ClearType in Windows 10: what it is and how to activate it

What is ClearType

Microsoft's operating system, Windows, is not just an operating system without more that allows us to run any compatible application. Windows is a suite of productivity applications that also incorporates a series of features for users with accessibility issues, can use it without problems.

Among the accessibility functions that we have at our disposal in Windows 10, we can modify the color of the pointer arrow, modify the size of the letter, use a magnifying glass, add color filters, read selected text, modify the contrast ... Without However, in this article we will focus on what is ClearType and what is it for.

What is ClearType


The ClearType function it is not aimed at people with accessibility problems (although it could be perfectly). Microsoft created this system to improve the implementation of sub-pixel technology within its application ecosystem. ClearType, as we can well deduce from its name, allows to improve the appearance of the text on certain types of screen.

This function is intended for LCD monitors mainly sacrificing color fidelity, so it is oriented for people who spend long periods of time in front of the computer, either writing or reading mainly, being of no use when it comes to video or photography editing as it does not offer real tones of the images.

The first that ClearType was implemented was in the year 2000, by the hand of Microsoft Reader, and shortly after landing on Windows XP, where it was enabled by defaultAs in Windows Vista and Windows 7. With the release of Windows 8, Microsoft stopped activating this option natively.

As monitor technology has evolved, this feature has begun to lack senseHowever, we can still find a large number of users who continue to activate it to see the texts displayed on the screen more clearly.

How ClearType works

ClearType uses antialiasing at the pixel level to reduce failures visuals (serrated edges shown when displaying text primarily) giving it a smoother appearance. In order to carry out this task, it increases the contrast of the edges, a contrast that ends up affecting the fidelity of the font used in addition to sacrificing the fidelity of the color.

In summary, ClearType is used to improve the smoothness of the text. When the elements of a typeface are smaller than a full pixel, ClearType brightens only the appropriate sub-pixels of each full pixel to bring the outlines of that character closer together.

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The text that is displayed using ClearType looks more soft than text rendered without this feature, as long as the screen pixel layout exactly matches what ClearType expects, otherwise it can't work miracles.

If a display does not have the type of fixed pixels that ClearType expects, text rendered with ClearType turned on looks worse than rendering without it. Some flat panels have unusual pixel arrangements, displaying colors in a different order, or with the sub-pixels arranged in a different way.

ClearType will not work on displays that do not have fixed pixel positions (CRT monitors), although will still have some antialiasing effect, so it will always be a better option than without this effect.

The variety of typefaces that best adapt to this functionality, were the ones that Microsoft launched with Windows Vista:

  • gauges
  • Cambria
  • Candara
  • cariadings
  • Consoles
  • Constantia
  • Corbel

How to activate ClearType in Windows 10

Once we are clear about what ClearType is and how it works, the time has come to activate this function, if you consider that it is necessary for the use that you usually make of your equipment.

The first thing we must do is access the Cortana search box and enter the term ClearType (it is not necessary to respect the capital letters) and select the first result Wrap ClearType text.

Configure ClearType

Next, we must check the Enable ClearType box and click on Next.

Configure ClearType

Next, Microsoft will check if our monitor is using the maximum resolution it offers. Once this check has finished, click on Next again.

Configure ClearType

Then they will show us different boxes with texts in 5 windows, where we have to select the one we see best (here everything depends on the eye of each user).

Configure ClearType

Once we have selected the text box that best looks on our monitor, click on next and a message will be displayed informing us that the process of optimizing the text displayed on the computer is complete. To finish the process, click on Finish.

How to disable ClearType in Windows 10

If the result that ClearType offers us does not satisfy our needs, we can choose to disable it. To do so, we just have to follow the steps below:

  • We write ClearType in Cortana's search box and select the first result: Wrap ClearType text.
  • Then, in the first option to configure this option, uncheck the Enable ClearType option.

ClearType Warnings and Tips

ClearType Examples

ClearType is designed to improve the readability of the small fonts that are displayed on the screen, as we can see in the image above. If we increase the size of the letter, regardless of the font, this it will be seen without any type of serration on its edges or inside.

The same happens if we zoom in on the letter. The change when activating ClearType is considerable, especially if it is about long texts, since it allows the eye to read with much less effort, hence this function is focused on all those people who spend long hours in front of a computer working with texts.

The resolution of the monitor It does not include in the legibility of the letter how much it is shown in a smaller size, so this function is and will continue to be useful in the future, even if you have a monitor and a computer that has little or nothing to envy those that NASA has, as they say.

In the image above, we can see, especially in the M, the result of the ClearType function. Another important aspect that we must take into account is the source. To perform this test, I have used Cambria (designed for ClearType) and Arial fonts. How ClearType Works with Font Changes It is far superior to the one Arial offers us.

As I have commented in the previous section, in addition to Cambria, all other fonts for which the ClearType function is designed They are Calibri, Candara, Cariadings, Consolas, Constancia, and Corbel. However, we can use any other typeface, although the result will not be the best aesthetically speaking.

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