Tuning ClearType (Underappreciated Technologies Series)

I recently got a new laptop, and in the process of setting it up discovered a great utility for tuning ClearType to your monitor (and your personal taste).

If you don’t know about ClearType you aren’t alone. I’m surprised at how many people I know using laptops and digital LCD displays aren’t aware of or using it.

ClearType is suite of on-screen font smoothing technologies tuned to the way LCD displays operate (details at http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ClearTypeInfo.mspx).

The folks at Microsoft Research developed it, and it is supported in Windows XP and PocketPC. If you spend all day looking at text on a high-resolution LCD monitor all day like I do you should give it a try. I find that it reduces eyestrain and fatigue. YMMV.

To get the full benefit of ClearType it is key to tune it to your display and to the way your eyes perceive color. That’s where these nifty utilities come in. There are both a web-based and a control panel version:

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/cleartype/tuner/1.htm (web-based)

http://www.microsoft.com/typography/ClearTypePowerToy.mspx (control panel)

If you have a laptop or a digital LCD monitor give them a try; your eyes will thank you.

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