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Use ClearType to Enhance Screen Fonts in Windows XP

This is a simple tip to make fonts clearer if you are using an LCD monitor. Windows XP has an option to enable ClearType font rendering. By default it is disabled. With the ClearType font rendering enabled the fonts are much clearer when viewed in an LCD monitor. But if you are using a CRT monitor you may see no improvement and so it is best to leave it disabled.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

To use ClearType for screen fonts:

  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.
  2. On the Appearance tab, click Effects.
  3. Click to select the Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts check box, and then click ClearType in the list.

Note: Most of the recent hardwares should be able to handle the rendering. But if it doesn’t, then enabling ClearType may show no difference or may even affect adversely. If that is the case then you are better of keeping it disabled.

Customizing ClearType

You can adjust the contrast setting for ClearType for your personal preference. Although there are no tools or settings in Windows XP for doing this, the following Microsoft Web site includes tools to turn ClearType on or off, and to adjust the contrast:

(Note: The tools works only in Internet Explorer)
Alternatively you can use the downloadable ClearType Tuner PowerToy to customize ClearType.
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