If you spend the majority of your day staring at one or more screens, then you might be feeling the effects from computer vision syndrome (CVS). Side effects of CVS include headache, eye twitching, and physical fatigue, and affects 50-90% of computer workers. If you suffer from CVS symptoms, Windows has a helpful feature to adjust the text settings called ClearType.
Think of ClearType like an eye exam from your computer, on how to best set up your display for your eyes. ClearType works by showing you seventeen slides with text, and asking you to choose which slides appear the clearest. At the end of the tutorial, Windows will adjust the text settings on your PC to work optimally with your eyesight. With the text settings now working best for your eyes, you should notice less strain on your eyes.
To get started with ClearType, go to the Control Panel from the start menu. You will notice a search form in the upper right-hand corner, to bring up ClearType, type cleartype in the form. You will now see the Display icon; directly below this you will see a link that says Adjust ClearType text, click this to start the ClearType tutorial.
Before you click the Next icon, you will want to make sure the box next to Turn on Cleartype has a checkmark, it should be checked automatically. With your box checked, click the Next button. If you are using multiple monitors, ClearType will begin by asking you which monitors you want adjust the text settings on, as well as confirm the current resolutions settings.
You will now begin the ClearType tutorial by going through four pages of text boxes and choosing which box on each page looks the clearest. After you make your choice on the first page, you will proceed to the second, third, and fourth pages by clicking the Next icon. You have now come to the end of the ClearType tutorial, click on the Finish button to have Windows automatically adjust your display setting to best fit your eyesight.
People with 20/20 vision may not notice any major changes, but if you have vision problems, then the difference may be immediately noticeable. If you have been struggling with CVS, these new display settings should help alleviate your symptoms by causing less strain on your eyes. Less headaches means you will be in a better mood at work, this can lead to greater productivity and perhaps even more friends.
If you are still experiencing CVS symptoms, here are a few additional tips you can try out on your workstation that will help you see even more clearly.
- Screen Distance. The maximum monitor viewing distance is 20-24 inches from your eyes, and the center of your screen is recommended at 10 to 15 degrees below your eye line.
- Adjust Settings. Tweak various display settings and see if you notice any positive differences. Small adjustments to brightness, text size, color temperature, and contrast can make for a smoother viewing experience.
- Glare and Lighting. Too much light can be a bad thing. Extra light can cause glare on your screen; in which case, the glare will cancel out adjustments to the display settings. Use dim lighting and position your monitor in a spot to minimize glare.
- New Monitor. If you have not yet switched out your big CRT monitor for an LCD, you now have an excuse because LCD monitors are easier on the eyes.
With just a few adjustments, you should be able to see more clearly, alleviate eye strain, and be more productive. Be sure to check back here next week for more tips that will help make technology work better for you!