Only days after putting this page onto the Web, Microsoft released their own free version of the upgrade: the Windows 95 Font Smoother. It seems a shame to remove mine so quickly, so I'll leave it here for now...

TTechNote: Smooth Fonts without the Plus! pack in Windows 95

Although 'Font Smoothing' was in all beta versions of Windows 95, the release version normally needs the so-called 'Plus!' pack to unlock the feature. Thanks to Kaspar Brand for this step-by-step guide to enable font smoothing in Windows 95 without the Plus! pack.

IMPORTANT: Before making any changes to system files, make backups of the old versions so you can restore them if anything goes wrong.

  1. Download COOL.DLL (3K).
    N.B. This file is originally part of the FTP archive which is kindly made available by c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik (Hannover, Germany). This archive also contains the source code for COOL.DLL, which is not based on Microsoft code.

  2. Move COOL.DLL to your Windows system directory.

  3. Copy the following eight lines to a text file and give it the name "COOL.REG":
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Control Panel\Desktop]

  4. Import COOL.REG into the registry. You can do this either by double-clicking on the file in Explorer or by manually importing the file in the registry editor. You can now delete COOL.REG if you wish.

  5. Add the following line to the [TrueType] section in WIN.INI (create the section if it does not yet exist):

  6. Reboot your machine.

You should now have anti-aliased TrueType fonts as well as the "drag full windows" functionality. Note that both are a per-user setting, i.e., if you change your user profile, you need to add the last two entries from step 3 above once again.

Limitation: Only the Plus! pack lets you switch anti-aliasing on and off on-the-fly, from the Control Panel.

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