Text appearing pixelated in IE7


I’ve built a site for a client which looks fine on all our computers here (including an old PC with IE6 and a newer one with IE7). However, on two of the client’s computers (but not a third), both running Win XP SP2 and IE7, the text looks really blocky and pixelated. We can’t replicate the problem here so are struggling to work out what to do, and haven’t found much info on the net.

I’ve seen it suggested that text which has opacity set will appear pixelated in IE7 but I’m not using opacity.

What bugs me is that all three computers (two that look dodgy and one that looks fine) are using the exact same version of IE (7.0.5730.13). As far as I can tell other websites look OK on their computers.

I thought it might have been to do with Cleartype so tried turning it on (and off) and checked in the IE preferences and it’s set to use Cleartype for web pages. I’ve also checked that text size is set to medium, but even on large the letters look weird.

I can’t post a link 'cos I’m new, but here’s a screenshot of the problem:

Check out the ‘c’ in Contact at the top, the 'e’s in the nav and the 'a’s in the body copy, but also the general letter spacing.

If anyone can shed any light on this I’d be so grateful!



I am right in thinking it is text via CSS and not actually the images. Also is the font common on all the machines?

Yeah, it’s HTML/CSS and it’s all in Arial - should be common across every computer :slight_smile:

The only text part of that image that isn’t live text is the logo.

Actually, I think you’ve nudged me in the right direction by mentioning fonts, and I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. I’d had my CSS set as:

font: 62.5% Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif;

rather than:

font: 62.5% Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;

So for some reason, those machines must have had a weird version of Helvetica on them which displayed badly. Changing that has fixed the problem and the client is happy!

Thanks for your (inadvertent) help!


No problem. I had a funny feeling there would be a slightly different version of font because I have seen similar with regards to a font called ‘Souvenir’ and its cousins having slightly different spacing.

Next, I would have suggested Zoom the page, turn-off images and show the naked CSS.

Anyway, I forgot to mention you probably could have covertly posted the URL if you had missed of the http:// www and used spaces where the dots should have been thus not creating a link but giving enough information to visit the site. I assume new members cannot always post hyper-links within posts by what you say as they may consider it self-promo.

Kind of join-the-dots. :slight_smile:

I did try zooming the page and it was still the same, so it wasn’t just small font sizes that were causing it. I started to wonder if Arial was corrupted somehow on that machine but the fact it was happening on two made that even less likely. But I never thought those PCs would have Helvetica and that it’d struggle to display correctly.

Yeah, I did think about trying to sneak a link in but then realised I could post a screenshot instead.

I have learned to my sorrow that getting “free” versions of Helvetica off the Web causes nothing but problems. They are awful, horribly pixelated knockoffs, and in one case, caused pages with headers in Helvetica to display those headers in random Cyrillic characters. :fire:

Not saying this is the cause of your specific problem, but worth noting.