I have a problem with QT applications (i.e. picard or masterpdfeditor) under GNOME: their interface looks tiny.
Instead, GTK application looks good.

I would like a global solution which will work across all applications, not a per-application fix.

I don't know exactly where the issue begin (is it a QT5 issue or a GNOME issue?) but I'd like to have a bigger interface. How can I do it?

I have already tried with a trick explained here but it works partially:

  • if I launch the apps directly from the terminal, by appending the right variable e.g. QT_SCALE_FACTOR=1.35 picard, the trick works!
  • while if I launch them from the menu (gnome-shell), the exported variable is completely ignored.

Is there a way to fix it?

I have a laptop connected with an external FullHD 24" monitor. I'm on Arch Linux x86_64 and Gnome 3.28/3.30.


6 Answers 6


I had some issues getting Viber to run properly on my HiDPI display. By default Viber would be massive to the point where I had to full-screen it in order to use it.

The solution was to disable automatic scaling (QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR=0) and set a manual value (QT_SCALE_FACTOR=1.5).

I modified the Exec= line in /usr/share/applications/viber.desktop to this:

Exec=/usr/bin/env QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR=0 QT_SCALE_FACTOR=1.5 /usr/bin/viber %u

Now it looks perfect. Your mileage may vary based on the size of your display, you might want to set QT_SCALE_FACTOR to 2 or even more.

I found it strange that I had to explicitly disable automatic scaling, as most of the answers I've found online says you have to enable it to fix your scaling issues. I guess it has become the default in newer versions of QT (?)

(I know this doesn't strictly answer the asked question but I thought it'd be useful to someone.)

  • It looks significant! Could it be a bug? Try to open one...
    – mattia.b89
    Commented Jun 28, 2019 at 8:22
  • I have had a lot of applications that don't behave properly - FreeCAD and OBS-Studio come to mind. I have a laptop with a 4K monitor - the Monitors have different scaling, and QT apps seem to be trying to do the scaling, while Gnome is also doing something, so we get weird results. This only seems to affect dnf installed applications. If I run FreeCAD from an appimage it behaves. Setting QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR=0 fixes this.
    – Euan
    Commented Apr 18, 2020 at 5:07
  • This has worked perfectly for me. Using QT_SCALE_FACTOR on its own created a terrible inconsistencies within the app itself (in my case Robo3T). I should point out that this bug only occurs on Gnome Wayland for me. On X11 it works fine out of the box.
    – kgx
    Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 9:19
  • There is a problem under KDE Plasma 6. It seems as if the submenus of the mainmenu is using the invisible original position. That is, if I click the right-most item, and the move the mouse down to highlight its submenu, a menu on the left is opened and its submenu gets highlighted. Is there a solution for this? Commented May 2 at 21:27

According to the Archlinux Wiki:

Since Qt 5.6, Qt 5 applications can be instructed to honor screen DPI by setting the QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR environment variable.

So, you just need to edit ~/.profile or ~/.bash_profile and add this line to export the correct environment variable like this :


I've tried with KeepassXC under ubuntu 18.04 successfully.

  • 3
    unfortunately, doesn't work for me!
    – mattia.b89
    Commented May 13, 2018 at 12:45
  • It works (Manjaro GNOME) but all icons are pixelated and menuitems height is too big. Commented Aug 28, 2018 at 6:34
  • 4
    if QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR=1 does not work, the issue may be related to that gnome-settings-daemon sets Xft.dpi to a non-integer. Try xrdb -query | grep dpi to check this. Commented Jun 15, 2019 at 22:36
  • Why isn't this default? Commented Mar 30, 2020 at 2:47

Don't use QT_AUTO_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTOR. Based on my experience, this seems to cause some weird default scaling.

Use QT_SCALE_FACTOR=1.5 instead.
(or whatever size you want, supports fractional scaling.)

Works perfectly fine on a Dell with 4K display.

You can also add this to the desktop launcher:

Exec=env QT_SCALE_FACTOR=1.5 /path/to/app

Source: It works on my machine with 4k display.

  • -1: You talk about per-application solution and it already works as stated in OP. I'm looking for a global fix.
    – mattia.b89
    Commented Dec 8, 2018 at 13:24
  • @mattia.b89 Please edit your original post to indicate you're looking for a global fix for all applications, if that is the case. This solution answers your original question, as it was framed, which reads: "if I launch the apps directly from the terminal [... it works] while if I launch them from the menu (gnome-shell), the exported variable is completely ignored. Is there a way to fix it?" (ie: Works from terminal, doesn't work from launcher, how to fix it?) This indeed is not a global all-applications solution, but solves the launcher issue, as indicated by the question.
    – emf
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 16:36
  • please read thoroughly my OP. Especially, link to archwiki page...
    – mattia.b89
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 17:36
  • As stated, the "global fix" was not indicated anywhere in the original post. I've edited and fixed your question for clarity.
    – emf
    Commented Dec 20, 2018 at 18:27
  • QT_SCALE_FACTOR=1.5 makes everything look blurry for me
    – Tropilio
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 11:57

If anyone came here looking for a way to fix tiny text on Anaconda Navigator, here's what ended up working for me:

This page says:

If you have multiple screens of differing DPI, you may need to do QT_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTORS="2;2"

I have multiple screens, so I tried it and it worked; none of the methods discussed above did anything in this case.

On Ubuntu 20.04, I made a desktop config file (shortcut) that looks like this:

[Desktop Entry]
Exec=env QT_SCREEN_SCALE_FACTORS="2;2" //home/dev/anaconda3/bin/anaconda-navigator
Name=Anaconda Navigator
Comment=Open Anaconda Navigator

It's just a file with a .desktop extension. After editing it, right click on it and select 'Allow launching.' If you then add a copy to ~/.local/share/applications and re-login, it will appear in your Applications menu, so you can launch it from there as well.

I just wanted to see what I could do with Anaconda Navigator. Now that I can actually see the thing, I wish I could say it was worth the trouble, but...


Linux Mint 20.3, Apple Retina Display, same problem. This excellent comment points in the right direction.

Changing QT_SCALE_FACTOR did not work for me.

xrdb -query | grep dpi gave me "172.156948…" (non-integer).

I set it manually to 172 like this:

xrdb -merge Enter

Xft.dpi: 172Enter Strg+D

Problem solved. I'm not sure how permanent this solution is, but there is enough info on the internet how to store this in .Xresources.


For those using MasterPDF and experiencing tiny fonts when using a 4k monitor, this is what I did to resolve the issue in Linux Mint 19:

  1. In the Terminal: $ sudo nemo > navigate to /usr/share/applications

  2. Open the "Master PDF Editor 5" file using "Text Editor"

  3. Change this line:

    from: Exec=/opt/master-pdf-editor-5/masterpdfeditor5 %f

    to: Exec=/usr/bin/env QT_SCALE_FACTOR=2.2 /opt/master-pdf-editor-5/masterpdfeditor5 %f

  4. Save and exit the Text Editor and Nemo.

From this point forward, whenever you execute MasterPDF, it will render as expected. If the font size is too large or small, change the 2.2 value above accordingly.

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