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How to improve the appearance of your handwriting font

On-screen

You may find that your handwriting font does not look as good on-screen as other 'printed type' fonts. This is because there are less perfect horizontal and vertical lines. If you increase the point size of your font (usually it is a number in a box after the font name in the application you are using) it should improve the appearance.

Using 'Clear Type'

'Clear Type' is a way that Microsoft improves the appearance of fonts when rendered on a screen. Some versions of Windows already use Clear Type by default. Older versions require you to switch it on.

Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10

Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10 already have 'Clear Type' turned on by default.

Windows XP

You can also improve the appearance on screen in Windows XP by switching on 'Clear Type' if you haven't done so already. An easy way to do this, and test the clear type settings, is to go to Microsoft's Clear Type page at http://www.microsoft.com/typography/cleartype/tuner/1.htm
Alternatively, go to Start > Control Panel > Appearance & themes > Display > Appearance Effects > Use the following method to smooth screen fonts - Select 'Clear Type'. This anti-aliases (smoothes the jagged edges) on fonts and can improve the appearance significantly.

If you have installed Internet Explorer 8 this automatically turns on 'Clear Type.

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On paper

Your handwriting font will look great when printed on paper. Here are some way to make it look even better:

Printing and Colour

Use your best printer settings and change the colour of the text to blue. This gives more of a handwritten look.

Everyone should have their own handwriting in the font menu...

Font Size

Change the point size of your font so that the printed letters are about the same size as your actual handwriting. You may need to experiment a few times by changing the size and printing out a test page to get this just right. (Premium and Premium 'Ultra' Service users will be told the best size to use).

Line Spacing

Example of a handwriting font with overlapping lines

Another way to improve the realistic effect of your handwriting font is to overlap the lines, as many writers do when writing naturally. In Microsoft Word for example, you have good control over the level of line overlap from the Paragraph menu.

How to open the Paragraph menu in Microsoft Word:

Microsoft Word 2004 or earlier
Click 'Format' on the menu and then 'Paragraph' .

Paragraph menu showing line spacing buttonMicrosoft Word 2007 or later
These instructions use Microsoft Word 2007 as an example. Microsoft now has several different versions of Office / Word, so if you have problems finding the settings in your version we suggest you conduct a search for how to do this in the version that you have.

Click on the 'Home' tab and in the Paragraph menu select the line spacing button (arrowed on diagram).

With any of the above you will then see a window similar to that shown below:

Microsoft Word paragraph options window

In the 'Spacing' section, in the 'Line spacing' options, change the Line spacing to 'Exactly' using the drop down box and experiment with different point sizes until it recreates the amount of line overlap that your handwriting normally exhibits.

When you view the text on screen whilst adjusting the line spacing, many versions of Microsoft Word show that the top and bottom parts of the characters have been 'chopped off' - even in 'Print Preview'. Don't worry - try a print-out of your document and you will see that this effect disappears, and you will be amazed at how much more realistic the handwriting font looks.

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