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Is ClearType Enabled On Your Windows XP Desktop?

Improve readability of text displayed on your XP desktop.
By V. Subhash

In 2009, I built this website based on a layout image provided by a graphic designer. On my XP desktop, the site looks according to the design. On other XP computers, it does not look the same.

The layout image provided by the designer had anti-aliased text. On my XP desktop, I have enabled ClearType and all text is anti-aliased. However, most XP computers run without ClearType.

ClearType is a Microsoft technology that makes improves the text displayed on the screen. It is already available in Windows XP but is disabled by default. In Windows Vista and 7, ClearType is "always on."

How To Enable ClearType In Windows XP

Go to Control Panel » Display Settings » Appearance » Effects » Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts and select ClearType.

To get it done properly though, you should try the Microsoft ClearType Tuner PowerToy.

Run ClearType Tuner Wizard

This applet offers you three ways to use ClearType. (Ignore all that jazz about LCD monitors - it did wonders even to my CRT monitor. You should use the optimal display resolution to get the best results.)

  1. A simple on/off check box that enables or disables ClearType.
  2. A two-step wizard to calibrate ClearType.
  3. A a slider control to fine-tune ClearType.

I suggest you use the wizard.

See The Difference

Click the image below repeatedly to see the change that ClearType brings to web pages. ClearType not only improves web page text but also enhances text displayed on applications (GUI text). ClearType is particularly useful if you use non-IE browsers such as Firefox or Opera. (IE7 and later versions have ClearType enabled by default.)

ClearType Disabled.


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