Making Fonts Darker in Win7 and Software

By databaseben ·
Background: Seems to me that software developers find that gray fonts are easier on the eyes, but in fact makes it harder to read for many of us, especially if the grey fonts are against a darker grey or grey blue background.

Problem: I have a hard time with gray fonts in email messages and application menu drop downs. I have been struggling with this for many years and decided to see if there were any solutions or registry tweaks.

Steps I have tried:

I have tried using Clear Type. But unfortunately, Clear type on tweaks the clarity and offers no methods to make fonts blacker or bolder.

I have tried increasing the font size, ie DPI, which is a little helpful. But still this method only makes the greyish fonts larger and not blacker. Plus i have discovered that increasing the DPI also increases the Desktop Icons and the Gadgets. God only knows why I need bigger icons and bigger gadgets when they are pretty clear in the normal sizes.

I have tried looking into the options / settings for applications, like Word and Thunderbird. And though changing the scheme color is provided, there is nothing to tweak the application fonts to black.

I have noticed that the Pale Moon Browser and FF, use black fonts (or super dark grey ones). And this is what i would like to see in applications like Word and Email Messages I receive.


There must be a way to make application fonts from #C0E0EE to #000000.

thanks for any feedback or ideas.

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Answers

Collapse -

Work around found

by databaseben In reply to Making Fonts Darker in Wi ...

i guess i finally found a work around. looking through the available themes i found Win7 Basic and Classic XP.

afterwards, there were options available to tweak the fonts and background, like for XP.

while i couldn't change the dark grey text or the the light grey background where the grey text appears on, i was able to make the font larger and now its easier to read.

Collapse -

Default Fonts and CSS

by a.portman In reply to Making Fonts Darker in Wi ...

For MS Office programs, you can change the default font. In Outlook 2010, go to File > Options > Mail > Stationary. You can choose the font for plain text messages. Then read everything in plain text, or switch as needed.

It takes a little know how, but chances are there is a configuration file or a css for a web app. Find the font settings and make the change in the css for the page.

Collapse -

Reponse To Answer

by databaseben In reply to Default Fonts and CSS

thanks for the help. i have been able to either increase the font sizes and make some of them bolder, which so far has been great for me and my eyes - using the basic win7 theme. there is also a classic theme, but it had the same options as the win7 basic theme.

ultimately, however, i could not really change the colors used by the office applications, which is a dark grey against a bluish grey background - unless i used the high contrast themes. but there was no way to truly tweak the high contrast themes in order to tone them down.

what i think would be helpful is to find that one file that controls the themes in office applications and rename it - which i think the windows theme would then have full control and i could tweak the application font style and colors - which for me would be black and bold..

Collapse -

In case you don't know, it makes a difference as to which set of fonts you

by Deadly Ernest In reply to Making Fonts Darker in Wi ...

want to change - the system or the various applications. Most applications will sue the system settings unless you select other options within the application and tell them to use those options - check the tools, options, or customise settings.

For Windows 7, like all other versions of Windows you can change the system wide settings for the fonts and colours. I've only played around with Windows 7 Enterprise but have been told it's the same for all of the Win 7 variants.

Like in Win 2000 and Win XP, Win 7 will give you the appearance setting if you place your mouse in the middle of the desktop and use the right click to bring up a sub-menu. Select 'Personalize' and when that window opens you look at the bottom of the window, at the second icon from the left, it should say 'Colors' or something like that (the Win 7 machine I use is about an hours drive away so this is all from memory). Once you click on the second icon from the left it will open the more traditional window for setting the system wide desktop colours. You then select the part of the system setting you want to change the colour of by either choosing it in the window displayed or the drop box below the window - like Window text etc - then you use the colour selection bar on the right to select the new colour you want.

In short, it's all but the same as in XP, the only difference is the middle stage to get that window.

The application color settings for MS Office are there, somewhere, but I know they got buried deep in MSO 2007 and 2010 - just don't know where as you need to go through the ribbons to find it and I don't have a copy of either one. Switch to Libre Office and I can tell you where to find them quick smart, under the tools, customise settings.


Collapse -

Reponse To Answer

by databaseben In reply to In case you don't know, i ...

thanks for your response. i eventually did find the windows colors setting icon and i was able to increase the size of the fonts and make them bold too. in doing so, it made a lot of things easier to see and read.

unfortunately, there is no way to change the colors of office 07, other than to use one of the 3 default schemes. but making the standard font larger, made it easier to see against the standard blue background microsoft has encoded in the menu drop downs.

in regards to email messages that are send with greyish background and a slightly darker gray font, i installed a plugin that simply increases the font size. but it has to be done on a per message basis. however, it is helpful never the less.

it is unfortunate that programmers are using color schemes that are difficult to change on the users end. all i can think of as to why they do it, is because the lighting in their offices is strong fluorescent lighting and their eyes are young and feel more comfortable seeing a bluish grey background with dark grey fonts on it.

i think that at least what they could have done is allow us users to customize to a higher degree those high contrast themes under accessibility options because they do change the color of all window applications including office. but unfortunately, these schemes are extreme and do not allow us to tone them down.

Related Discussions

Related Forums