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Archive for September, 2007

ClearType Text

Two days back, I installed IE 7 on my PC. After installing it, I found a visible change in the fonts in both IE and Outlook. And as usual, change is always uncomfortable. The fonts were coming more of blurred type and not very clear. After struggling with these new font styles, I finally googled for the problem and came out across  a blog by Microsoft’s IE 7 project manager, which mentions what the new font style is all about.

http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/02/03/524367.aspx

Basically IE7 has come up with concept of “ClearType” text which makes text more readable and comprehensible to human eyes. It is especially useful for LCD monitors rather than old CRT monitors. But as Microsoft tries to dictate terms always, so they enable this in IE7 by default without even asking the user about it or telling how to turn if ON-OFF. Thankfully, the option is there to turn it off by using Tools ? Internet Options ? Multimedia ? Uncheck “Always use clear-type for HTML”. Once this is done and IE is restarted (very imp.), we return back to our good old fonts.

Coming back to ClearType text technology, this has been introduced in Office 2007 and Windows Vista by default. So whenever you install these softwares on your PC, these are enabled by default. I am yet to figure out how to turn them off. Presently I am using windows XP where ClearType text is turned off by default. We can turn it ON by changing some windows registry settings but that is always dangerous. A little more googling lead me to following link:-

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ClearTypePowerToy.mspx

This is a downloadable utility which can be installed on your PC and then it appears in Control Panel. Using this you can turn on “ClearType” on your XP PC and also choose the setting and font contrast which you find most comfortable.

In the end, all these things are dependent on individual perception. Some people may like it, some may not. I am trying to adjust my eyes for this new font style from last two days and I have pretty much succeeded in that. Though fonts look slightly blurry in this style but their readability has definitely improved. I am to concentrate better while reading documents and web-pages.

In the end, its individual perception and comfort level to change that matters. But I recommend giving it a try atleast once. If you are not satisfied, you always have the option to turn it off. 🙂

~Mayank

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