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5 December, 2007


I use ClearType, the Windows font-smoothing utility, on my home PC, so it's slightly odd that I hadn't thought of applying it to my work machine until now.

Having done so, I've found it looks distinctly odd here, as if my eyes aren't quite focussing. That's partly a matter of what I've become accustomed to – it'll take a short while to reacclimatise – and partly because I use a CRT monitor at work (unless one uses a TFT monitor, one only gets the anti-aliasing aspect of the technology, without the associated colour management).

However, Microsoft also offers a ClearType Tuner plugin (IE-only, obviously) which tweaks the display to one's monitor and colour perception. It does make a difference. Or am I just acclimatising already?

ClearType can be turned on* in WinXP and is turned on by default in Vista. Each has its own Tuner; click on the OS names in the foregoing sentence for the appropriate ones. ClearType does not work with earlier versions of Windows.

*: How to:

  • Navigate to Control Panel->Display->Appearance->Effects….
    Right-click on blank desktop->Properties->Appearance->Effects….
  • Tick the 'Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts' box.
  • Select 'ClearType' from the dropdown.
  • 'OK'
  • 'Apply'

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