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Why is the Expression Blend UI blurry? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Howdy!

    I'm excited about doing some Silverlight development now that Silverlight 2 is released, so last night I installed Expression Blend 2 and applied SP1 to it.  I was just getting started with the Blend tool, but after about 5 minutes I found my eyes were hurting from looking at the text in the Blend UI.  Comparing it to any other prohram I use, all the text is extremely blurry (menus, tool windows, etc).  It's similar to the experience I had after installing Vista or Office 2007 for the first time but much, much worse.  In Vista and Office, I was able to fix the blur by disabling ClearType, but that setting doesn't seem to have any effect on Blend.  Is there a setting I'm missing that will turn that effect off?  I can't use a tool that makes my eyes hurt after just a few minutes...

    Thanks in advance for any advice.
    Wednesday, October 15, 2008 7:02 PM

Answers

  • clintx,

    Expression Blend not only builds WPF applications, it is a WPF application.  You will probably notice this blurring in other WPF applications, as well.

    To the best of my knowledge, one cannot disable the ClearType used in WPF, but you may want to try the Windows ClearType Tuner or the ClearType Tuner PowerToy to tweak it so it is more comfortable on your eyes. 

    Best regards,

    Jonathan - MSFT

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by clintx Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:15 PM
    Wednesday, October 15, 2008 11:28 PM

All replies

  • clintx,

    Expression Blend not only builds WPF applications, it is a WPF application.  You will probably notice this blurring in other WPF applications, as well.

    To the best of my knowledge, one cannot disable the ClearType used in WPF, but you may want to try the Windows ClearType Tuner or the ClearType Tuner PowerToy to tweak it so it is more comfortable on your eyes. 

    Best regards,

    Jonathan - MSFT

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confers no rights
    • Marked as answer by clintx Thursday, October 16, 2008 4:15 PM
    Wednesday, October 15, 2008 11:28 PM
  • As a side note to what Jonathan has advised, you should also check to see that you have the latest video card drivers and that Blend is running in a full hardware accelerated mode. You can check this in the Help -> About menu in Blend.

     

    Cheers


    Expression MVP

    Learn Expression Blend at learnexpressionstudio.com

    my blog : http://x-coders.com/blogs/sneaky/default.aspx

    Thursday, October 16, 2008 2:57 PM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for the replies, Jonathan and Brennon.

    Based on Jonathan's feedback, I was able to track down a very good whitepaper on the WPF text rendering issues

    http://windowsclient.net/wpf/white-papers/wpftextclarity.aspx

    The good news is, following the tips in that document, I was able to improve the readability fairly significantly.  Now Expression Blend is usable, but only barely.  It still induces eye strain, especially when moving back and forth between Blend and my other apps with very crisp text (like Visual Studio, Expression Web, and IE).

    The bad news is, to get it to the barely usable state it's in required some manual registry edits.  Even worse, the gist of the above whitepaper seems to be "yeah, we know WPF text is blurry, but fixing it is hard, so live with it".

    So, I'm assuming Silverlight will have exactly the same issues, which rules out my using it.  There's no way I can ask my users to just live with blurry text or do some manual registry edits to clear it up (and not even completely).  What really surprises me is that Microsoft thinks it's acceptable to do just that.  Thanks, but no thanks...

    It's a shame, really.  Silverlight has a lot to offer, but Flash/Flex produces very nice text, and in business apps, that trumps almost everything else.

    Thursday, October 16, 2008 3:51 PM