Jul 09
Enable ClearType text

Enable ClearType screen on my HTC Touch Pro (text in Norwegian)

Choosing the right fonts for your mobile applications have a great influence on the application look & feel. All Windows Mobile  6 devices gives you the option to enable ClearType. On most devices it is disabled by default. ClearType is a technology developed by Microsoft that improves the readability of text on LCD screens. Quick and Easy explained it is smoothing the edges on the fonts. You can read more about ClearType at Microsoft Typography.

I will show you a quick tutorial on how to enable ClearType on your Windows Mobile 6 device:

  1. Open Start menu
  2. Click Settings
  3. Chose the System tab
  4. Click Screen
  5. Chose the ClearType tab
  6. Select Enable ClearType
  7. Click OK

Your device is now enabled with ClearType text. You will see improved readability on several applications.

I have tested this on a few Windows Mobile applications and sometimes the improvement are very noticeable and sometimes not. I will show you an example from PockeTwit (WinMo Twitter application).

PockeTwit with ClearType not enabled

PockeTwit no ClearType

PockeTwit with ClearType enabled

PockeTwit ClearType

On these pictures the difference does not look significant but you can see that the fonts on the last image are smoother than the fonts on the first image.

I also tested this for some Java ME applications but I could not see any difference if I enabled/disabled ClearType. I guess Java ME are using the built in fonts in the Java VM.

Enabling ClearType will lead to a performance cost but for normal usage on a Windows Mobile 6 device this should not be a problem.

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