Friday, January 12, 2007

ClearType

My friend and college Karan scolded me the other day when I told him about ClearType, which every user of Windows should use on their laptops. He was scolding me because I hadn't blogged about it, and he and I see each other rarely these days (as I'm no longer in Chicago). So, this is for you, Karan. I'll try to be better in the future when I find stuff like this.

ClearType is one of the great innovations produced by Microsoft R&D. Microsoft has a massive R&D effort world wide. Last year, I attended the Microsoft Tech Summit, and some of the coolest stuff we saw came from the head of R&D's presentation. ClearType is a utility that you download from Microsoft's site (here). It does sophisticated font smoothing, making fonts look much better on LCD displays. I'm not nearly so sensitive to fonts as some of my more aesthetically inclined colleagues (hey, David F., I talkin' about you), who can tell you in minute detail about kerning, anti-aliasing, and a bunch of other arcana. So, it's a big deal that I can tell that ClearType makes a noticeable difference. It makes the fonts look less jagged, and in the latest versions, it allows you to adjust the effect to get the best possible display.

If you are using Windows (still), and especially if you are using a laptop, you should download ClearType and give it a try.

1 comment:

Ben said...

Picking nits here, but ClearType isn't a "utility you download from Microsoft", it's a built in part of the OS past XP. What you're pointing at is the ClearType Tuner, which helps folks get the most out of ClearType on their display, and offers a convienent way to turn it on, instead of having to dig around in the Display control panel.

Good advice though! ClearType makes fonts a lot easier on the eyes.