Thursday, October 26, 2006

Enable Cleartype on Your Computer

For a long time, I have always wondered why computer fonts always look so jaggy on my laptop, but on some other computers it always looks so clean and smooth. I always liked the way my blog appeared on other computers - they just look "ugly" on my laptop, and I never knew why.

Example: On my laptop the computer fonts always look like the one at the bottom; while in some other computers it looks smoother, like the one at the top.

(Credit: Wikipedia - ClearType)

After a very long time, thanks to Casper, I have finally found out the reason - and I think everyone should know it - it's because for some inane reason, Windows XP doesn't enable one of its feature called "ClearType", and it's this ClearType feature that makes the whole difference. To know how ClearType works, goto the link I gave for more information.

So, how do we turn on ClearType? It's easy.
  1. Goto your desktop and right click on an empty space.
  2. Select "Properties"
  3. On the tabs, select "Appearance"
  4. Select the "Effects..." button
  5. For "Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts", choose "ClearType".
  6. Select "OK", then "OK" again.
  7. You will see the difference immediately!

Sometimes ClearType doesn't work as well as it should, and if this is the case, you might have to try out some more advanced setting by one of the following:
  1. Use the Microsoft ClearType Tuner Powertoy.
  2. If you like, you can even try out the online tuner which will work without any downloads.


Anonymous said...

Hmm... I didn't enable ClearType on my laptop but everything looks okay...


Winson Kang said...

Hah! The cleartype setting has always been the default setting in my computer. No wonder the font is so pretty on my laptop. :P

Casper said...

cleartype had been developed with LCD type screens in mind, and not every computer comes with them, that is why you didn't see them enabled by default with any installtion... but then again, sometimes enabling cleartype do improve the displays in CRTs as well, but not always=p

Jiun Wuu said...

I never miss this ClearType setting everytime once i finish reformat and reinstall fresh copy of windows for my pc.You r a computer freak and quite surprising u just realise about this.

Chan Wen said...

I'm surprised you didn't know. I wonder if there are performance issues?

Yay, my inaugral first (redundant word) comment!

youngyew said...

Haha, don't know lehh... I have know am familiar with this technology (anti-aliasing and ClearType), but somehow I never came to realize that it's turned off by default and that it's the reason of the jaggy font of my laptop.

Maybe I do not qualify as a computer geek after all.. ahhaha...

Chan Wen: Welcome to my blog!! :) I never knew you do read it... Hehe, sorry for all the grammatical and spelling mistakes ooh, hope you can bear with it. :P

Casper said...

we should call you firefox geek instead