Win XP and Cleartype

So I ran across a little post today from Matthew Pennell over at The WatchMaker Project. It describes how to enable ClearType font support for Windows XP, and it is cool enough that I'm reposting it here.

Using ClearType results in some basic font improvements, including smoothing and darkness adjustment, and makes the default windows fonts much easier on the eyes. If you're on an LCD, either stand-alone or as part of a laptop, it can result in major improvements in the readability of text. If you're on a CRT but just always liked that quirky, slim-and-smooth look of the Mac fonts, well, you're in luck.

I used mine to improve font width and contrast, and the new look is really nice.

Here's the tip, originally from Simply Geeky.

1. Right-click on your desktop and select Properties.
2. Click on the Appearance tab.
3. Click the Effects button.
4. Check the box (if it'’s not checked already) that says use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts”.
5. In the dropdown box just below the checkbox, select ClearType (default is Standard).

But I'll go one better. If you're a moderate geek who doesn't just want ClearType support but also wants it to look pristine, hop over to the handy ClearType tuner (you should probably use IE) on the Windows website.

And if you are a power-geek that wants to tweak and be able to access the advanced properties directly, skip both these methods and go to the download page for the Windows ClearType Tuning Powertoy. There is a tuning wizard built in, but if you want to get more hands-on with the settings, you can jump straight to the advanced properties tab once it is installed.

Note that all three of these tips are for XP. They might work with Win2k, but I doubt it. Enjoy!

Friday, June 10, 2005


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