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Antialiased fonts and windows

How much are they used?

1:58 am on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Do recent Windows versions provide any form of antialiasing for fonts, and if so is it usually activated? Thinking about it I can't recall ever seeing a Windows installation with antialiased fonts. (Though I don't use Windows on any regular basis so my sample may not be representative).
2:19 am on June 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Windows has had sub-pixel anti-aliasing since XP was shipped, 2001.
It is called "ClearType", and you turn it on through a webpage


or by downloading a controller. In WinXP and IE6 it is off by default. But in IE7 it will be ON by default, and will be on regardless of the OS setting.

ClearType=ON improves type rendering by incredible factors, partly because Windows-hinted fonts know about ClearType. Everyone should turn it on now, and the decision to default it on in IE7 is an excellent one.

2:14 pm on June 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I disagree. ClearType is wonderful - I use it at home and a t work - but there is no way it should be forced on the user. The reason is that it is meant for LCDs not CRTs! There will always be some people using these, who should have ClearType turned off.

Windows actually has two methods of smoothing fonts. Windows 98 (or was it XP?) introduced a system that only kicks in when the fonts go over a certain size, like large headers on websites. You can switch this off and choose ClearType instead, which applies to most fonts at all sizes.

Also, you don't need to visit a website or download anything to turn on ClearType in XP. The option is there built-in for you. I would recommend the ClearType Tuner though, for setting the contrast used.

8:19 pm on July 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for your replies (apologies for the delay - I forgot I posted the question).
7:13 am on July 7, 2006 (gmt 0)

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There is ordinary antialiasing too, I use normal anti, but not cleartype.

I suspect most have the normal version on, as it is default since Win98.


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