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Fontyay!

Geekage ahead.

I got a new computer setup and was bemoaning the way my type looked on my new LCD monitor. The monitor's got this great, high resolution, but the fonts looked all spindly and bad. It wasn't a purely aesthetic dislike; I had lasic surgery a few years ago and some things are really hard for me to see now. It seemed like fonts were either spindly or ginormous, with nothing in between.

I read some techy things about the way Windows renders fonts vs. the way Mac renders fonts for onscreen viewing, which explained what was happening, but not how I could make it better. (I had noticed this difference big time at work, when I would go into my boss' office and look at our website, the text always looks like crap on her monitor, but great on mine.)

So I worked for a few days with ginormous fonts. And then the ginormity of the fonts became overwhelming and I decided to search YET AGAIN and see if maybe there were a font face I could install that I could see better.

And, OMG. I found a buried setting that fixed my problem. It's called Clear Type.

ClearType FAQ
Updated: November 1, 2004
If you have any questions about ClearType, see how to contact us. Where possible, we will post questions and answers here.
View all answers
How It Works
Q. How do I turn it on?
A.
On Windows XP:
1.
Right click on the desktop and select 'Properties'
2.
Select the 'Appearance' tab and press the 'Effects…' button
3.
Check the box for 'Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts', then select 'ClearType' in the dropdown list
4.
Close the Effects dialog by clicking 'OK' and click 'Apply' to complete the process
NOTE: If you install Windows XP yourself, by either upgrading an existing Windows installation or performing a fresh install, ClearType will be turned off by default. Computer manufacturers that pre-install Windows XP have the option of turning it on or off by default.
You can also turn ClearType on using our ClearType Web interface or downloadable PowerToy Tuner. These allow you to tune ClearType for your own personal preference and for your display. Tuning ClearType makes an adjustment to Windows XP's 'contrast' or 'gamma' value set for your screen. For more information on gamma, see this page.
Here's the page, if you want to explore more.

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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
hoheria
Jan. 30th, 2009 09:24 pm (UTC)
Thank you, thank you! There have been some sites that had a lot of text needing reading and I found myself pasting it into a Word document so I could actually read the story without getting massive eyestrain. Just tried the clear type thing and found it brilliant.
jordan_c_price
Jan. 30th, 2009 10:04 pm (UTC)
YAAAY! I'm so happy it was helpful to you. It was so bad on my new monitor that I had trouble seeing the text even in Word, so I had to figure SOMETHING out! Now many of the Word fonts look good enough to use.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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