those evil-natured robots, they're programmed to destroy us.


Take a look at the following image supplied by the IE team. The first column shows text displayed by ClearType. The second column has ClearType disabled.

ClearType causes my eyes to dance in and out of focus. Like others, I see a halo of colors surrounding the text. This may not be your experience. I am not suggesting that ClearType is wrong for others.

You’ve got me. I like my fonts nice and crispy. What do I do?

Windows XP

1. Right click on the Desktop and select Properties
2. Click on the Appearance tab
3. Click Effects
4. Change the option labeled ‘Use the following method’ to Standard

Windows Vista and 7

1. Click Start, Control Panel
2. Click Appearance and Personalization
3. Click Display
4. Click Adjust ClearType text on the left menu
5. Uncheck Turn on ClearType

Internet Explorer 7 and 8

1. Click on the Tools menu and select Internet Options
2. Click on the Advanced tab
3. Scroll down to the heading titled Multimedia
4. Uncheck the option labeled ‘Always use ClearType for HTML’
5. Restart the browser

Internet Explorer 9

A kind soul named Olivier compiled a set of files that will convince Internet Explorer 9 to forgo font smoothing.

1. Download from the bottom of his page.
2. Copy the two enclosed files – dwrite.dll and detoured.dll to Internet Explorer’s directory:
C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer or C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer for 64-bit users.
3. Close and reopen Internet Explorer

These two files can also be used with applications that utilize Internet Explorer for display. Place them in the program directory of the application. My results were hit and miss with this. The one that needs it most alternates between crispy and blur.

Office 2007, Vista, Windows 7

Your first impulse may be to browse over to the Fonts directory and get deletion happy. The problem with this is that Windows doesn’t like its core files being tampered with. It’s easier just to tell Windows not to use them.

Disclaimer: Microsoft warns that playing with the Registry can lead to system instability. This procedure is actually pretty harmless.

1. XP: Click Start, Run and enter regedit into the Run field
Vista/7: Click Start and enter regedit into the search field. Hit enter to launch it.

2. Drill down through the spiderweb of folders until you reach the following:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts

3. On the first run we will clear out the fonts we don’t want used.
4. Scroll down to Calibri (TrueType)
5. Double click on it and remove the text in the Value data field. The end result will look like this:

6. Repeat this for the following (at your own discretion).

Tip: A quick way of accomplishing this is to double click on the font, hit the backspace key and then enter.

Calibri (TrueType)
Calibri Bold (TrueType)
Calibri Bold Italic (TrueType)
Calibri Italic (TrueType)

Each instance will need to be removed. The rest of these are shorted with an * notation meaning anything that begins with the font name should be done. Cambria, Cambria Bold, Cambria Bold Italic, etc.

Calibri *
Cambria *
Candara *
Consolas *
Segoe *

7. Now browse to the following:

This section allows us to tell Windows we would like an alternate font used in its place:

8. Scroll down to Calibri and double click it. I replace most of these with Arial. I’m sure this brings great pleasure to the designers of the ClearType font set. Enter the name of the font you would like use and click OK.

9. We’ll need to repeat this for each of the fonts we removed above. Fortunately this section doesn’t have all of the Bold, Bold Italic,etc. variants.

Calibri = Arial
Cambria = Arial
Candara = Arial
Consolas = Arial
Segoe UI = Tahoma
System = Tahoma

I set all of these as Arial with the exception of Segoe UI becoming Tahoma. You are welcome to be more creative. Here’s what the end result should look like for each of these:

10. Once you’ve got this all knocked out wipe the sweat from your brow and reboot. You should notice a drastic improvement.

If this seems asinine then we’re in agreement. It’s a good deal of work to accomplish something that un-checking a box should do.