Crumbly, non anti-aliased text in Windows XP

At home the computer of choice is my old white intel Apple iMac which so far has served me well and take for granted the nice, smooth, anti-aliased text it produces on screen. I had a bit of a shock when i started first day at new job (a while back) and got seated in front of an old PC powered by Windows XP. I loaded up the latest version of Firefox browser and looked in horror at the jagged, crumbly non anti-aliased web text some of which was almost unreadable.

I always thought that all modern browsers supported text smoothing but it didn’t look like it from where i was sitting. I immediately did a Google search to find what the problem was, and came across a few downloadable cleartype firefox fixes before coming to the solution that worked for me.

The Solution

  • Click on the Windows XP ‘Start’ menu button, then ‘Control Panel’, and then ‘Display’.
  • On the ‘Appearance’ tab click on ‘Effects’.
  • Click to select the ‘Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts’ check box, and then click ‘ClearType’ from list.
  • Sit back and enjoy smooth fonts in your web browser