Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums


Can I change hardware and improve Win8 Font Rendering?

  1. #1

    Can I change hardware and improve Win8 Font Rendering?


    Can I change hardware and improve font rendering in Windows 8?

    Text on Windows 8 looks pretty awful on my hardware. I'm using an Nvidia 550ti card and a Dell U2410 monitor. Text, in browsers and in the Windows GUI, is spindly, pixellated, and headache-inducing. Evidence? Look at msn.com in IE10 and then look at it on a Mac, or boot a live Ubuntu DVD and take a look.

    I've spent many hours on this, and tried every trick and workaround I can find, to no avail.

    So... I see frequent assertions that my 24-inch 1920x1200 monitor lacks the DPI to render fonts correctly in Windows (it's 96 DPI). I also see frequent assertions that I need to use a different video card.

    I'd buy new hardware in a flash if I knew it would solve this problem.

    Would a new monitor and/or a new video card improve the looks of text in Win8?

    Should I maybe look for a 15-inch FHD laptop that crams a lot of pixels into a small space?

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  2. #2


    New Zealand
    Posts : 91
    Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1


    It is not a DPI issue. The blurry font is a fault in Windows 8 and a fix is supposed to be coming in 8.1. The people suffering it appear to be fairly random and I have not heard of a successful fix.

    A hardware change may fix it and if you have spare hardware it could be worth a try. But I wouldn't spend any money unless you wanted to upgrade anyway and wait for 8.1

    Here is a link

    Poor font rendering in Windows 8 (blurry text) - Microsoft Community


    Sorry the fix is just a rumor. Heard it here.

    Microsoft to Fix Blurry Text Bug in Windows 8.1 RTM Rumo
    Last edited by McRuff; 07 Aug 2013 at 18:31.
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  3. #3


    Wouldn't higher DPI, assuming constant resolution, improve rendering quality? Would not text on a 1900x1200 15-inch screen be more readble than on a 24-inch with identical resolution?

    Windows 7 here does not render fonts appreciably better than Windows 8.

    Win 7/8 font quality is really awful on my hardware, but it is really good on Ubuntu and used as an external monitor for a Macbook. I'd like to run the Windows I paid $200 for.

    (Today, I did a clean Win7 install and then immediately upgraded to Win 8. Fonts looked good initially. But, after a few hours use, they'd gone down the tubes. What's with that? Does any use of the Metro interface propagate its greyscale rendering to the desktop apps?)
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  4. #4


    New Zealand
    Posts : 91
    Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit SP1


    On my system the fonts on 7 and 8 look as good or better than Linux.

    Have you got ClearType turned on and are you using scaling on your video driver?
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  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by McRuff View Post
    On my system the fonts on 7 and 8 look as good or better than Linux.

    Have you got ClearType turned on and are you using scaling on your video driver?
    The difference here between Win7/8 and both OS X and Ubuntu is dramatic. For example, headlines at msn.com in Windows are mottled, in varying degrees of black within a single character., with grey shadows. On the others, they are distinct and precise.

    I don't scale; the monitor runs at 1920x1200. I use Cleartype but, frankly, it does not produce much of a change. I see 5 screens of 6 samples each. While each screen has some samples that are lighter or darker, the rendering remains basically jaggy and spindly in every sample. There is no sample where the pixels aren't obvious.
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  6. #6


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Just run your Clear Type tool, it will clear it up.
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  7. #7


    Quote Originally Posted by XweAponX View Post
    Just run your Clear Type tool, it will clear it up.
    Did you read my post immediately before yours: "I use Cleartype but, frankly, it does not produce much of a change."

    I have tried all the commonly suggested approaches and none of them work. If msn.com looks better on my Macbook and on Ubuntu via a LiveDVD than it does on Windows 8 (it's really abysmal on Win8's IE) I have to assume something is amiss. So, I'm wondering if changing the video card and/or changing the monitor to one with a higher DPI might make a difference.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  8. #8


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    That's odd, usually you can affect how it looks quite a bit.

    Try running your Colour Calibration tool, maybe that will clear it up a bit. As far as MSN, it looks like crap on both my PC and my MAC. But all I know is that my graphics and text on my PC, and you can see my configs down there in my specs, look great. If the text is spindly and pixelated, Cleartype is not being applied to the system. I just ran it, it made a significant change. And I know there is a setting somewhere to apply cleartype to IE, Just don't remember where it is- I've seen it, I can't seem to find it in any of the IE settings for IE 10.

    Also, if you are using an nVidia card, have you downloaded any Beta drivers? Those have been proved to have issues, I never do their betas, I always wait for the real ones.

    Check this article:

    IE Cleartype Fix The Solution for Blurry or Pixelated Text

    No... Scratch that, it's a developer blog... here is a place where some people were discussing it, and a few solutions maybe.

    Disable ClearType (blurry fonts) in Internet Explorer 10 on windows 7 - Super User


    Using Internet Explorer filters and ClearType - Stack Overflow

    Ah - This is what I was thinking of -

    internet explorer - IE 8/9 ClearType problem - Stack Overflow - But I think they removed it in IE 10.
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  9. #9


    Sloe Deth, Californicatia
    Posts : 3,908
    Windows 8 Pro with Media Center/Windows 7


    Yes, you can turn off IE's cleartype - Or turn it on from here:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\UseCleartype

    Click image for larger version
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  10. #10


    I've done two or three clean Win8 installs recently, which involves doing a clean Win7 install, getting the updates, installing 8, and getting the updates. It's tedious and takes considerable time. Each install, adjusting Cleartype was one of the first things I did. It was always on by default. It does make a visible change, but the change is marginal, and every font sample displayed by the Cleartype tuner is, itself, pixellated. The samples vary from really bad to mediocre; there is no "good". Most are very thin, a few are acceptably dark, but those samples typically exhibit the most pixellation.

    Msn.com here on IE displays very poorly: thin, washed out body text, "two-toned" headline text. It looks much better on OS X or Ubuntu, in Chrome and Firefox: Text is black, not gray; headlines are solid black, without the mottled-ness I see in IE. (Headline text in IE is sometimes accompanied by streaks of gray or black running alongside the edge of a character, separated by a gap of a few pixels.)

    It's an Nvidia 550ti card, No betas, just the driver Windows installed.

    What is intriguing to me is that the last install was done on a Win7 installation that I had made no changes to. It was purely a default setup. Immediately after installing Win8, the font quality was much better than I'd seen before. It looked, frankly, like I see in screenshots at Microsoft's sites. But, after a few hours use of IE and the other browsers, font rendering quality became very poor, again.
    Last edited by joncr; 08 Aug 2013 at 17:44.
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Can I change hardware and improve Win8 Font Rendering?
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