I noticed that on Linux Arial font is much clearer and sharper (for me more legible) than on Windows.

Google Chrome Version 35.0.1916.153 on openSUSE 13.1 x64 (post where text taken)


Google Chrome Version 35.0.1916.153 m on Microsoft Windows 7


Tried also with Mozilla Firefox 30.0, Opera and Safari.

I'm very curious how to achieve Arial font to be clear on Windows as is on Linux. Personally the only font I found legible on Windows web browser is Verdana. I tested Verdana using Chrome extension 'Font Changer with Google Web Fonts™'. I'm interested in other clear, sharp Windows web browsers fonts e.g. fonts that Windows renders properly, size increase/decrease doesn't make font fuzzy.

  • 1
    Your first screenshot does not seem to show Arial. Also, there is no Arial on Android. – kinokijuf Jul 2 '14 at 12:18
  • @kinokijuf actually you are right. Android does not use Arial font (here I just wanted to say how legible are fonts on android, I deleted this section now from the post). Secondly I pressed F12 in Chrome to see what font en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water is using and it says font-family: sans-serif. I updated the post now with text taken from stackoverflow which does use Arial font. – broadband Jul 2 '14 at 12:40

Completely disabling Cleartype will make the fonts look even more ugly. The hinting settings must be altered.

On my monitor, the Windows 7 screenshot looks better.

Anyway, here is the difference:

enter image description here

The above text is the Linux variant with antialiasing enabled and full hinting. The lower sample is the Windows variant. You can set that in Linux as antialiasing with slight hinting. Usually, on LCD screens the Windows variant looks better.

I don't know if in Windows you can make this setting. At least you could look at this (applies only to WPF applications).

  • Just tried it, this setting does affect font fuzzines. KDE: Configure Desktop -> Application appearance -> Fonts -> Hinting style: None, Slight, Medium, Full – broadband Jul 2 '14 at 13:32
  • Thank you Cornelius for pointing me to msdn which mentions registry settings. This eventually lead me to FontSmoothing registry setting option. – broadband Dec 15 '14 at 15:59

Solved it by setting registry entry HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > Desktop > FontSmoothing to value 1. Now the fonts look as in Microsoft Windows XP, sharper, clearer, readable (although they are not the same as in Linux, but still they are a lot more readable).

  • this has worked for my account (Windows server 2012R2) – crysman Jul 15 at 18:47

Try this:

  1. Hit Start
  2. Type "cleartype" into the search
  3. Open the first result.
  4. Here you can de-/actviate ClearType. Try if it's better with/without. enter image description here
  • Already tried it, font gets even fuzzier. Still thanks. – broadband Jul 2 '14 at 12:41

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