Sat. Apr 13th, 2024



The upcoming Chrome 124 release adds Windows ClearType integration for enhanced font readability. This change may solve “gray” or “blurry” text problems for some Chrome users, though it will mainly benefit those who require high contrast or gamma settings for accessibility purposes.



Microsoft ClearType is a subpixel rendering technology that makes on-screen text look similar to printed text. It was invented by Microsoft’s ebooks team in the late 1990s, but it quickly found its way into the desktop Windows operating system. Modern apps often forgo ClearType, but it’s still responsible for font rendering in browsers, legacy applications, and elements within the core Windows operating system (the File Explorer, desktop, and so on).


Chrome will continue rendering graphics with Skia, meaning that it will not offer full support for ClearType. The Chrome 124 release simply allows Skia to access and apply users’ ClearType Text Tuner settings. This may make Chrome fonts more legible, especially on low-res LCD screens, and it will help Chrome conform with the Windows operating system as a whole. Though I should reiterate that this is mainly an accessibility improvement, as users who need high-contrast fonts will benefit the most.

Complaints about Chrome’s “blurry” or “gray” text are somewhat rare. You’ll see the occasional Reddit thread or Chromium ticket, but very few people notice that Chrome’s fonts look “different” until they try Firefox. I feel weird citing Firefox here, as Microsoft Edge gained ClearType support in 2021. But the feature is still disabled in Edge by default. So, yay for Firefox.

I should also note that ClearType is intended for LCDs and only works when using a display at its native resolution. If you’re using an OLED monitor or a TV, you may see no benefit from ClearType. Press Win+R on your keyboard and enter cttune.exe if you want to play with your ClearType settings.


You can test Chrome’s ClearType integration with the Chrome 124 Beta release. A stable version of Chrome 124 should arrive in the coming weeks. If you want to use ClearType in Microsoft Edge, enter edge://flags in the address bar and turn on the “Enhance text contrast” flag. This may only have a noticeable impact if you adjust the settings in cttune.exe.

Source: Windows Latest



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By John P.

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