Replace Segoe with visible fonts in Windows 7: Tiresias

Virtual Keyboard has become my default onscreen keyboard at work and is working quite well, especially since I perpetually tweak the dictionary. However, owing to my eyestrain, I like bold letters on my keyboard even if I shrink it, which is only possible if I increase the DPI in Windows. (Control Panel > Display > Set custom text size.)  Virtual Keyboard’s setting dialog, unfortunately, distorts itself past 165 or so on my laptop–things overlap and you lose the button to start feeding a file to the dictionary. So I thought a bit.

In the Custom DPI, it says “9 pt Segoe at X dots per inch.” That’s the base font size it’s working from, which is awfully small depending on your screen resolution. Even if you change some of the element and font sizes through Personalization, your base system font size will still be the same. So I wanted to see if there were fonts that looked bigger or bolder at 9pt than Segoe.

Looking up fonts designed for visual impairment seemed like a good place to start. I found Tiresias and installed it after deciding it was clear enough for what I wanted. Then, I had to replace Segoe with Tiresias. To do this:

1. Go to Start, type regedit and press Enter.

2. Expand Computer, then HK_LOCAL_MACHINE.

3. Expand SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows NT > Current Version, then highlight Fonts.

4. Go down the list until you find instances of Segoe. You might want to make a note of their data columns in case you want to change it back. You can also look it up in Control Panel–Fonts by right clicking it (or Shift F10 or Menu key) and choosing Properties.

5. Right click Segoe and choose Modify. In the Data field, enter Tiresias Infofont.TFF and press Enter. (Or whichever Tiresias variant you installed.) Do this for as many instances of Segoe as you care to. (I didn’t bother with Script or Print.)

6. Restart.

You might have to put some of your Personalization settings back. But straight off, I noticed that text was crisper. Best of all, I didn’t need to increase the DPI as much to get the bold letters. And if I wanted to, I could increase it up to 170-something with no major distortion.

This would work for any compatible font, I think. It’s nice to no longer have the eyestrain. Another common font is APHont, which I haven’t tried.

Note: If you use the Registry option in CCleaner, you might want to uncheck Fonts.

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