Today, I happened to look at this page on a computer without ClearType activated. And man … I had completely forgotten how ugly text on a computer screen can look. Really, with Clear Type, what you see on the screen comes reasonably close to looking at a printed page (whereas the “old” screen view comes close to looking at a piece of paper someone has dropped on a henhouse floor).
If you have Windows XP, this is already available, but for some reason MS have decided not to turn it on by default, and furthermore they have buried the setting in some menu one would not normally look for something like this.
Here it is:
- Right click on the desktop and select ‘Properties’
- Select the ‘Appearance’ tab and press the ‘Effects…’ button (who would have guessed? “Effects” makes me think of pointer arrows with blinking christmas decorations or weird screen savers, not typographical subtleties).
- Check the box for ‘Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts’, then
- select ‘ClearType’ in the dropdown list, and
- OK your way out again.
That’s it — your way to a better browsing experience, whiter teeth, longer vacations, better guitar playing skills, peace on earth and most other places, or at least to a better browsing experience.
If you want, you can fine-tune the settings with a tuner program you can download from www.microsoft.com, but it works its wonders even without it.
Do yourself a favour and follow my advice — without it, what you’re looking at now is ugly (which means that all my web design efforts will have been spent in vain, so do me a favour as well).