Step-By-Step: Use ClearType to make screens easier to read

LCD screens can sometimes be hard to read. ClearType can help clear the problem up.

ClearType, one of the new technologies included in Windows XP, uses the design of liquid crystal displays (LCDs) found in notebooks and other portable devices, including desktop computers. LCDs consist of thousands of pixels too small to be discernible by the human eye alone. In traditional font rendering, each pixel is either “on” or “off”; when the computer displays a character on the screen, it turns these pixels on or off.

Every pixel on an LCD screen is comprised of three smaller elements called subpixels: one red, one green, and one blue (RGB). ClearType manipulates these individual subpixels, which allows for much smoother fonts.

Enabling ClearType
To enable ClearType:
  1. Right-click on the desktop.
  2. Go to the Appearance tab.
  3. Click the Effects button.
  4. Check this option in the Effects dialog box: Use The Following Method To Smooth Edges Of Screen Fonts.
  5. Select ClearType from the drop-down box.
  6. Click OK.

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After you close the Display Properties dialog box, Windows XP will turn on ClearType. When ClearType is enabled, the fonts will appear smoother and without sharp edges. The final output on the screen varies from LCD to LCD.

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