I'd like to leave cleartype on for most of my applications, but 1 or 2 of them really need it turned off because the characters look horribly fuzzy with it turned on. I'm using Windows 7. Is there any way to specify an application that cleartype should be disabled on?
No, ClearType works on the entire screen at once. You can't turn it on or off per application or per window.
You could turn it off altogether while you work with those two programs and then turn it back on, but that is probably just as uncomfortable as it sounds.
Instead, you should try to figure out what's wrong with the two programs that look bad. It might be possible to set them to use a different font, or a different "skin".
I know this question is quite old, but while dealing with a very old application having ugly scaling on a 4K monitor, I learned about the "Disable display scaling on high DPI settings" option in the application compatibility tab.
Unfortunately, the global scaling feature does not work well for every program. You might find that it makes some programs look ugly and blurry, or that it makes them too large. Worse, some applications are bugged when magnified by Windows. Google Chrome, for instance suffers from blurry text and a malfunctioning tabs bar when using the system-wide scaling.
Fear not! You don’t have to disable the very-useful scaling as a whole just for those few programs. Instead, you can make them an exception, so that the scaling is selectively not applied to them.
To do so, simply track down the executable file for the program in question—Google Chrome’s is located by default at C:/Program Files(x86)/Google/Chrome, for instance—then right-click on it and select Properties. Then click on the Compatibility tab and check the box labelled “Disable display scaling on high DPI settings.”
The result was that for my old app the GUI elements (icons, buttons, etc) were not scaled, but now ClearType could make the text areas pretty, which I found to be much easier to look at.
This article says that ClearType can be enabled system-wide or on a per-application basis. This is also something I'm trying to achieve (ClearType per-application). If you find any answers please let us know.