Today I was putting the finishing touches on a client’s site built in X-Cart. All was looking pretty on Firefox, but side-by-side I noticed that all my fonts were looking a bit fuzzed out in IE7.
Confounded, I did a search and discovered that this is not a bug – it’s a ‘feature.’ A feature of IE7 called ClearType that’s automatically on in the browser.
I turned it off (do that by going to Tools > Options > Advanced and scrolling about halfway down to ‘Always use ClearType for HTML.’ Uncheck that box). And now everything looks great.
Now this may just be me (although I’m seeing a lot of unhappy posts about this subject) and I read that ClearType was intended to make things easier to read on LCD monitors. I’m using one, and it definitely doesn’t work for me.
However, my problem is that it’s on by default. Why not offer a choice? Why force users to accept a new feature without letting them know what it is and what it’s doing to the websites they visit?
I see that there’s a tuner you can use to configure ClearType for specific monitors and/or users. But do you think that the average web user knows this or even suspects it exists?