The EASY way to make a C# Windows.forms app really per monitor DPI aware

As posted in another post, many apps have problems with windows scaling.

See these screen-dumps from Windows lengthy guide that was found here

Here is a reasonably minimalistic approach. You will often just need code like this:

    public partial class Form1 : Form
        public Form1()

        void SetUserFonts(float scaleFactorX, float scaleFactorY) {
            Font = new Font(Font.FontFamily, 11f * scaleFactorX, GraphicsUnit.Pixel);
        protected override void DefWndProc(ref Message m) {
            base.DefWndProc(ref m);


You will need to obey a few rules, but often it can be implemented in existing code in minutes!

For this to work we need a small helper class, source here

Here is the comment from the top of that:


Use to make a simple Windows for app truely DPI-aware.
That is AVOID woolly apps!

1) Make sure your forms are designed with font size set in PIXELS, not POINTS (yes!!)
All controls possible should use inherited fonts
Each font explicitly given in PIXEL needs to be handled  in the callback function
provided to Check_WM_DPICHANGED
The standard “8.25pt” matches “11.0px” (8.25 *96/72 = 11)

2) Leave the form in the default Autoscale=Font mode

3) Insert call to DPI_Per_Monitor.TryEnableDPIAware() , right after InitializeComponent();

4) Add suitable call to DPI_Per_Monitor.Check_WM_DPICHANGED_WM_NCCREATE in DefWndProc
If a DefWndProc override is not already present add e.g. these lines

protected override void DefWndProc(ref Message m) {
DPI_Per_Monitor.Check_WM_DPICHANGED_WM_NCCREATE(SetUserFonts,m, this.Handle);
base.DefWndProc(ref m);

that has a call-back function you must provide, that set fonts as needed (in pixels or points),
if all are inherited, then just one set:

void SetUserFonts(float scaleFactorX, float scaleFactorY) {
Font = new Font(Font.FontFamily, 11f * scaleFactorX, GraphicsUnit.Pixel);

5) And a really odd one, due to a Visual studio BUG.
This ONLY works, if your PRIMARY monitor is scalled at 100% at COMPILE time!!!
It is NOT just a matter of using a different reference than the 96 dpi below, and
it does not help to run it from a secondary monitor set to 100% !!!
And to make things worse, Visual Studio is one of the programs that doesn’t handle
change of scale on primary monitor, without at the least a sign out….

NOTE that if you got (Checked)ListBoxes, repeated autosizing (e.g. move between monitors)
might fail as it rounds the height down to a multipla of the itemheight. So despite a
bottom-anchor it will ‘creep’ upwards…
So I recommend to place an empty and/or hidden bottom-anchored label just below the boxes,
to scale the spacing and set e.g. :  yourList.Height=yourAnchor.Top-yourList.Top

Also note that not everything gets scaled automatically. Only new updates of Win10 handles
the titlebar correctly. Also the squares of checkboxes are forgotten.