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Why you should be using ClearType in Windows XP


Type with ClearType disabled and enabled

If you have ever looked at text or a font onscreen in with Windows XP’s defaults, you would definitely notice how type is not anti-aliased, with jagged edges all around. This makes most websites look horrible IMO. One day, as I was checking my display properties (I think to change the screen resolution), I came across the Effects menu and the option of using ClearType to smooth fonts on screen.

Normally, a typical Windows XP installation is not loaded with a lot of features, but this one is well appreciated in regards to the need for anti-aliased fonts. ClearType is best used for LCD screens, which represent the majority of monitors nowadays. To enable ClearType:

  • Right-click the desktop and select Properties
  • Click the Appearance tab
  • Click the Effects… button
  • Check Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts
  • Select ClearType from the drop down menu

To see the difference between text with ClearType enabled and the standard, see the post entry picture above.

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1 Comment

  1. Sylvia says:

    That jagged text was driving me crazy, especially in Outlook. I also tried adjuting the resolution to no avail. Then I found your article. A thousand thanks! May your surge protection never fail!

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