How to Change the UI Font Size for Oracle SQL Developer

thatjeffsmith SQL Developer 62 Comments

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Today’s Question:

Are the Tree View fonts configurable? (E.g., Connections). I am using a high-resolution display (1920×1200) and they appear quite small.

And the answer:
Yes!

Oh, but you probably wanted the how as well…OK.

Here’s what the tree UI looks like out of the box on Windows 7, locale US English, with 1600×900 screen resolution and not using any of Windows Accessibility options…

Some PLSQL code that does...

Some PLSQL code that does…

And here’s a look at what it looks like when I bump the font size up to 14:

It's not just the tree font that's bigger...

And here’s where to set that property

In Windows, you want to to go to the Application Data, Roaming Users directory that stores the settings files for SQL Developer. On my machine that’s here:
C:\Users\jdsmith\AppData\Roaming\SQL Developer\system4.1.0.13.75\o.sqldeveloper.12.2.0.13.75

Note: my version string at the end might be a different than yours depending on your version of SQL Developer.

You want to open ide.properties. You’ll notice it is VERY well documented. There’s a section that speaks to Windows in particular. To change the default size for all look and feels, add this line, the uncommented one:

[text] # To modify the font size for a particular locale under all
# look-and-feels, set the Ide.FontSize.<languageID> property. For
# example:
Ide.FontSize.en=14
[/text]

If you think 14 looks huge, one of my co-workers has his set to 21!

This doesn’t control the font size for text in the editors and the data grids

We have a preference in the UI for that.

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Comments 62

  1. well, this worked: Go to Tools > Preferences > Code editor > Fonts

    BUT the rest of the ……. display is still in very very small fonts – and it was OK this morning!

    Does anybody have a fix/solution which doesn’t require a degree in rocket science? This can’t be that complicated, but evidently some ……. programmer thought it “fun”…

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      you can increase the UI font in two different ways – you can follow along with what i said in this post – and yes this tool was built for developers by developers and of course that doesn’t always go well with folks that aren’t developers but we’ll get you there – OR you can ask the OS to upscale the apps on your machine for you using the accessibility features that OS X or Windows provides

  2. **Problem: Font size changes on startup**
    **Solution: Disable Welcome Page**

    I had a problem after upgrading to 18.1 in windows on my high DPI screen where the application fonts where bigger for a second then they’d snap back to a really small font. No matter how I set “Ide.FontSize.*” it would always go back. It made me wonder if there was a problem with one of the tabs, so I start closing each one by one and found that by disabling the “Welcome Page” the application would keep my Ide.FontSize setting as expected! Hope this helps.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    2. Great tip, solved all the scaling issues on my MS surface right away, all other solutions did not work 100% but disabling the startup fixed them all ๐Ÿ™‚

    3. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    4. I found the fix for this on my Windows 10 machine. If you right-click on the SQLDEVELOPER.EXE, click on the tab, then check the and then choose from the dropdown list.

    5. Geez. The web site replaced some of my text with blanks. Here goes again:

      I found the fix for this on my Windows 10 machine. If you right-click on the SQLDEVELOPER.EXE, click on the “Compatibility” tab, then check the “Override high DPI scaling behavior performed by ” and then choose “system” from the dropdown list.

    6. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    7. This solve the problem!

      hint: to disable welcome page, go to the bottom left corner and uncheck the checkbox

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  3. Great tip!

    I notice with version 17.2.0.188 on windows 10 changing the FontSize=x worked until I open the instance viewer, then it shrinks the whole UI back down. I did find that by expanding the window then using zoom to fit on the instance viewer UI it is a work around, but the fonts aren’t as clear. It is still usable however.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      yeah that property doesn’t apply to the fx viewers (java FX is the tech behind that screen). They apparently don’t ‘like’ high resolution screens in java 8. Supposedly fixed in java 9 on macs, but i haven’t seen folks have luck with it on windows 10 though.

  4. Using 17.2 on my Linux box, setting font size in ide.properties simply does not work, regardless what i try. Ide.FontSize, Ide.FontSize.en, Ide.Fontsize.Metal.en (of course using Metal LAF then), Ide.Fontsize.Oracle.en (of course using Oracle LAF then)…

    Its just annoying that one need a magnifying glass to navigate through the UI of an daily work tool…

    And yes, SQL users are getting that old that they need bigger letters! That JeffSmith should accept this!

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    2. I set the LAF to Metal, its my default LAF. But i verified it using the “Oracle” LAF as well. Another LAF is not available in SQLDev.

      And yes, i set the font size to 14 on the Linux desktop and almost every other app is changed instantly when i play with the font sizes. Eclipse is the second exception i know besides SQLDev, but it has many different settings to adjust all kind of font related settings to meet whatever one prefer.

      In my current tool chain SQLDev is the only tool for which i am not able to adjust the font size (yed too, but i use this only a few times a year).

    3. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    4. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      You could log a bug with My Oracle Support, then we could get an official ticket setup to reproduce your issue and help to get it resolved.

      It’s not on the roadmap today, esp since many OS’s offer the ability to ‘zoom’ the apps for folks with sight issues. Windows 10 magnifier for example.

  5. I’m running PL/SQL Developer 10, and when I switched to my new Surface Book (3000×2000), everything got so small I couldn’t read it. I couldn’t even see well enough (with my aging eyes) to navigate the preferences menus to properly set the font sizes, so I asked another developer to see if she could figure it out. She started clicking away and changing things trying to fix it, and all she did was manage to increase the menu text to supersize, so now all of the dialog boxes are so jacked up I can’t even read what they are supposed to be, nor am I able to click on many of the options because the font size grew, but not the spacing causing everything to overlap so much it’s unusable.

    Is there any way to simply “reset everything back to factory defaults”? It would be small again, but at least I could use it again and figure out how to fix my display issue properly.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    2. I was afraid of that…. ๐Ÿ™
      But it’s what the company gave me to use… Just hoping you might have some insight.

      Thanks anyway!

    3. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  6. Is there a way to change the default font when right clicking a table and going to the format option? I want the font in all of my tables to be set to size fourteen, so instead of having to change the font from ten to fourteen in one hundred times, having it set to a default of fourteen would be very helpful.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      the UI font is set in the preferences file that I mention in this post – it’s set for the entire application, not table specific. Are you perhaps asking about the data modeler and the diagrams?

    2. Correct, I want to change the default font of the diagrams. The default is set to 10 for all symbols (Title, Column, Key, Comments, etc.) I would like to change the default to fourteen if that’s possible.

    3. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  7. Thanks for this.

    On my Linux system, the ide.properties file was under ~/.sqldeveloper/system4.1.3.20.78/o.sqldeveloper.12.2.0.20.78

  8. Hi,

    How do you change the font in the data grid, the editor is easy enough (Code Editor > Fonts) but how does we change the data grid?

    Thanks

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  9. Try this:

    COMMAND
    vi /opt/sqldeveloper/sqldeveloper/bin/sqldeveloper.conf

    ADD THIS LINES
    AddVMOption -Dswing.plaf.metal.controlFont=Verdana-bold-18
    AddVMOption -Dswing.plaf.metal.userFont=Verdana-20
    AddVMOption -Dswing.plaf.metal.systemFont=Verdana-18
    AddVMOption -Dswing.plaf.metal.smallFont=Verdana-16

    Now, relaunch the application.
    This should change the environment globally.

    1. Anonimo,

      unfortunately this approach did not work for me. Although i can see the properties after starting SQL Developer in Info / Properties dialog.

  10. Never mind about the previous question I got it to work.
    Thanks for posting the solutions.
    We’re getting rid of our toad license and I wanted the font bigger in the IDE.

    Mike

  11. I changed the ide.properties but it didn’t change the font in the ide. Do I need to reboot something?

    # To modify the font size for a particular locale under all
    # look-and-feels, set the Ide.FontSize. property. For
    # example:
    Ide.FontSize.en=21
    # Ide.FontSize.fr=11
    # Ide.FontSize.ja=12
    #
    # To modify the font size for a particular look-and-feel in a
    # particular locale, set the Ide.FontSize..
    # property. For example:
    #Ide.FontSize.Metal.en=14
    #

    # The default Ide.FontSize for Mac OS X.
    #Ide.FontSize.Aqua=10

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
  12. Hi Jeff

    I have a new display with a high resolution. Is it planned to take care about such resolutions like 2880×1620?
    Because when I set the UI font to 24 according your post to make the menus readable, the maximum font size of the editor’s font is 24 too, but that is to small. Also the menus like (New Connection) etc. are not scaled.

    Regards, Martin

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

      We have devs coding at 3840 x 2160 resolutions, and are able to work OK with SQL Dev…I think it’s a bit subjective, but to be honest, this is low level framework stuff that the JDeveloper team would have to address. We could bug the item on the 24 font size/scaling issue?

  13. FYI, on Mac OS X, that file is under ~/.sqldeveloper and the default setting for 4.0.2 is Ide.FontSize.Aqua = 10
    Unfortunately, in 4.0.2 it doesn’t look like the Aqua theme is being used, so changing the number value doesn’t work.
    If you use Jeff’s advice and set Ide.FontSize.en (for “english”) it works.

  14. Another small warning – if you change font size like that, certain dialog elements might appear as “missing” until you resize the window – for example, the “OK” button in “Synchronize spec and body”.

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    2. It’d still be nice if dialogs resized automatically based on font size, though. (very subtle feature request =)

    1. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author
    2. You did say:
      “In the next version, weโ€™ll add a UI preference for this setting as well.”

      Maybe you need to put that in larger font ๐Ÿ˜‰

    3. What Gary said =)
      Unless you meant next major release, i.e. v5? In that case, it’ll be a loooong wait…

    4. thatjeffsmith Post
      Author

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