Screen Readability

Don Trauger – Kennett

As we age, the vision that we may have had in our younger years, is not what it used to be. Even with glasses visual acuity is often
compromised. On the newer LCD computer screens with high resolution, the font size is often tiny. Although the content is sharp it
can be hard to read. Now I’ll tell you the procedure to improve this problem with different Microsoft operating systems.

First, make sure your monitor is adjusted properly using its contrast and brightness settings. If you have a high resolution picture
from a digital camera, this can be used to set the contrast and brightness for a life-like setting. If a picture is not available go
to and search for “nature wallpaper” or “landscape wallpaper”. Click a life-like picture then click on full-size image
to the right. Do several to get an idea of a life-like image. To see more pictures click on “Images for Nature Wallpaper or “Images for
Landscape Wallpaper”. With a life-like picture on the screen you can now adjust your monitor’s contrast and brightness for the best
quality. Check your monitor’s manual for instructions on the location for the contrast and brightness controls.

With Windows XP right click a blank area on the Desktop screen. Click Properties and then click the Appearance tab. Next click the
Effects button. In that window put a check next to “Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts”. Click the little down arrow
and click “ClearType”. OK the window. Next, click the Settings tab. Under “Color quality” choose “Highest (32bit)”. Click the Advanced
button. Under “DPI setting”, click the down arrow and choose “Large size (120DPI)”. OK the window. The following adjustment can be used
but it will distort the screen image so that circles may not be round any longer and it can also cause other side effects in all operating
systems. This adjustment is the Screen resolution slider setting under the Settings tab. If you move the slider to the left everything on
the screen will appear larger but possibly distorted and fuzzier. Set it to where you are satisfied with the results.

Windows Vista is similar. Right click the Desktop, click Personalize. On the left side click “Adjust font size (DPI)”. Choose “Larger
scale (120 DPI)” and OK the window. Next, Click Display Settings. Here you can adjust the Resolution, and Colors (Highest 32 bit is recommended)
if necessary.

Windows 7 allows additional adjustments. Click Start then click Control Panel. Click Appearance and Personalization
(View by: Category at top right). Click Display. Choose “Medium – 125%”. On the left side, click “Adjust resolution”. Use the recommended
setting if at all possible. Next, click “Calibrate color”. Follow the instructions on the screen. It will be followed by a ClearType procedure
to improve text quality.

Windows 7 does the best job of tuning your computer display for your individual needs. However, XP and Vista also provide the ability to make
your screen easier to read. One thing to remember – don’t use Windows High Contrast setting should you encounter it. It may seem to be an easy
fix for readability problems but you will incur color distortions, and other visual side effects that conflict with normal Web surfing.

Help with the above information is available at the PC Club meetings. We meet the second Tuesday of every month at 7:00 PM upstairs in
the Ardmore room of the Community Center.