Why is my monitor text blury, sometimes?

About a week ago I got into work to find my computer had reset due to a Windows Update (I checked it was just Windows Defender updating). I didn’t think much of it until I got to FireFox and noticed that it looked…different. Honestly, I just thought it was zoomed out, or in, or something, I wasn’t quite sure yet. I tried zooming back and forth, hit Ctrl-0 but I couldn’t get it quite right and wasn’t too worried about it at that point. As I went through my day, I noticed that Google results looked odd, but message boards (for the most part) looked fine. Quickbooks had parts of words missing in some areas but other areas looked just fine. Open Offce Calc (Excel) looked like everything was a bit ‘shorter’, but I still can’t quite put my finger on what’s wrong with that. In some places underscores don’t show up, it makes looking at email address very strange.

After realizing how sporadic this was, I reset my computer a few times, power cycled the monitor, made sure the VGA cord was tight, updated the driver, but nothing. I even had someone else come and look at it to make sure it wasn’t just me. To be clear, if a random person used my computer that hadn’t been starting it for the past few years, they probably wouldn’t notice it, but when I pointed out the specific examples it was pretty easy for them to see that something was wrong.

What’s really interesting is that I’m able to get screen shots. That means, it’s not the monitor or the cable for sure. What I don’t know, is where the screen shot is grabbed from. That is, I don’t know if this indicates a bad video card or whatever sends the feed to the video card or just that something somewhere is wonky, a setting that can be fixed.

Anyways, here’s some of that I’m seeing, hopefully you can see it too, I know I can see it on my phone.

This is QuickBooks. This is a perfect example of ‘you wouldn’t know something was wrong’, but if you look, you’ll see the the tops of all the words (next to the empty fields) is missing.

Here’s a PDF at 100%, if I look at this same PDF in Acrobat instead of Firefox, it looks perfectly crisp.

Here’s an email I got sometime in the last few days. It really does look just like that.

Finally, here’s a screen shot of some random Google results. For the first few days they looked like everything else, now they got stranger. The summaries look fine, but you’ll notice that any letter in a heading that has a rounded top, has a little dot over it.

Just quickly checking IE doesn’t give me any of these problems and Chrome gives me the same ones, but this extends beyond browsers, so I’m really not sure what’s going on.

Also, it doesn’t have anything to do with where on my monitor the messed up text is, if something is blurry or illegible or has a little dot over it, it’ll move with the text if I move the window or scroll the text around.

Check your Clear Type settings.

Checked that, it was on, turning it off made everything considerably worse.’

ETA, I mean I checked it just now, per your suggestion.

Seems there is a problem after a Windows 8x update.

Sorry, Vista, I did try a handful of the suggestions to no avail.

It’s not you. Other people are having the same problem with Firefox on Vista: Is it just my imagination or have the fonts gotten even uglier? - Meta Stack Overflow

Probably the same underlying cause as the issue linked by Duckster.

Vista?! Well, there’s your problem right there! :slight_smile:

On my work computer, I find one of the screens sometimes gets a little fuzzy. I change the screen resolution to something worse, then back to what it should be. That clears it up.

It’s very odd, and I haven’t spent the time debugging it yet.

Fixed it, thanks guys.

Just kidding, I wouldn’t leave a thread like this without an answer.
I’ve spend over a week staring at this horrible screen, searching for an answer every day. Finally found this thread and from it and the various links within it, I’ve learned that that a recent Windows Security Update KB3013455 did something wonky to ClearType (or something else related to the fonts). As others in that and the other linked to threads, and I can verify, removing that update restores everything back to normal.

joey_p … thanks for updating we members as to the resolution … microsoft seems to have re-released that security-patch … thereby, you can still have the benefit which the patch offers. pls read this article: Microsoft surreptitiously reissues KB 3013455 for Vista, Windows Server 2003 | InfoWorld

Dude! I thought it was just me. It was happening in Word and Firefox. I thought my eyes had just taken a turn for the worse, but my latest optometrist appointment was a few weeks ago, and nothing had changed. You’ve saved my sanity. And ha, I’m also still running Vista at home.

See, this is why we come back and update threads.

Also, I tried the fix above to install the proper update and it didn’t work. It just said ‘does not apply to this system’ or something along those lines. I couldn’t even reinstall the bad update from that link, getting the same error. My next step would be to let Windows Update reinstall the bad update and then see if I can install the patch.

I’ll just watch Windows Update for a while and see if the patch comes down that way.