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Windows Aero (Tahoma Font)


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#1 Eric G.

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:16

Windows Aero (Tahoma Font)
(Completely disable ClearType and remove Segoe UI from the Windows interface.)

In Windows 7 and Vista, one has the option to change portions of the user interface (UI) to whatever font one desires. Unfortunately it is not an option to change the font on certain parts of the interface. Segoe UI, the default UI font in Windows Vista and Windows 7, looks particularly bad after ClearType is completely disabled. However, ClearType itself looks very bad on older and/or cheaper monitors, previously forcing users with such monitors to either deal with the ugliness of ClearType or the ugliness of Segoe UI when ClearType is disabled. That's where Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) comes in. It replaces all instances of Segoe UI with Tahoma, the default UI font in Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

At the bottom of this post are two downloads. One for the installer and one containing all the files required to manually implement/install Windows Aero (Tahoma Font). The manual installation is included for those who wish to use Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) in addition to the original copy of Windows Aero. The installer, however, replaces the original aero.msstyles file for the sake of ease-of-use. Bare in mind that the Installation Instructions for the manual installation are sparse, however I will be happy to answer any questions. The manual installation should only be done by advanced users.

For more information, please read the following Readme:

Windows Aero (Tahoma Font)
(Supports Windows Vista and Windows 7)

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IMPORTANT: On all user accounts other than the one from which Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) is installed/uninstalled, you must manually switch themes in order for the changes to appear.
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Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) is a modified version of the original aero.msstyles file. The aero.msstyles file is used by all Aero-based themes. This modified aero.msstyles fully removes all instances of Segoe UI within any Aero-based themes and replaces them with Tahoma. Tahoma at 8pt was the default UI font in Windows 2000 and Windows XP. Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) was created using Vista Style Builder 1.4 by Andreas Verhoeven.

The following modifications were made:

  • Segoe UI changed to Tahoma.
    • All instances of Segoe UI at 9pt were changed to Tahoma at 8pt.
      • Exception: Title Bar font was changed to Trebuchet MS at 10pt.
    • All other instances of Segoe UI were left at their original point size after being changed to Tahoma.
  • Antialiasing Quality changed from ClearType to Standard on all fonts in aero.msstyles.
Third-Party Programs Included:
  • Universal Theme Patcher v1.5, Build 20090409
    • In order to use Windows Aero (Tahoma Font), the Windows system files that control themes must be patched to allow the usage of unsigned themes. The installer takes care of this automatically by running the Universal Theme Patcher by deepxw if it is selected on the Components page.
  • NoSegoe
    • If Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) is installed by itself, external programs that are hard coded to use Segoe UI, even ones included with Windows, such as Resource Monitor and Windows 7's Calculator, will continue to use Segoe UI. In order to avoid this, the installer incorporates NoSegoe by Steve Halpern. The version included in this is installer is slightly modified in order to remove the new variants of Segoe UI that come with Windows 7, in addition to the old ones.

    • NOTE: Some Adobe programs must be run in XP SP3 compatibility mode or older after installing NoSegoe.
NOTES:
  • The installer can be run again to add/remove components. However, please use the Uninstaller to remove all components.
  • The installer must temporarily switch your Windows theme in order to install Windows Aero (Tahoma Font). Sometimes, due to timing issues, the installer fails to automatically switch you back to your originally selected theme after restarting. If this happens, simply manually switch themes.
  • The "Disable ClearType" component only affects the administrator account whose credentials are used to run the installer. ClearType must be manually disabled/enabled on all other accounts.
Thanks to Andreas Verhoeven, deepxw, and Steve Halpern!

-Eric G.


MD5 Sums:
A37E82AC35E826398A3F84F94B8A82F6: Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) Setup
D71D7D581DCDB4DA241F1F4D5A7A989B: Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) Manual Installation

Downloads:
Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) Setup
Windows Aero (Tahoma Font) Manual Installation

Edited by Anaron, 20 January 2012 - 02:52.



#2 Guest_xiphi_*

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 04:38

I actually think Segoe UI looks better than Tahoma regardless of the ClearType setting. I've tried Tahoma after being used to Segoe UI and it just didn't look right.

#3 UXGaurav

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Posted 09 April 2010 - 05:56

Good for CRTs.



#4 PGHammer

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 00:15

Good for CRTs.


Not all CRTs, and definitely not the better ones (any CRT with a dot-pitch of .26 or smaller, or any AG CRT).

I haven't had TrueType/ClearType turned off for any desktop I've owned/built/worked on for the past decade (and that was three CRTs ago, back in 1998).

Since I moved from 15" to 17" in that year, I have *never* had ClearType (font smoothing) turned off.

I have a 23" FP display now (however, it's not an expensive sort; in fact, it's an Acer TN), and have kept ClearType on (in fact, the text looks better than most CRTs).

#5 Salty Wagyu

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Posted 10 April 2010 - 00:24

Thanks for this, Cleartype is rubbish on my 22" LG LCD.

#6 Madara Uchiha

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Posted 11 April 2010 - 18:21

Not all CRTs, and definitely not the better ones (any CRT with a dot-pitch of .26 or smaller, or any AG CRT).

I haven't had TrueType/ClearType turned off for any desktop I've owned/built/worked on for the past decade (and that was three CRTs ago, back in 1998).

Since I moved from 15" to 17" in that year, I have *never* had ClearType (font smoothing) turned off.

I have a 23" FP display now (however, it's not an expensive sort; in fact, it's an Acer TN), and have kept ClearType on (in fact, the text looks better than most CRTs).


Segoe looks OK on CRT's too, it did on my old DELL before I got a flatpanel. As a matter of fact, I've had ClearType enabled for years on my CRT before I got me a LCD. I don't see the point from using Tahoma. But again, this is just "my" opinion. Thanks for sharing this, and good luck :)


Thanks for this, Cleartype is rubbish on my 22" LG LCD.


</sarcasm>

#7 Benedictus

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 00:09

Windows Aero (Tahoma Font)
(Completely disable ClearType and remove Segoe UI from the Windows interface.)


Thanks.

I can't stand neither Segoe UI nor ClearType. Also, Aero isn't my cup of tea.

With this Aero/font stuff MS made Windows' fonts look as bad as Linux', so it's a matter of just taking my beloved Tahoma to Debian and I won't miss a thing. Office 2007+ is a joke and my Office 2000 runs well with WINE. Off to Linux then...

Oh wait, they have butchered KDE in MS fashion.

What do?

#8 Kirkburn

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Posted 18 April 2010 - 20:53

What do?

Stop being so picky?

It's a bit odd to get attached to a specific font.

#9 Lazure

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 15:57

Wow, there's people out there who would GIMP Windows 7 this badly? What is wrong with cleartype? Turning off cleartype makes fonts look all jaggy and pixellated like in Windows 95. Also, Segoe UI is a wonderful font. What on earth would drag you back down to ........ Tahoma? Especially with cleartype disabled. Just get used to it, Windows 7 has Aero, it has Segoe UI,

Seriously, disabling cleartype in Aero? Are you out of your mind? Good lord.

#10 OP Eric G.

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 18:46

As I explained in my initial post, Lazure, ClearType looks awful on some monitors. If I didn't have one of those monitors, I would have never wanted to turn ClearType off as it does look great when it works properly. For the few that are unfortunate enough to have a monitor on which ClearType does not work properly, the only real option is to disable ClearType and then switch the UI to another font. Segoe UI looks hideous without ClearType on. Microsoft provided no way of completely changing the UI font, so something else had to be done.

I'm sure you'd feel differently if you were in the same boat.

#11 Kirkburn

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 18:58

As I explained in my initial post, Lazure, ClearType looks awful on some monitors. If I didn't have one of those monitors, I would have never wanted to turn ClearType off as it does look great when it works properly. For the few that are unfortunate enough to have a monitor on which ClearType does not work properly, the only real option is to disable ClearType and then switch the UI to another font. Segoe UI looks hideous without ClearType on. Microsoft provided no way of completely changing the UI font, so something else had to be done.

I'm sure you'd feel differently if you were in the same boat.

I'd get a better monitor. :)

Less facetiously, you've tried the cleartype tuner? (It doesn't surprise me that Segoe UI doesn't loo good without cleartype)

#12 OP Eric G.

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 19:45

If I wasn't so broke, getting a new monitor would be a great option. Then again, my pride and frugality would have probably stopped me anyway. The monitor I do have works great as long as ClearType isn't on, so it would seem like a waste to replace it.

I've tried the ClearType Tuner. It just made things worse. Maybe I didn't play around with it enough, but I was immediately turned off to it when I found out there was no option to restore it to the default settings. Since I had expected such an option, I hadn't taken note of what the default choices were. What a gross oversight on Microsoft's part. It wouldn't be so bad if the default choice was the first box on each page.

#13 Kirkburn

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 19:49

I've tried the ClearType Tuner. It just made things worse. Maybe I didn't play around with it enough, but I was immediately turned off to it when I found out there was no option to restore it to the default settings. Since I had expected such an option, I hadn't taken note of what the default choices were. What a gross oversight on Microsoft's part. It wouldn't be so bad if the default choice was the first box on each page.

Default settings don't really make sense when there's only basically six choices (and they're dependent on the monitor).

#14 Descartes

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 19:52

Ditch Tahoma, go with Comic Sans

#15 Lazure

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Posted 19 April 2010 - 22:14

Yeah, considering the monitors that wouldn't look right with Cleartype are EXTREMELY rare (even CRTs I had in the ancient past looked better with cleartype)... you are best off getting a new monitor, instead of trying to completely gut the Windows 7 UI to make it look old. There's not enough support for this, because the need to do this is actually rare. You are actually better off putting up with .. whatever problem cleartype is causing you than to try and cut the UI apart.

Even then, many many programs are designed expecting standard fonts and cleartype to be enabled, and sometimes trying to force-change these could break their ability to display their UI elements properly. This is why black themes don't usually work in windows, many programs break as they always assume a light type theme.