I have been very busy of late with coding changes to my various website – particularly my forums InvestEd
Earlier this week I was horrified to discover that somehow the font had changed for the display of some of the code display in the vBulletin admin area (specifically the template editor). It was now a fuzzy font – it looked like somehow the evil ClearType had been enabled for just that font.
I was dismayed – and could not find any settings that had changed or were different to my other laptop, which had no problems displaying the nice sharp fonts I prefer.
I thought perhaps that something had deleted courier new or some other dastardly deed, but those fonts still seemed to be there and worked okay.
It wasn’t until I found the time today to delve deeper into the code on that page and using a process of elimination to work out what part of the page was causing the font to change for that editor area.
I eventually found the line of code – it was the default stylesheet for the vBulletin admin area – and it specified that monospace fonts should try using consolas, ‘courier new’, courier and then monospace fonts in that order.
I had not heard of this Consolas – but after a quick Google I found that this is a new ClearType font that Microsoft has released – specifically designed for coding environments.
I was wondering where that came from – and thinking back I realised it probably got installed as part of the Compatibility Pack for Office 2007 which I installed earlier this week to allow me to read Office 2007 documents in Office XP. Sure enough, in checking my other laptop, there was no Consolas font installed.
I pondered this problem (for about 2 seconds), before deleting Consolas completely, and instantly my problems disappeared. I could have edited the stylesheet instead – but I really don’t want to see anything displayed using Consolas. Ever.
I find that ClearType makes it very difficult to read fonts on my 20″ 1600×1200 LCD screen – and very fatiguing to my eyes. That’s no problem, I can disable that in Windows. I prefer the razor-sharp fonts that work well on my DVI connected LCD.
I’m disappointed that Windows isn’t smart enough to detect that I have ClearType disabled and therefore substitute a more appropriate font for my display rather than showing a ClearType font. Oh well.
Mystery solved, and all is right with the world once more.
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