Windows fonts are poor quality and not smooth

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

Windows logoEach version of Windows handles font a bit differently, but all versions have utilities (such as ClearType and smooth fonts) to improve text's readability. The following sections contain steps on how to make the text you read in Windows more legible. To proceed, select your version of Windows from the list below and follow the instructions.

Improving the font quality in Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10

By default, Microsoft Windows Vista and 7 have ClearType enabled. However, if you want to customize the text even more, you can run the ClearType Text Tuner by following the steps below.

  1. Click Start or press the Windows key on the keyboard.
  2. In the search and run box type cttune.exe and press Enter.
  3. This action opens the Windows Clear type Text Tuner program, which should resemble the example picture below. This program allows you to improve the quality of how text looks on your screen.

Windows ClearType Text Tuner

Improving the font quality in Windows XP

By default, Microsoft Windows XP has smooth fonts enabled, however, adjusting this setting can sometimes help improve the look and quality of your text. To adjust or change settings within this feature, follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Double-click the Display icon.
  3. Click the Appearance tab.
  4. Click the Effects button.
  5. Verify that the Use the below method to smooth edges of screen fonts box is checked. We recommend that you utilize the standard method, but some users may find it better to use ClearType.
  6. The appearance of a font can be improved by increasing your video resolution.
  7. Verify that your computer has the latest drivers for the video card.

Improving the font quality in Windows 98, Windows ME, and Windows 2000

By default, Microsoft Windows has smooth fonts disabled. Enabling this feature can sometimes dramatically increase the quality of your fonts. To enabled this feature follow the steps below.

  1. Open the Control Panel
  2. Double-click the Display icon. In the Display menu, click the Effects tab, and then check the box on smooth edges on-screen fonts. After that, click Apply, and then click Ok.
  3. The appearance of a font can be improved by increasing your video resolution.
  4. Verify that your computer has the latest drivers for the video card.

Microsoft Windows 95 users

  1. By default, Microsoft Windows has smooth fonts disabled. Enabling this feature can sometimes dramatically increase the quality of your fonts. To enabled this feature, you must install Microsoft Plus. Once the installation is complete, click Start, Settings, Control Panel, and then double-click the Display icon. Under the Effects tab, check the box next to smooth edges on-screen fonts, click Apply, and then click Ok.
  2. The appearance of a font can be improved by increasing your video resolution.
  3. Verify that your computer has the latest drivers for the video card.

Additional information

  • See our ClearType and font definition for further information on this term and related links.