In the screenshot below, ArcMap 10.1 appears to be making some arbitrary choices about the font to use for:

  1. The Layers data frame name in the Table of Contents (larger font than expected)
  2. The Main Menu pulldowns (smaller font than expected)

Can anyone tell me where to find a setting that will enable me to make these the same size as the font used for the Main Menu items, please?

enter image description here

I am using Windows 7 64bit and I know I messed around with Large Icons on the Options tab of Customize | Customize a while back. I think the small font pulldowns started when I turned them back to normal.


4 Answers 4


Assuming you're using Windows 7, you can change this under > Control Panel > Personalization > Window Color.

Choose Item: Icon and the Font Size is what controls the Layers menu size:

enter image description here

This is handy when doing a demo, to ensure the audience can read the contents easily. (Another useful one to change is Menu, so the audience can see what you're choosing in the dropdowns.)

  • Thanks Steve - Icon solved the issue with the Data Frame name being too big in the TOC but when I use Menu it alters the menu items and pulldowns together i.e. if I set it to 14pts then the pulldown seems to come up to about 9pts, but if I put it to 10pts then the pulldown goes to about 7pts (as in the original screenshot). Have you ever seen the menu items and pulldowns use different size fonts?
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 13, 2012 at 5:00
  • Sorry, I can't see how to change just the menu pulldowns. On my PC the menus and their pulldowns are controlled by the Menu option. I suggest the usual Esri fix of reinstalling the OS then ArcGIS :) Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 22:55
  • Thanks Steve - I'm hoping to avoid the big stick fix so will give you the points here and try and pursue the odd font size difference via the ArcGIS Discussion Forum.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 14, 2012 at 23:56
  • Maybe try > Customize > Customize Mode > Reset (on the Toolbars tab) Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 1:04
  • Just tried that but to no avail :-(
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Aug 15, 2012 at 2:03

I had the same problem. I'm running arc on parallels and was able to fix it by changing the theme to Window's 7 Basic. The Aero theme mucked it up.

  • I am also running ArcMap through parallels and had the same problem. TOC font too large and pulldown font was tiny. As per Maria's answer, changed my theme from Aero to Windows 7 Basic and everything was fixed and displayed proportionately.
    – user46210
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 2:53
  • Welcome to GIS SE! As a new user be sure to take the Tour. Here you seem to be simply endorsing the answer by @Maria and so it would have been best to upvote that instead of adding another near identical answer. I will convert your answer to become a comment on that one instead.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Feb 9, 2015 at 3:00

I finally resolved this in Windows 7 by visiting Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display and resetting the font size I had set there from 150% to 125%. This resolved all.

I was also pursuing the mismatch in font size between Menu items and pulldowns via the ArcGIS Discussion Forums.

The problem also affected the docking guides used to help resize windows (see graphic below).

enter image description here


In Windows 10,

  • Click on " Control Panel\Appearance and Personalization\Display." You will see the part which says "Change only the text size."
  • Click on font size and raise it to say '11' and
  • Click 'Apply' at the end.

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