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Text display anomaly - Windows Live Mail

    Question

  • This is from a question that was asked in the Answers networking forum. A user is seeing strange behaviour in parts of the display when viewing WLMail's UI:

     

     

    The left-hand part is what the enquirer sees. The right-hand shows what I see. In both cases, the OS is W7 64-bit, with IE9 installed. The version of WLMail is the latest, 15.4.3508.1109, which uses hardware acceleration like IE9. The font used is the same in both parts of the UI - Segoe UI. I think WLMail uses Silverlight to animate parts of the UI (buttons change colour on hover, for example). The principal difference between the two systems is that the enquirer has an ATI Radeon 5870 adapter; mine is ATI Mobility Radeon HD5650 (I don't know whether the HD is significant), both with the latest drivers available.

    I've suggested repair/re-installation of the app, and trying different aero/basic themes with and without transparency, because the distorted bit looks like there's some transparency quirk involved. Those results aren't in yet, but in the meantime, has anyone seen anything similar, perhaps in other apps? Any idea why this might happen?


    Noel
    • Edited by iFiredogMVP Friday, January 4, 2013 9:47 AM Re-link image
    Monday, June 13, 2011 9:40 AM

Answers

  • I've just experienced the same problem.  It was caused by installing the ATI 11.5 Catalyst driver update from Windows Update.

    To resolve it open Catalyst Control Center, goto the "Gaming" section and untick the top checkbox "Morphological filtering". 

    Apply those settings and then restart Windows Live (making sure the process is actually stopped in task manager before starting it)

     

     

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:24 PM
  • Hi I had this and with the new Nvidia Geforce drivers 301.24 BETA, with this new driver you recieve a new FXAA setting if turned on in global. If so you may want to change to 'off' for wlmail in your program list (if its not there add it), thats what i did back to normal now :D

    • Proposed as answer by tamaran Friday, June 15, 2012 4:28 PM
    • Marked as answer by iFiredogMVP Friday, June 15, 2012 4:35 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 7:37 PM

All replies

  • Heh, someone else who shares my name.  Not that common!

    Has the problem system been updated to ATI's latest display driver?  That's Catalyst 11.5 as of this writing, and it seems pretty stable.

    -Noel

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 1:59 AM
  •  
    That was my first approach, because of the hardware acceleration introduced with KB2454826. I seem to have written in my OP with the latest drivers available. I'm not sure what influence the Catalyst stuff has on text rendering - I looked at it once and decided there was no need to fiddle with anything if I wasn't trying to run games. Toshiba hasn't produced new drivers for my GPU since March 2010, yet everything seems to work perfectly. There's some Silverlight wizardry involved here, so I wonder whether that might not be working properly.
     
    Interestingly, another case cropped up today: Fuzzy font in Windows Mail, where something happened overnight. I'll try and get them to post over at the WLMail forum, where there's a chance of getting a Softie to look at it. I was really wondering whether anyone could recognize the symptoms displayed so graphically in the screenshot from the affected system.
     
    [There don't seem to be many of us around. I keep seeing posts like Noel, you're my hero!!! and feel all warm and fuzzy until I find out that it's you they're referring to...]
     

    Noel
    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 5:02 PM
  • You have my permission to feel warm and fuzzy on my behalf too.  :)

    Hm, I remember a problem with the beta for Visual Studio 2010 early on where the Windows display foundation code was rendering fonts very fuzzy...  It turned out the Visual Studio developers had to make some changes to fix that.  I don't know what they did.

    With anything where GPU acceleration is involved, there is often some configurability, since it's new...  Is there a setting where you can disable the acceleration?  Though GPU acceleration is usually a Good Thing, plotting fonts isn't exactly difficult for the CPU to do, and the difference in performance might not even be noticed.

    Oh, and out of curiosity, does the problem occur if compositing is turned off (e.g., you choose a Windows Basic theme to disable Aero)?  I only ask because it looks like the same kind of blurring that happens when you put a (mostly) transparent title bar in front of some text.

    I don't have the Windows Live Mail program myself, so it's hard for me to suggest anything more specific.

    -Noel

    Tuesday, June 14, 2011 7:29 PM
  • the Windows display foundation code was rendering fonts very fuzzy...

    So would that indicate the possibility of a problem with the .NET framework? How would you suggest troubleshooting that?

    Is there a setting where you can disable the acceleration?

    Nope. (Perhaps by adding the GPU to the software fallback list in the registry, but I wouldn't care to try that.)

    does the problem occur if compositing is turned off (e.g., you choose a Windows Basic theme to disable Aero)?

    Yep, that occurred to me too. The OP says it didn't change anything.

    Apart from the .NET framework question, I think we've exhausted this one. If a resolution turns up, I'll come back and wrap this up. In the meantime, thanks for your help.


    Noel
    Wednesday, June 15, 2011 5:33 PM
  • I've just experienced the same problem.  It was caused by installing the ATI 11.5 Catalyst driver update from Windows Update.

    To resolve it open Catalyst Control Center, goto the "Gaming" section and untick the top checkbox "Morphological filtering". 

    Apply those settings and then restart Windows Live (making sure the process is actually stopped in task manager before starting it)

     

     

    Tuesday, June 21, 2011 9:24 PM
  • Thanks, Paul. I've passed on the solution to the original enquirers.
     

    Noel
    Wednesday, June 22, 2011 4:57 PM
  • Hi All,

    I know this thread is a bit old but wanted to thank Paul and everyone for solving the blurries for me. I had tried reinstalls, fonts, a bit of Mo Jo magic to no avail. Finding the "cure" for the issue has made my day (my month as well). Thank you again to all.

     

    Sincerely,

    T.Christoffersen

     

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 7:58 PM
  • For those in need of a step by step tutorial, you can find one here & it shows all the steps you need to go through to fix the problem: Fix Fuzzy Fonts/Blurry Text Problem in Windows Live Applications & Internet Browsers
    • Proposed as answer by Ciprian RusenMVP Wednesday, September 21, 2011 8:05 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by iFiredogMVP Wednesday, September 21, 2011 8:48 PM
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 8:05 PM
  • This is the same solution as that posted by Paul_Hickman. Note that it only applies to some of the display adapters listed in the tutorial - for example, it doesn't apply to my ATI Mobility Radeon HD5650. Nonetheless, a neat tutorial for those it applies to...
    Noel
    • Proposed as answer by Tom1982 Thursday, April 19, 2012 7:35 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Tom1982 Thursday, April 19, 2012 7:35 PM
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 8:55 PM
  • Hi I had this and with the new Nvidia Geforce drivers 301.24 BETA, with this new driver you recieve a new FXAA setting if turned on in global. If so you may want to change to 'off' for wlmail in your program list (if its not there add it), thats what i did back to normal now :D

    • Proposed as answer by tamaran Friday, June 15, 2012 4:28 PM
    • Marked as answer by iFiredogMVP Friday, June 15, 2012 4:35 PM
    Thursday, April 19, 2012 7:37 PM
  • YES!!!

    I experienced just now that exact problem with blurry sides of my Windows Live Mail.

    I foundt that "Morphological filtering"-checkbox like you write, and unticking it solved the problem.

    You are KING, Paul.

    Lots of thanks form a gratefull Dane 

    Sunday, April 29, 2012 9:09 AM
  • Nvidia Geforce users...this did it for me!!
    Friday, June 15, 2012 4:29 PM