[PD] Pd on high resolution displays

Roman Haefeli reduzent at gmail.com
Tue Jan 14 13:01:56 CET 2014

On Don, 2014-01-09 at 15:46 -0800, Jonathan Wilkes wrote:
> In Pd Vanilla and possibly Pd-l2ork, tk menus and widgets should "do
> the right thing" because of something called tk scaling:
> http://wiki.tcl.tk/8484
> In Pd-extended, "tk scaling" is hard-coded to "1" in pd-gui.tcl, but
> if you remove that line things should scale up accordingly.  (Or
> reveal bugs in tk if things look wacky as a result.)

Actually, in my version of Pd (0.45-4 from git tag, 0.45.0 in Pd's
help), 'tk scaling 1' is commented out. Uncommenting it doesn't change
anything in Pd. Also changing it to whatever value doesn't show any

If I understand the documentation correctly, a tcl/tk pogrammer should
retrieve the display width+height and pixel resolution and calculate the
proper tk scaling, right?

> You won't be able to scale iemgui sizes in any flavor of Pd.  They are
> specified in pixel units.  There is a canvas "scale" subcommand but
> the catch is that text items (i.e., most of the content of a patch)
> doesn't actually get scaled.  Worse, tk canvas seems only to support
> integer font sizes, making it burdensome to try to use canvas scaling
> and manually tweak the font sizes to match.  (I think Pd-l2ork
> currently does the reverse-- you choose a different font size and it
> picks a corresponding scaling factor, though I don't know if it
> actually uses the "scale" subcommand or not.)
> So burdensome is scaling text on a tk canvas that someone just decided
> to make their own mono-spaced vector font in tcl/tk using canvas
> curves, demo'd here:
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3sz_KRdRmY

Why not use that font in Pd? It would make Pd look the same on every
platform, wouldn't it? Or does that have other drawbacks?

I like the video. Had to watch it to the end. It amazes me how the
poster obviously finds never-ending pleasure in playing with that
feature while listening to good music and humming along happily. It
seems like a zen kind of thing ;-)


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