Tweaking Sublime Text for HiDPI


Even in the latest version, the popular Sublime Text editor isn’t too friendly with high density screens (also known as Retina in Apple parlance). Luckily, tweaks can be made to make those tiny letters legible again.

First off you’ll want to pick a Sublime theme. The popular option is to use Package Control to install these. If you don’t know what theme to pick, here’s a gallery of some of the popular ones.

Once you know what theme to go with, it’s time to tweak the font sizes. To do that, open up Sublime’s Packages directory via PreferencesBrowse Packages. Your selected theme will either be installed in this directory (look for Theme - Foobar where Foobar is the name of your theme) – if it is, you can just edit the .sublime-theme file directly – or it will be installed in the Installed Packages which is located one level up from Packages.

If it is in the Installed Packages directory, you’ll need to find the Theme - Foobar.sublime-package, which is a zip archive really, and extract a Foobar.sublime-theme file out of it. This file then needs to be move to Packages/Theme - Foobar/Foobar.sublime-theme where you can edit it. This will override the file in the Foobar.sublime-package archive.


To increase tab label font size, locate an object containing following:

"class": "tab_label"

If there are multiple ones, pick the one with no "parents" attribute. In this object, add or modify a "font.size" attribute, such as:

"font.size": 14

You may also want to modify tab_height on the tabset_control class and perhaps some margins. However, you won’t be able to increase font size on tab labels much, because there is a hardcoded limit on tab label height. But font sizes such as 14 or 15 should still be possible and should hopefully be reasonably readable on HDPI screens.

That said, personally, I’ve chosen to abandon the usage of tabs altogether.


To increase sidebar label font size find:

"class": "sidebar_label"

and add an appropriate "font.size" attribute. You might also want to modify "content_margin" on "sidebar_container" and "indent_offset" on "sidebar_tree" to better accommodate labels which are now somewhat wider.

Status bar and others

To increase status bar font size, increase "font.size" on various "label_control" objects, which also increases font size in other parts of the UI. I’ve also done the same for "tool_tip_label_control" to enlarge tooltips.

Note: Although Sublime sometimes changes apperance as you edit the theme file, you might need to restart Sublime for the changes to take full effect.

And that’s it. These tweaks should make usage of Sublime Text on HDPI screen a bit more pleasant. Here’s a screenshot of my Sublime:

Theme: Augmented Reaction
Color scheme: SolarSooty