Font-smoothing: the good and the bad

What is font smoothing? Font smoothing, also known as clear-type, is a rendering method for showing text on your screen. Your computer will perform a sort of anti-aliasing on letters to make them seem rounded and less pixelated (see left image).

This can be a nightmare for people who are visually impaired. It’s a double-nightmare if the fonts are serif. Albeit, not all fonts are the same and not every computer is the same. Some people actually prefer font smoothing.

To Disable on Win7

  1. In the run bar type “clear” and select “Adjust Cleartype Text”.  Uncheck the box and click next through the remaining settings.
  2. Type “appearance” in the run bar. Choose “Adjust the appearance and Performance of Windows”. Scroll down until you see the option “Smooth edges of screen fonts” and uncheck it. It should be the fourth option from the very bottom.
  3. Type “window colors” in the run bar and choose “Change Window colors and metrics”. Go through each type of item and replace the font Segoe UI with a font of your choice. I usually opt for Arial or Verdana.


With font-smoothing turned off fonts become crisp and pixelated. For someone like me who reads an insane amount of information, crisp text is necessary.

Check out the Wikipedia Article