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Posted by on Oct 30, 2008 in Random | 5 comments

FireFox and Chrome Screen Font Rendering

If you’re anything like me, then you are a Windows XP user who has the occasional need to reinstall your operating system. If you have recently done this and also use either FireFox or the new-ish Google Chrome browsers, you may have noticed some slightly strange looking font rendering:

Text in Chrome before ClearTypeText in Chrome after ClearType

The font rendering in these browsers looks jagged, with no anti-aliasing font smoothing in place. And that is the simple problem. XP installs with “Font Smoothing” set to Standard as opposed to the more effective and eye-pleasing ClearType. Resetting this option to ClearType has an immediate, and noticeable impact on your font display.

Who wants boring Standard when we can have ClearType?!

The setting is easily changed: Right-click on a blank area of your Desktop and select Properties from the pop-out menu. In the Display Properties dialogue, switch to the Appearance tab, and click on the Effects button near the bottom left. Ensure the tick mark alongside Use the following method to smooth the edges of screen fonts: is on, and then select ClearType from the drop-down options. A quick OK and Apply to apply the changes, reload your browser page, and you’re all done.


  1. And here I was thinking it was my eyes….

  2. How long have I been trying to work this problem out?? Ages!

    THNAK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!! Was getting so irritated with IE, now can use my favorite FF without hurting my eyes all the time.


    • Pleasure Sue. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Awesome. Just got a new Netbook with XP and it was looking horrible. Now cute again 🙂

    Yippeee !

    • Welcome to BlaBla Shaun! Glad that we could help. It bugged the heck out of me as well at the time.

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