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mainlands

join:2005-03-23
Marietta, GA

Windows 8 text looks horrible, any ideas?

I bought and installed windows 8 pro on my desktop computer when it was offered as an upgrade from Microsoft. Previously I was running XP pro and 7 Ultimate and am still using the same monitor. Under XP and 7, the text everywhere looked very clear and readable. Under 8, no matter what I have tried, the text looks odd - kind of light in some parts of a letter, dark in others, like a bad cleartype. I have tried everything I can think of, different monitor resolutions, I have a newer lcd monitor and even tried to change the refresh rates from 60 to 75 Hertz even though that shouldn't be necessary, I have turned cleartype on and off and tried different settings in the wizard, and nothing changes this text problem everywhere. It looks equally bad in any browser as well as the folders, desktop, etc.. If anyone could help me with some other ideas to improve this I would greatly appreciate it. I would have no problem with a 3rd party solution either thank you.


plencnerb
Premium
join:2000-09-25
Carpentersville, IL
kudos:3
One suggestion that I have is to check to see if you have the latest video drives for you video card. Regardless if it is a built-in video card on the motherboard, or a stand-alone card, I would go to the actual video card manufactures webpage and get the driver from there.

If you need help with that step, provide the video card you currently have, and either myself or someone else should be able to help you.

--Brian
--
============================
--Brian Plencner

E-Mail: CoasterBrian72Cancer@gmail.com
Note: Kill Cancer to Reply via e-mail

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to mainlands
I noticed this problem when I got a new computer last November with Win 8 Pro. My Dell Ultrasharp LCD monitor is from 2003 but still going strong. I've had XP Pro (with my older Dell XPS 600 computer), Vista Ultimate, and the public beta of Win 7 running with this monitor. They all look fine...great actually. But on Win8 the text is not clear and sharp. Plus, it is sort of gray looking.

I can get used to it but then if I switch this monitor (I only have the one monitor) back to my older Dell computer, I am immediately struck by HOW MUCH CLEARER, SHARP AND DARKER BLACK the text is on the XP Pro computer. I have nVidia video cards on both....excellent nVidia cards too. This is NOT a video card problem. It cannot be fixed except by downgrading to Win 7 Pro or just living with it.

I agree that it looks poor on all browsers, File Explorer, everywhere. I have tried tweaking cleartype but that makes no difference. I have read that Win8 is known to have this problem.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

jupitermoon

join:2011-09-27
reply to mainlands
Blurry text has been a common complaint in Windows 8. No sure-fire fix. This thread explains why:

»answers.microsoft.com/en-us/wind···14d975c?

There's an interesting post by TJY on Page 2 of that thread that quotes Si Daniels, lead PM for fonts, Windows Core Experience at Microsoft:
quote:
[Windows 8] uses subpixel positioned grayscale, rather than subpixel positioned ClearType. This change affects the Metro UI, Metro style apps including IE and desktop IE.
There's also a link in that post to "IE10 Consumer Preview Smoothing Fonts Without Any Color," which shows what it looks like. Is that what you're seeing?

Another post by RolandOH on Page 1 of the first thread:
quote:
The cause for Office, Modern UI and IE10 to look so bad is that they use a new graphics rendering API offered in Windows 8 (and with updates on Windows 7, too).

The new font rendering engine offered by this new API simply doesn't have Clear Type implemented. So unless Microsoft patches this new API to support Clear Type, no program using this API will ever be able to do so.

The reason why Firefox (and Chrome, to an extend) are able to use Clear Type is because they still rely on the old Windows font-rendering API.
Supposedly, this is due to Microsoft's assumption that the future lies with tablets and that ClearType would be of little benefit if you rotate the tablet because it only works in one direction.

While this is supposed to affect mainly IE10 (and not Firefox and Chrome), Office 2013 (but not Office 2010) and ModernUI, it appears to be more widespread than that from posts I have seen (including from Firefox users), at least for some users.

Read the entire thread and this newer one too:

»answers.microsoft.com/en-us/wind···a?page=1

There are some things that have worked for some people.


mainlands

join:2005-03-23
Marietta, GA
reply to mainlands
Thanks, good articles; reading now. I am hoping that perhaps a big windows update may remedy this problem, but I wont hold my breath as it seems that would involve a major OS engine overhaul. Thanks again for these replies.

OZO
Premium
join:2003-01-17
kudos:2
reply to jupitermoon
Is there a simple way to completely turn off both ClearType and subpixel positioned grayscale font rendering in W8?
--
Keep it simple, it'll become complex by itself...


digitalfutur
Sees More Than Shown
Premium
join:2000-07-15
BurlingtonON
kudos:2
reply to mainlands
Are you running Win8 at the monitor's (maximum) native resolution? Windows 8 prefers widescreen resolution, an hdmi or dvi connection, and the default fonts for system information.
--
Logic requires one to deal with decisions that one's ego will not permit.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing - Edmund Burke.


Grail Knight

Premium
join:2003-05-31
Valhalla
kudos:6
Reviews:
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reply to OZO
Did you go into the Cleartype Options and just uncheck the box to turn off ClearType?

As for the other issue you could try going into your video cards settings and disable Anti-lansing and see how things look.

TrueType looks great on my widescreen Samsung LCD and no blurry fonts. The only change I made was to uncheck the box for font drop shadows on the desktop in Advanced System Settings - Performance-Settings - Visual Effects.
--
"One conspiracy tale deserves another."

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5

2 edits
reply to mainlands
Click for full size
Click for full size
Well, blow me away but after reading both threads that jupitermoon See Profile links to, I reran Cleartype tool for Windows 8 and was struck by how wrong the last two setting choices I had made when this computer was new (Nov 16, 2012) looked now. My problem is not fuzzy fonts but washed out, gray looking ones instead of black like on XP Pro with the same monitor and DVI connection. This is a 19" 5:4 ratio Dell Ultrasharp monitor at 1280/1024.

So, I chose different pictures for the last two Cleartype choices and now IE looks better than Fx! The text looks blacker now but I don't think as black as on XP Pro machine. On SeaMonkey, Fx, and Opera now the text is still gray and washed out looking. The ClearType changes I just made have no effect on those browsers. But on IE 10 the difference is astounding.

I have no idea why folks in those two Microsoft threads would claim the Cleartype on Windows 8 doesn't work. It DOES work. It just doesn't work on any browser except IE (which is really weird). I still won't use IE much because there is no way to get tabs down the left side and I can't use a browser now that puts tabs at the top (Sea Monkey and IE) because it is extremely difficult to read with such WIDE horizontal. I doubt I can get used to a widescreen monitor ever since I can't even read forums on a 5:4 ratio monitor if there are no tabs down the left side which makes the width of the forum posts much narrower and thus easy to read.

What happened to the contrast slider in Cleartype wizard in Windows 8?
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Grail Knight

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1 edit
You know Marilyn for Fx you could tweak the font colors by editing the userContent.css and make them look much better on Win8.

Just change the color codes to what you like.

/*
* Have the color of visited links=Red, not visited links=DarkBrown & hover=LightYellow.
*/
a[href]:visited {color: rgb(191,9,9) !important; }
a[href]:link {color: rgb(12,1,1) !important; }
a[href]:hover {background-color: rgb(244,228,146) !important;
}
/*

--------------------------------------------------
Also changing the fonts in Fx for menus, bookmarks, and toolbars to use either Verdana, Tahoma, or Segoe UI will help with readability. As for contrast controls I just change settings through my video card.

--
"One conspiracy tale deserves another."

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
Colors are not too bad. I have visited links as purple and unvisited as a darker green. But even with these colors now that I adjusted Clear Type the purple color (like for "logout" at bottom right on dslr pages) is crisp and bright color purple. Same purple is washed out looking on Fx.

It's black that is bad on Win 8. It's black on IE now but not on the other browsers. BUT in using IE now, I notice that crisp black and crisper more vivid link colors too ONLY on SOME websites. On this site, IE looks slightly better now but not nearly as dark black as in the screen shot.

I need to connect this monitor again to the older XP computer to see what is going on with it, but I haven't in quite awhile because I know I won't want to come back to Win 8 as black is so much blacker for text on XP.

It's not horrible on Fx, etc but my eyes get tired more quickly than on the XP computer and that's because I have to strain to read the not black enough text on Win 8. The contrast is not right on Win 8 and the contrast slider in Clear Type tuner is missing in Win 8. The slider is the most important part of Clear Type tuner.

Didn't Fx used to have a Custom color section at the bottom of the Basic Color chart?
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to mainlands
Click for full size
with IE developer tools
Click for full size
without IE developer tools
Using IE more now, I have been noticing that the blacker text isn't on every website and the difference is less on some sites between IE and Fx, SM and Opera. Our site is where the difference is not much in terms of black, readable text even after running clear type adjustment again. (But right after I ran Clear Type adjuster again, IE did display blacker font at dslr. I now think that running Clear Type Tuner temporarily has the same effect that running IE developer tools has).

So, I tried opening IE developer tools while on this thread. I selected an element in the page. The font color changed to much blacker AND the background color changed! The contrast was finally correct. BIG difference now between this thread rendered on IE 10 and on Fx 17 ESR. I noticed the IE developer tools said dslr page was written for IE8 which is the version of IE I have on several virtual machines that I use on the XP computer. IE 8 looks fine on XP and text is black.

I closed developer tools and the page didn't change but I think it will revert to the washed out black (and washed out link colors) if I open a different page at dslr.

I opened another tab on IE to this thread and, like I suspected, the black is not black and the background is different. You can see the difference in the screenshots.

It's not just a browser issue. File Explorer has the washed out black and it is made worse for me because Microsoft hard baked Segoe font for Windows in Windows 8 and I am used to using Verdana.

Sigh. Microsoft has not even ACKNOWLEDGED this problem although one person in the second thread at Microsoft's own forums did say that Microsoft Twitter team has acknowledged the problem but Microsoft has NOT posted in either thread in their own forums on this issue.

For the sake of my eyes, I very well may downgrade to Win 7. I don't want to but....
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Grail Knight

Premium
join:2003-05-31
Valhalla
kudos:6
reply to Mele20
**Duplicate**


Grail Knight

Premium
join:2003-05-31
Valhalla
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Reviews:
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reply to Mele20
As you are using the same monitor on your new Win8 PC you should run the monitor calibration manually again if you have not done so.

I just bought a new Win8 notebook for myself and aside from Metro the controls are not all that diff. from Win7 so if a person knows their way around Win7 or XP figuring out Win8 is not IMO difficult at all.

quote:
Didn't Fx used to have a Custom color section at the bottom of the Basic Color chart?
It still does but by using .css code you can fine tune colors and fonts.
--
"One conspiracy tale deserves another."


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
reply to mainlands
Fonts in IE10 look terrible. Luckily other web browsers still look okay.

This "subpixel positioned grayscale" or whatever it is is a MASSIVE, tragic, horrible readability setback. Many people don't seem to notice it much, I sure wish I was one of them.

Though for some reason fonts look great on my Windows Phone 8 Lumia 920.


Michail
Premium
join:2000-08-02
Boynton Beach, FL
kudos:1
reply to mainlands
This one was started by an old forum member here but it pertains to IE10.

»social.technet.microsoft.com/For···cfd519dd

I can always tell when I forget to use Chrome at home and launch IE by how bad the fonts look.

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
reply to Grail Knight
said by Grail Knight:

As you are using the same monitor on your new Win8 PC you should run the monitor calibration manually again if you have not done so.

quote:
Didn't Fx used to have a Custom color section at the bottom of the Basic Color chart?
It still does but by using .css code you can fine tune colors and fonts.

What monitor calibration? This monitor will be 10 years old on Nov 1. Besides, I have to switch it to the old computer soon for awhile. It has around 28,000 hours on it so, yeah, I have been looking at new Dell Ultrasharp monitors. But the offerings are slim if you don't want the monitor primarily (or at all) for watching movies. If I want to watch a movie (which is rare) I have a 46" Samsung Smart HD TV sitting next to this computer monitor. Why would I ever want to watch a movie on the computer? The TV is on the network. I've never understood the reason for why desktop monitors forsook height for width in recent years.

Sure, the new Dell Ultrasharps come with a factory calibration report specific just to that one monitor but my LCD was one of the first LCD's and was ranked in 2003 by tests from PCWorld and Consumer Reports as the best LCD that year. It's been great and was worth the good amount of money I had to pay for it. However, while black text is far better on XP with it, it required Clear Type Tuner to make it readable and dark black. Clear Type Tuner didn't exist when I got this monitor. Someone here told me about ClearTweak (which Microsoft later stole and changed the name) and that made a huge difference. But black on an LCD is never like black was on my Trinitron that I had before this monitor.

There is no Custom color section on my Fx 17.0.5 ESR nor is there on Sea Monkey 2.17.1. There is a custom color section on Opera 12.15.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Grail Knight

Premium
join:2003-05-31
Valhalla
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I said nothing about watching movies.
Monitors even 10 years old can be calibrated by the user but then again the user has to do more than plug it in and hook it up to thier computer such as open a Help File or go online and visit the Mfg. website and look into how to calibrate the monitor.

I bought a 24" HD Samsung LCD for my wife to use and the image including when watching movies is excellent.
The reason someone would watch movies on
an PC LCD widescreen is because someone else is hogging the 55" Plasma watching movies on Netflix.
--
"One conspiracy tale deserves another."

Mele20
Premium
join:2001-06-05
Hilo, HI
kudos:5
To calibrate it, I would need to buy expensive calibration equipment. Been there, done that years ago.

It's a plugnplay monitor. The video card needs tuning so colors are like I want for images but the problem I have here with text not being black enough is not the monitor. The problem is no contrast slider for Windows 8 for cleartype tuner. Windows 8 is known to have very bad display for text on any browser and bad text display in File Explorer because Microsoft won't let you choose your font as you could in previous versions of Windows. Microsoft says this is because ALL FONTS EXCEPT SEGOE are bad on Windows 8.
--
When governments fear people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. Thomas Jefferson


Grail Knight

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join:2003-05-31
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kudos:6
Reviews:
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·Time Warner Cable
Honestly Win8 text on Fx & IE looks great on both computers.
The color tho on some sites in Fx is washed out.
I am not fooling around with the contrast just for a few pages that I seldom visit.

I am using Verdana on each browser & Sans Serif.

The desktop text looked bad at first until I remembered to uncheck using drop shadows in Advanced Settings and now the desktop font is crisp.
--
"One conspiracy tale deserves another."