How to Use Windows 7 Font Settings

November 16, 2010, By Christian Cawley

There are various in ways in which you can change the way Windows 7 displays text. For instance you can make it smaller or you can make it larger – and there are several ways in which you might do this, from adjusting ClearType settings to making use of the Windows 7 accessibility options.

These options are provided by Microsoft to enable their users to get the most out of the operating system, as well as to offer the widest accessibility options possible in order to appeal to the widest audience possible.

Windows 7 Visual Accessibility Options

As well as providing a speech-only mode for users with blindness, Windows 7 has a high-contrast mode for users with poor sight. This can be easily activated and is ideal for browsing the internet, reading email, working on Office documents and navigating the Windows desktop.

To activate the High Contrast mode, hold left ALT+left SHIFT+PRINT SCREEN – by default an alert should appear asking you to confirm switching to High Contrast, so you should agree to this to proceed. The resulting screen will have a black background and white text. You can access settings for High Contrast mode in Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Ease of Access Centre > Turn High Contrast on or off.

Windows 7 Font Settings

Also in Windows 7, you can manage your fonts a lot more easily than in previous versions. Despite a wealth of options, these tools are most important for displaying which fonts are installed and access the ClearType Text Tuner.

ClearType is a Microsoft display technology that makes reading text on LCD displays easier. The ClearType Text Tuner should be active by default when you install Windows 7 onto a PC with an LCD display, otherwise it can be accessed via Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Fonts > Adjust ClearType Text. A wizard will take you through the steps to configure this.

Also available in Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Fonts is the option to Change font size. While you may not have any of the viewing issues outlined above, you might still have some difficulty with a font that is too large or too small. Using the Change font size screen allows you to select between the three sizes:

  • 100%
  • 125%
  • 150%

You can also set a default text size value with the Set custom text size (DPI) tool. This is simply a case of dragging your mouse across a slider in order to adjust the displayed font size. While these settings will apply to the majority of applications, they may not be replicated in games, for instance.

One other option for anyone with difficulty viewing documents and webpages in Windows 7 is the Magnifier. This can be accessed via in Start > Control Panel > Appearance and Personalization > Ease of Access Centre > Start Magnifier. This particular Windows 7 accessibility tool will display as a small magnifying glass on your desktop, and when clicked this glass will switch into a small toolbar. With this, you can zoom in or out, changing the entire magnification of the desktop, or else you can use a lens and set magnification on this to something that you are comfortable viewing.

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