I have changed one of my two monitors to be portrait orientation, however the text is somewhat blurry.

I have tried auto-adjusting it on the monitor and it has made no difference.

If I tilt my head 90 degrees so that the monitor is the 'right way up' it is clear and sharp, but ultimately useless.

Any suggestions as to what else I might check?

EDIT: This is on Windows XP

migrated from serverfault.com Apr 1 '11 at 17:46

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.


You've not mentioned what OS you're using.

Assuming you've got an LCD display, the pixels are vertically divided into three subpixels of red, green and blue. The Antialiasing performed by recent OS's is clever enough to know this and take advantage of the fact that lighting up a pixel red actually only lights one third of the pixel. Therefore the OS can draw fonts with subtly coloured edges that fools the brain into thinking the font looks smoother.

When you turn your monitor by 90 degrees, the pixel is now divided up horizontally. If you leave the font settings as they are, the OS will still be working on the assumption that the pixels are vertically divided, and so everything will look rather wrong.

Have a look around in your system or graphics card settings to see if there's a setting to allow sub-pixel antialiasing for horizontally divided pixels.

  • winxp winxp winxp is that 10 chars yet? – adolf garlic Apr 1 '11 at 8:56
  • 2
    I think, according to lagom.nl/lcd-test/subpixel.php - Windows doesn't support subpixel rendering on portrait monitors at all. – growse Apr 1 '11 at 9:27

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.