How to Activate Clear Type

Would you like to improve the font display resolution on your computer? Would you like to improve the readability of your color LCD monitor? Would you like to be able to read better on a CRT monitor? Activating Clear Type can help you do all of these things.

To activate Clear Type, you need to do two things: be on a Windows XP based machine and be able to edit your registry. Note that editing your registry can be risky business. Make sure that you create a backup before changing your registry entries. Otherwise, changes to your registry will be irreversible.

Activating Clear Type can be done on an individual basis. It can also be done for all the users on the machine. Instructions for both will be included in this article.

Those who do not wish to edit their registry may also activate Clear Type using the method to be outlined later.

Activate Clear Type for Individual User

Here are the instructions for activating Clear Type for an individual user.

  1. Click on Start and go to Run. Enter regedit.
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER. Expand this folder.
  3. Look for Control Panel. Expand this folder.
  4. You should be able to find the Desktop folder.
  5. Now, look at the right side of your registry. Locate FontSmoothing. Is this value there? If FontSmoothing is listed, go on to step six. If not, create the value by following the steps below.
    • Right click on the right hand pane of the box.
    • Select New and then select String Value.
    • Rename the new String Value to FontSmoothing. You can also right click on the new string value that comes up and select Rename.
  6. Double click on FontSmoothing. A new box will pop up.
  7. Type in 2 in the value data field.
  8. Look at the right hand side again. This time check for FontSmoothingType. If the value is there, go to step nine. If the value is not listed, you will need to create the FontSmoothingType value by using the steps below.
    • Right click on the right hand pane of the box.
    • Select New and then select DWORD.
    • Rename the new DWORD value to FontSmoothingType. You can also right click on the new string value that comes up and select Rename.
  9. Double click on FontSmoothingType. A new box will pop up.
  10. Enter 2 in the value data field.
  11. Exit registry and reboot.

Activate Clear Type for All Users

Now, if you would like to activate Clear Type for all users on the machine, simply follow the steps below. This is very similar to the steps outlined above.

  1. Click Start and go to Run. Enter regedit.
  2. Go to HKEY_USERS. Expand this folder by clicking on the cross at the left.
  3. Now look for DEFAULT. Expand the folder.
  4. You should be able to find Control Panel. Expand this folder.
  5. You should now see Desktop.
  6. Look at the right side pane of the box. Check if FontSmoothing is already there. If the value is listed, go to step seven. If not, follow the instructions below to create the FontSmoothing value.
    • Right click on the right hand pane of the box.
    • Select New and then select String Value.
    • Rename the new String Value to FontSmoothing. You can also right click on the new string value that comes up and select Rename.
  7. Double click on FontSmoothing. A new box will pop up.
  8. Type in 2 in the value data field.
  9. Look at the right hand side again. This time check for FontSmoothingType. If the value is there, go to step ten. If FontSmoothingType is not listed, you will need to create the value using the steps below.
    • Right click on the right hand pane of the box.
    • Select New and then select DWORD.
    • Rename the new DWORD value to FontSmoothingType. You can also right click on the new string value that comes up and select Rename.
  10. Double click on FontSmoothingType. A new box will pop up.
  11. Enter 2 in the value data field.
  12. Exit registry and reboot.

Acitvate Clear Type Without Editing the Registry

If you would rather not edit the registry, you can also obtain the same results by performing the following steps. Note that this procedure will affect only the current user. Only the second registry edit method will be able to affect all users.

  1. Right click on a blank area of the Desktop and click on Properties.
  2. Click on the Appearance tab.
  3. Next, click on Effects.
  4. Put a checkmark in the box next to: Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts.
  5. Select Clear Type from the dropdown box.

Hopefully, one of these three methods will be helpful to you in activating Clear Type.