Classic Shell

Customize Start Menu font, font size and font/text color?
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Author:  RetiredEngineer [ Fri Jan 24, 2014 3:47 pm ]
Post subject:  Customize Start Menu font, font size and font/text color?

Because of declining eyesight, I use Windows 7 on a 1080p monitor at 125% screen resolution with a 13 pt. Calibri font. This works great for me everywhere I can change it. Problem here is I've not been able to find a way to change Start Menu and Toolbar Menu font(s). Starting with W7 Aero Segoe UI default font, all that happens to start menus and toolbar menus is their fonts enlarge slightly.

Does anyone know how to change these fonts? I think it would be great (for me) to have some better control over what I read on-screen.

Author:  Gaurav [ Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:09 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Start Menu Fonts  Topic is solved

Option 1: Change font size using Skin options

On the Skin tab in Start Menu settings, there is a Large font option which increases the size by 1 pt. Also, the Metallic skin allows you to change the font size by entering a value from the Skin settings.

Option 2: Change font size by increasing the DPI

If you increase your Windows DPI (Dots per inch) setting from Display Control Panel, the text size in the Start Menu should proportionally scale.

If you are not satisfied with the automatic scaling, then there is an "Override system DPI" setting on the "Menu Look" tab. The acceptable value for the DPI setting is between 96 and 480. You can calculate your display's DPI/PPI (Pixels per inch) by entering the horizontal/vertical resolution values and display size here: Then enter the calculated DPI/PPI value in the "Override system DPI" setting.

You must exit the menu and start it again from C:\Program Files\Classic Shell\ClassicStartMenu.exe after changing the DPI, for changes to take effect. Note that increasing the DPI will scale up not just the font but also all the icons and other graphical elements.

Option 3: Change font size and the font itself or its color by editing the skin

If the above settings are still not enough for you and your Start Menu fonts are still too tiny (for example if your display resolution is too high), or if you wish to increase the font size without increasing the DPI, icon size etc , then you need to edit the skin file that you are using, in a free app called Resource Hacker. This is easy if you follow the instructions below. Using this method, you can set any font you have installed on your system, increase the font size, change the font style (bold, italics etc) and change the font/text color.

The font values are stored in the skin and the skins are all located in C:\Program Files\Classic Shell\Skins. Follow these steps:
Resource Hacker is a free tool to edit Windows resources from binary files. You need it or another resource editor to change the font.

1. Download Resource Hacker here: and install it.

2. Find out which style of the menu you are using - Windows 7 style or Classic style and also which skin you are using. You can see which Skin you are using by going to the Skin tab in Classic Start Menu settings.

Now go to C:\Program Files\Classic Shell\Skins\ in File Explorer and copy the skin whose font you want to edit from this folder to some location like the Desktop. If the skin has a '.skin7' extension, then it means it's a Windows 7 style menu skin, otherwise it's a classic style skin (.skin).
3. After you have copied the Skin file to the Desktop, rename it to give it some other name so it doesn't get overwritten when Classic Shell gets updated.

4. Start Resource Hacker and then open the skin file you have on the Desktop inside it by going to File -> Open -> <name of skin>. (You may need to change "Files of type" to "All files" in Resource Hacker's Open dialog)

5. Once the skin file is opened in Resource Hacker, locate the resource type called SKIN in the left pane. Expand it by clicking + sign. Expand the resource named 1 under it. Click 1033.

6. Now press Ctrl+F or click "Find Text" from View menu of Resource Hacker. In that dialog, type: font and click Find Next. Whatever values of fonts you see e.g. Main_font, Main2_font (for the font used in the second column), Submenu_Font, Caption_font, User_font etc - change them as desired. for example, if Main_font="Segoe UI",normal,-9, you can change it to any font name that is installed on your system and set any size you want, for example, Main_font="Tahoma",bold,-15. Press F3/Find next to find all instances of "font" in the skin and replace them with the new values.

7. If you wish to change the font/text color as well, read this step #7, otherwise skip to step #8. The text color is defined by these values:


The color is expressed in Hex values. Look up the hex values for the color you want to use here: Make sure the text color and background color are not the same, otherwise the text will be unreadable.

8. Click Compile Script button and then save changes by clicking File menu -> Save. Resource Hacker saves the changes to the skin and will also automatically create a backup copy of the original skin should you wish to revert to it.

9. Copy the modified skin back to C:\Program Files\Classic Shell\Skins\ and set it from Start Menu Settings -> Skin tab. On the Skin tab, you will need to select the new skin which you modified. You should see the changes you made to the font, font size and text color.

Note: If you use the Classic Skin, then that particular skin follows system metrics for font size, appearance etc. So whatever settings your version of Windows allows for fonts should be reflected in the Classic skin.

Author:  RetiredEngineer [ Sat Jan 25, 2014 11:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Classic Start Menu Fonts

Wow! What great tutorial support! This deserves another shareware-class U$D contribution to the Classic Shell project.

Many thanks.

Author:  X-manfan [ Wed May 13, 2015 2:10 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Customize Start Menu font, font size and font/text color

very helpful.

Author:  motan [ Fri Jan 22, 2016 4:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Customize Start Menu font, font size and font/text color

Great help from Gaurav, thanks a lot..

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