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Man, That’s a Smooth Font!

Monday, November 22nd, 2004 by | Filed Under: Uncategorized

Man, That’s a Smooth Font!

Ah, reading on a computer! The soft hum of your power supply fan, the warm glow of your monitor, and that jagged, blocky text…

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just flip a “font-smoothing” switch or something to make those fonts a little easier to read?

If you’re running Windows 98 or above, you can!


Anti-aliasing is the technical name for a process that smoothes out the jagged edges of pictures and fonts. Most graphics programs do it automatically; however, Windows will do it for screen fonts in Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer as long as you select it from your Display Properties menu.

To do this, first open the Properties menu by right-clicking on your desktop and selecting properties . Then, click on the Effects tab on the top. Click the “Smooth edges of screen fonts” checkbox. (Windows 2000 will say, “ font smoothing .”) Finally, click OK and notice the subtle, wonderful difference.


(And of course things will be a bit different for the Windows XP users: Right-click on your desktop, select Properties . Click on the Appearance tab , then click on the Effects button . In the window that appears, make sure the box next to “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts” is checked and the Standard method is selected. Click OK .)


For smaller fonts, anti-aliasing only affects bold text, so you may not notice any effect in Windows Explorer or on your desktop. However, headlines on web pages and any larger text will be smooth and beautiful. This might be a good time to increase your display resolution and then bump up the default font size in Internet Explorer.

Now wouldn’t it be great if there were a button for “anti-crashing”?

Maybe in the next version of Windows…

–Tom Dalton

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