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HOW TO: Use ClearType to Enhance Screen Fonts in Windows XP

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This article was previously published under Q306527
This step-by-step article describes how to enable ClearType to sharpen fonts on your Windows XP display. ClearType enhances your display by smoothing the edges of screen fonts. ClearType works especially well on Liquid Crystal Display (LCD) devices, including flat screen monitors and laptop computers.

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How to Enable ClearType

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.
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How to Customize 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:back to the top


Display Appears Blurry

ClearType is designed to enhance LCD displays. ClearType may appear slightly blurry on standard desktop monitors and on some LCD displays. You may be able to improve this by customizing ClearType as described in the "How to Customize ClearType" section of this article.

In rare cases, perceived blurriness is caused by a manufacturing anomaly on LCD displays in which the normal striping of red-green-blue is reversed with blue-green-red. Currently, there is no support in Windows XP ClearType to compensate for this anomaly. This could be the problem in cases in which none of the ClearType contrast settings look good on a particular LCD display. In those cases, it may be best to turn off ClearType.

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Color Setting Must Support ClearType

To use ClearType, you must have a video adapter and monitor that support a color setting of at least 256 colors. Best results are achieved with High color (24-bit) or Highest color (32-bit) support. To change the color quality:
  1. Click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.
  2. On the Settings tab, in the Color quality list, click a different color setting.
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For more information about Microsoft ClearType, see the following Microsoft Web site:back to the top


Article ID: 306527 - Last Review: 10/27/2002 15:18:00 - Revision: 1.1

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • kbhowto kbhowtomaster kbui KB306527