I'm talking about screenshots like these:

A screenshot of a vanilla menu on Mac OS A screenshot of Blender, on Linux

These images appear completely non-pixelated and in high resolution. The first one is a a vanilla, operating-system level menu bar in Mac OS, and the second one is in Blender, which does all its own menus.

Is there a trick to getting screenshots like this?


5 Answers 5


Those screenshots are probably made on a retina screen since the UI is also in high resolution. Normally when you use a magnifier tool you lose quality because of the zooming.

  • So it's a retina resolution with normal-sized (and thus larger-pixeled) graphics; is there a way to set that resolution setting on a normal screen?
    – WChargin
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 17:03
  • 1
    I haven't got a retina screen at this location at the moment, but when I take a screenshot on that MBP and send it to my non-retina MBP it's displayed the same as above (like twice as big as a normal screenshot) You can't do this with a normal resolution screen.
    – Jeroenem
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 17:13
  • I just made a screenshot of this website on my Retina MBP if you need an example. It is a simple OS X screenshot of this website at 100%, no zooming or anything fancy. i.imgur.com/9CWpGRj.png
    – Vincent Robert
    Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 20:05
  • @WChargin No, ish, depending what you mean by "that resolution setting". Your screen only has so many physical pixels in it. Whatever the top resolution is, that's it, that's as high as you can go. You can still scale down the graphics, or zoom out.
    – Eric
    Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 17:26

The type of the display is not actually important. Any decent OS has options to set the screen resolution and/or font, icon and other GUI elements sizes.

Here is simple example:

enter image description here

It has been taken on my netbook with OpenSuse and 1024x600 display, far away from "retina display". I simply set the default UI font to DejaVu Sans 24 and switched on all "anti aliasing" and "subpixel" options.

BTW, the images, demonstrated in the question are not so great quality. You can see, that the fonts are blurry because of the anti-aliasing.

  • 1
    This approach can screw up the proportions. In your example the radio button and checkbox controls look tiny, so if this were used for some sort of documentation it would likely not look like what the user would be looking at. Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 11:07
  • @Josh It was 5 minutes test screenshot, where only the font size has been changed. If you need really professional high res screenshots, some other settings have to be changed.
    – johnfound
    Commented Aug 15, 2013 at 12:49

While you can increase text size etc to magnify things before taking a screenshot Another option to try (on MacOSX) is to use the disability features to zoom the screen in before taking a screenshot. I haven't used a mac for over a year but I remember in 10.5 you could zoom in quite a lot and I think it stayed quite clear. I'm sure similar features are available (or addable) on Windows.

You will also find Blender actually has some extra features of it's own. This is mainly due to it drawing all of it's own interface with opengl.

In the preferences you can set the dpi as high as 144 making all the interface text twice as large and then most window contents can also be zoomed.

For an example see the following image (open in a separate window to show full size). DPI is at 144 and the node content is at full zoom. Notice the size of the cursor and the menu text compared to the window content.

Unfortunately I believe the ability to scale like this is rather unique to blender.

enter image description here


There could be all sorts of ways.

  • It could be a retina screen, which would most likely make the image 4x larger.

  • It could also be that they just changed their accessability settings on their OS so that the UI is larger.

  • Or, they could have just zoomed in on their OS's UI elements and took a screen shot.


One option, which many have missed, is that often UI shots are recreated to allow customization for marketing materials. It is entirely possible that what you believe to be a screen shot, is not a screen shot at all, but rather a carefully crafted image on its own.

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