Fred’s Head from APH, a Blindness Blog

Fred’s Head, offered by the American Printing House for the Blind, contains tips, techniques, tutorials, in-depth articles, and resources for and by blind or visually impaired people. Our blog is named after the legendary Fred Gissoni, renowned for answering a seemingly infinite variety of questions on every aspect of blindness.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Clear Type for Windows

Do you ever find that the characters on your screen are difficult to read. They are either not dark enough or a little fuzzy? Is there anything you can do?

Indeed there is. There is a very simple process you can undertake so that the fonts on your screen are readable. And the best part? The price is free!

Browse over to the Microsoft web site and click on the ClearType Tuner PowerToy download.

Once it has downloaded, click on Setup and let Windows install it automatically for you.

Check the "Launch the program" box before you close the installation program.

When the program opens, you will notice there are two tabs at the top: Introduction and Advanced. We will stick with Introduction here and return to Advanced at the end of the article.

The first thing to do is make sure the box Turn on Clear Type is selected.

Then click on Start Wizard to walk you through the rest of the process.

Have a look at the two samples displayed there and click on the one that looks the nicest to you and then click Next.

You can fine tune your option a little more with the next screen where you have six choices. Again, choose the one you like best and click Next.

Now you will see the final result previewed for you. If you like it, click Finish. If you don't, click Back and select another option from the previous screen.

Now, I did mention the Advanced tab on the earlier screen. You might want to look at this if you are still not happy with your finished results. This enables you to accomplish some even finer fine tuning.

You will see four optionsyou may like to take and those are:

  • Enable Font Smoothing - Use this to get rid of the jagged edges on fonts.
  • Apply all the settings to the defaults for new users or a new system - In other words, do you want to keep these changes for everyone who uses the computer and for any messages that Windows gives you?
  • Set Sample Font - Maybe the font that has been used to show you the options is not the one you regularly use. Well, you can change it here (click on the button to get the font selection) and select what you like.
  • Clear Type Contrast Settings - Anything you want between dark and light can be set here. Work your way to the "perfect" display for yourself.

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