When Internet Explorer on my system was upgraded to ver.7, I noticed a difference in the way fonts were rendered in the browser. It looked smoother and had a soft-focus quality to it. I didn’t know exactly what it was but I liked what I saw. But I like using Firefox more than the way any smooth soft-focus display appears. That’s when Ash told me that she had turned on ClearType [found via The Scian] that rendered fonts for all of Windows just as it did in Internet Explorer. It is rare that she stumbles upon tech fixes before I do but I was glad to find the tool to turn on ClearType in Windows XP. So what exactly is ClearType:
With Windows XP, ClearType delivers improved font display quality over traditional forms of font smoothing or anti-aliasing. ClearType improves readability on color LCD displays with a digital interface, such as those in laptops and high-quality flat panel displays. Readability on CRT screens can also be somewhat improved.
This comparative image should give you an idea. You can either use the online tool to turn on ClearType on your system. If the tool doesn’t work, as it was in my case, you can always download the ClearType Tuner PowerToy and do it offline. Running this program will activate and tune your ClearType settings and provide and option to customize it via the Windows Control Panel. The wizard to set it up is pretty straightforward. Enjoy your smooth fonts and better display on LCD screens.