click the subkey that is specified in step 3, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD Value.
  5. Type DisableScalingUpForHighDPI, and then press ENTER.
  6. Right-click DisableScalingUpForHighDPI, and then click Modify.
  7. In the Value data box, type 1, and then click OK.
  8. On the File menu, click Exit to exit Registry Editor.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

This problem was first corrected in Office 2003 Service Pack 3.
To change the DPI setting in Windows, follow these steps.

Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.
  2. Click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
  3. On the General tab, click Large size (120 DPI) in the DPI setting box, and then click OK.
  4. Click OK to close the Display Properties dialog box.
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Article ID: 922328 - Last Review: 12/09/2015 06:20:27 - Revision: 3.0

Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Small Business Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Basic Edition 2003, Microsoft Office Access 2003, Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003

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