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Microsoft Typography | Features... | FAQ... | Font smoother


Smooth fonts and the Plus! pack


Q How do I remove the Font Smoother / Plus! pack?

A To switch off font smoothing right-click on the desktop background, select properties from the menu, and click the Plus! tab (Effects tab in Windows 98). Uncheck the "Smooth edges of screen fonts" box.

To remove the Font Smoother or Plus! pack completely select Start, Settings, Control Panel, Add/Remove programs, Install/Uninstall. Then select 'Windows 95 Font Smoothing' or 'Microsoft Plus! for Windows 95' and click on Add/Remove.

Windows 98 Users note! Windows 98 users who have upgraded from a Windows 95 installation that had the Windows 95 fonts smoother installed should not under any circumstances uninstall the Windows 95 smoother. Uninstalling the smoother from Windows 98 systems will result in Windows 98's own smoothing components being permanently deleted. Running setup from the original Windows 98 upgrade CD is the only way to replace the deleted components.


Q I've installed Plus! (or the free Font Smoother) but my fonts are still jagged. What's gone wrong?

A Be sure to check the following things.

  1. Make sure font smoothing is switched on. To turn font smoothing on (and off), right-click on the desktop background, select properties from the menu, and click the Plus! tab. Check the "Smooth edges of screen fonts" box.
  2. Make sure you are running in a 16bit or better color mode. To check your color setting right-click on the desktop background, select properties from the menu, and click the Settings tab. Make sure the Color palette entry is High Color (16bit) or True Color (24bit).
  3. Font smoothing only works on TrueType fonts above a certain size. As a test launch WordPad from Start, Programs, Accessories. Set the typeface to Arial and the size to 24pt and type some words, they should be smoothed.
  4. If you are still getting jagged fonts, check with the manufacturer of your video card. A few users have told us that some video cards do not support font smoothing, and other cards require updated drivers.


Q I already have Windows 95 Plus! installed. Is the free Font Smoother any faster or more efficient?

A The free Font Smoother and the Plus! pack smoother let the user activate a feature that is already built into Windows 95. For this reason they both do exactly the same thing, and there are no performance benefits of using one instead of the other.


Q The font smoother seems to have installed properly but the display has gone crazy.

A Remove the font smoother, and contact the manufacturer of your PC or video card for updated display drivers or information on compatibility with the Plus! pack.


Q How about font smoothing in Windows NT and Windows 2000?

A Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000 come with font smoothing built in. Select display properties for the control panel, and activate font smoothing from the Plus! tab.


Q How about font smoothing in Windows 98, Windows ME and Windows XP?

A These versions of Windows come with font smoothing built in. Select display properties for the control panel, and activate font smoothing from the Effects tab.


Q Do I need special fonts to benefit from the smoothing feature or will it work with my existing type library?

A Font smoothing should work with all current TrueType fonts.


Q Why, at certain type sizes, are the italic and bold weights of a typeface smoothed, and the roman not? This looks odd, especially when italic and roman or bold and roman words appear on the same line.

A Windows includes default settings at which smoothing is turned on. This differs between roman, italic and bold weights, mainly due to the fact that smoothing may be more or less necessary depending on the outlines.


Q I've installed Plus! / the free font smoother utility, and made sure font smoothing is switched on, but at certain sizes (typically between 7 and 13pt) my fonts aren't smoothed. Why is this?

A There are two things to keep in mind here. First, Windows has some default sizes at which smoothing is turned on or off, and this is dependent on the style of the typeface. Second, and perhaps more importantly, TrueType has a mechanism by which a font maker is able to control the sizes at which smoothing is turned on. As different typefaces may have differing needs at varying sizes, this becomes one more way for the typographer to control his or her typeface's look at particular sizes. The font designer's settings take precedence over the default setting from Windows.

For more information on font smoothing, see our Smooth fonts in Windows 95 page.


Q I've installed the smoother and get other features listed on the Plus tab, but they don't seem to work.

A Sorry, the only supported feature of the font smoother is font smoothing. If you want to use the other features you should purchase a copy of the Plus! pack.

Display Properties

Figure 1. The screen properties Plus! tab.




this page was last updated 3 April 2002
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Microsoft Typography | Features... | FAQ... | Font Smoother