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Windows 7: Replace default Windows 7 "Thin Character" Fonts

08 Aug 2013   #1

windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 
Replace default Windows 7 "Thin Character" Fonts

I hope I can make this sound sensible. Ever since I obtained a PC with Windows 7 Pro, I have had a very serious problem seeing details in the display window, even though I have turned off all the special effects, switched to a customized Aero display scheme, and so on. The biggest problem is the extremely high level of brightness on all Windows screens, both native Win and non-MS apps, along with a very extensive use of "ultra-thin" characters in fonts and faded, dimmed, or extremely low contrast on the screen text. Sometimes, it gets to a point where my (admittedly aged) eyes just cannot read what is on the screen, especially with the almost pathological fixation Windows has with using very light blue or other similar colors everywhere.

I have been able to compensate by reducing the brightness on my monitor to about 20% of the optimum default setting, using a custom CSS with IE, and by extensively modifying the display characteristics using the Advanced Window Color and Appearance settings, and by totally shutting off all the Win 7 "effects". Although that worked fairly well for the native Windows software and MS apps, and for some other non-MS apps, it still does not totally fill the bill for me. I still have to mostly use the high-contrast theme to comfortably do things like read my email etc.

If I could just completely rid my system of the ultra-thin fonts, I think I could get by good enough. (I should mention that I never had any problems with WinXP Pro on my old PC). So here is my question: Is there any way to either modify the font files that Windows and other oftware use to display their screens to make all fonts visible and legible again by fonts using "normal" old-style characters, or to obtain a replacement system font set that would work with all apps?

I realize that some applications use embedded fonts, in which case what I get is what I get. But if the "ultra-thin" fonts used everywhere were replaced with "normal" old-style fonts when they call on system fonts, at least I would be better off than now. The ultra-thin fonts must be, I presume, a separate font file and style. What I want to do is just replace that whole style with a more conventional font style.

Thanks for any help. (BTW, I do not want to use a custom theme, since I have never found one that does not have other problems in my case. I even bought the entire Stardock suite, but it is beyond my skillset or patience to devise something like this as a custom theme. I did use it to rerplace the Win 7 Logon and shutdown screens, which were actually useless for me because I could not see the text or controls at all on the native Win 7 screens.)

Pete B


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

08 Aug 2013   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Hi Pete

What theme would you like to use Aero, Basic, Classic?

Look at Post #5 of this thread Navigation Pane Text

That will change a lot of fonts, if you need help let me know, if you are not comfortable changing the registry let me know I may have other ideas.

Jerry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Aug 2013   #3

windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 
Changing fonts

Jerry
Thanks. I have no problem changing the registry (I am an old Windows data app programmer). But your post gives me the typical problem: I can read the message, but the picture you posted in that message is almost totally illegible no matter what I do (regular or hi-contrast). It just looks like a white screen with some very faint text on it, cannot make it out. So, could you tell me in plaintext what that screen says? I gather it is some kind of registry operation.

Maybe you have the solution to my problem. Will this affect all the active windows' text display? IOW will it change every screen to the new font style?

AFA what theme I use, I am using a heavy-modified std Win 7 aero theme right now, the one that comes in the theme pack with the Win 7 appearance/accessibility tools. All the mods are via the advanced Win Appear and Color selections.

Pete B
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.


08 Aug 2013   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Here is what is on the image, you need to change the Hand of Sean to the font you what to use and save it, then follows the rest of that post.


Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts]
"Segoe UI (TrueType)"=""
"Segoe UI Bold (TrueType)"=""
"Segoe UI Italic (TrueType)"=""
"Segoe UI Bold Italic (TrueType)"=""
"Segoe UI Semibold (TrueType)"=""
"Segoe UI Light (TrueType)"=""
"Segoe UI Symbol (TrueType)"=""

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes]
"Segoe UI"="Hand of Sean"
"MS Shell Dlg 2"="Hand of Sean"
"MS Shell Dlg"="Hand of Sean"



If that does not work, I know you said no custom themes but I can make a custom theme with Windows Style Builder and change all the fonts(size, color) of the Aero theme. And post it here.
Name:  Font.png
Views: 8
Size:  16.5 KBName:  Color.png
Views: 8
Size:  17.3 KB

You will need to do 1 of these 2 ways of Enabling custom themes for it to work.
Enabling Custom Themes - Windows 7
Or
Theme - How to Apply Custom Themes

Let me know

Jerry


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #5

windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 
Custom Themes

Jerry

Thanks again for looking into this. I think I would really like that custom theme you describe. But let me be a bit more precise about what I have now. I am currently running (for the standard non-high contrast) a customized Win 7 Classic theme from the Win 7 Personaliztion CP applet. Mostly I have just adjusted colors and such, but I have also used the Win Color and Appearance dialog to extensively modify the Windows standard settings (active screen color, Message box text font/size etc.) I should also mention that I am running ClassicShell.

Some questions: would you have to specify each of the numerous "standard Win" fonts? For example, Windows uses various fixed fonts and also various TT variable fonts, would I have to specify each and every one that I want to use? (Win IE 10 for example uses a slew of different fonts, would this affect IE). All I really want is to just replace all the new-style "ultra-thin" fonts with the old "standard" fonts or bold, etc like were used in WinXP and earlier, to revert to readable screen text everywhere. I hope I am making this clear.

Also, would everything in the custom theme be fixed, or would I still be able to personalize it like I do in Win 7 as described above? For example, would the Windows customization dialog still be available? Or, alternatively, as I mentioned earlier, I have the entire Stardock suite. Would I be able to use the tools in that to modify the custom theme?

Another thought: would it be possible to get a custom theme that is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the WinXP standard "classic" theme? That is what I really wish I had. I never had these problems on my WinXP Pro machine, nor for that matter on my earlier Win versions either. The Win 7 version "WinXP" style is not really a good replacement IMO.

Finally: would it help if I sent you the various theme files for my current theme setup? If you can direct me as to where to find them and what to send, then you would know exactly what I have now. I appreciate this, and would be glad to pay you for all this if you have some way to take charge cards.

Pete B
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #6

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Quote:
Some questions: would you have to specify each of the numerous "standard Win" fonts? For example, Windows uses various fixed fonts and also various TT variable fonts, would I have to specify each and every one that I want to use? (Win IE 10 for example uses a slew of different fonts, would this affect IE). All I really want is to just replace all the new-style "ultra-thin" fonts with the old "standard" fonts or bold, etc like were used in WinXP and earlier, to revert to readable screen text everywhere. I hope I am making this clear.
It depends on the location there are quite a few areas where the font can be changed, as far as IE 10 goes it will only affect the drop-down menus.

Quote:
Also, would everything in the custom theme be fixed, or would I still be able to personalize it like I do in Win 7 as described above? For example, would the Windows customization dialog still be available? Or, alternatively, as I mentioned earlier, I have the entire Stardock suite. Would I be able to use the tools in that to modify the custom theme?
You'll still be able to use Windows colorization dialog, I'm not sure about Stardock.

Quote:
Another thought: would it be possible to get a custom theme that is, for all intents and purposes, identical to the WinXP standard "classic" theme? That is what I really wish I had. I never had these problems on my WinXP Pro machine, nor for that matter on my earlier Win versions either. The Win 7 version "WinXP" style is not really a good replacement IMO.
There are quite a few at deviantart here is an example of one Luna port to Windows 7 -Aero- by ~Satukoro on deviantART

Quote:
Finally: would it help if I sent you the various theme files for my current theme setup? If you can direct me as to where to find them and what to send, then you would know exactly what I have now. I appreciate this, and would be glad to pay you for all this if you have some way to take charge cards.
I wouldn't need any of your files at this time.
I appreciate the offer to pay me but that's not going to happen I do this voluntarily.

I have a theme I did a while back where the font is Segoe UI and most of the size is 11 point and bold with black font color(the white text in the start menu and also on the taskbar can be changed to black also). Here are some examples of it, as you can see most all of it is pretty readable except some of the property Windows that font size has not been found anywhere yet along with trying to make it bold.

Jerry
Replace default Windows 7 "Thin Character" Fonts-1.png

Replace default Windows 7 "Thin Character" Fonts-2.png

Name:  New folder Properties.png
Views: 9
Size:  38.9 KB


My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #7

windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 

>It depends on the location there are quite a few areas where the font can be changed, as far as IE 10 goes it >will only affect the drop-down menus

All I meant was, will all the functionality for changing font types, sizes, etc that I now have in Win 7, such as with the personalization and color and appearance options, still be available (example: will I still be able to specifiy, say, text of message box to be Arial Bold 12pt. etc.), what menus use for text of items and so on.

>There are quite a few at deviantart here is an example of one Luna port to Windows 7 -Aero- by ~Satukoro on >deviantART

Yes I had tried that one when I had Stardock running, but it was very limited for customization. Plus, I want the ClassicShell.

>I have a theme I did a while back where the font is Segoe UI and most of the size is 11 point and bold with >black font color(the white text in the start menu and also on the taskbar can be changed to black also). Here >are some examples of it, as you can see most all of it is pretty readable except some of the property Windows >that font size has not been found anywhere yet along with trying to make it bold.

That theme looks pretty good going by the images you posted. Is it available for me to try, and would Classic Shell and the other stuff I mentioned work on it? Can I download it someplace? I think I can handle installing it as a custom theme (I did several with Stardock). If not, I am sure I can do the items you mentioned earlier on customizing changes needed.




>I appreciate the offer to pay me but that's not going to happen I do this voluntarily.

You certainly are a great help here, I appreciate what you have done in this thread to help me out..

Pete B
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

Quote:
All I meant was, will all the functionality for changing font types, sizes, etc that I now have in Win 7, such as with the personalization and color and appearance options, still be available (example: will I still be able to specifiy, say, text of message box to be Arial Bold 12pt. etc.), what menus use for text of items and so on.
Yes you can.


Quote:
That theme looks pretty good going by the images you posted. Is it available for me to try, and would Classic Shell and the other stuff I mentioned work on it? Can I download it someplace? I think I can handle installing it as a custom theme (I did several with Stardock). If not, I am sure I can do the items you mentioned earlier on customizing changes needed.
Classic shell and other stuff should work OK.

I put it in the zip folder and it's at the bottom of this post, and I have it at Arial bold most at 11pt then some at 12 and 14pt if it's not big enough I can change it in just a seconds(font and size).

Download and extract the AeroBold.zip to your desktop on put both 1 AeroBold theme folder and 1 AeroBold.theme file in C:\Windows\Resources\Themes folder.
Replace default Windows 7 "Thin Character" Fonts-aerobold.pngReplace default Windows 7 "Thin Character" Fonts-themes.png


Will show up in Personalization under Installed Themes as AeroBold
Replace default Windows 7 "Thin Character" Fonts-personalization.png


Let me know if you need any changes.

Jerry


Attached Files
File Type: zip AeroBold.zip (872.6 KB, 15 views)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #9

windows 7 pro 64-bit
 
 
Thanks!

Jerry, that's great. I surely appreciate this. I will let you know how it turns out, may be a day or two before I can try it.

Thanks

Pete B
My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Aug 2013   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Win 7 Pro x64 / Win 8.1 Pro
 
 

OK let me know how it goes.

Jerry
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Replace default Windows 7 "Thin Character" Fonts




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