Which Font Does Windows 7 GUI Use, and Why?


Have you ever wondered the same questions? Look at the following Control Panel window, do you know which font has been used?

image17 - Which Font Does Windows 7 GUI Use, and Why?

Yes, it’s Segoe UI font at size 9 for normal text, like blue color ones in the picture.

image18 - Which Font Does Windows 7 GUI Use, and Why?

According to Windows User Experience Interaction Guidelines, a 800+ pages free guideline from Microsoft.

Segoe UI is an approachable, open, and friendly typeface, and as a result has better readability than Tahoma, Microsoft Sans Serif, and Arial.

Segoe UI is optimized for ClearType, which is on by default in Windows. With ClearType enabled, Segoe UI is an elegant, readable font. Without ClearType enabled, Segoe UI is only marginally acceptable. This factor determines when you should use Segoe UI.

So yes, because of the population of LCD monitors and the wide-adopted ClearType on Windows, it seems no reason why you shouldn’t be using this Font. Indeed, it’s a Windows Font intended for user interface text strings.


  1. I highly recommend installing gdi++ or gdipp on Windows; it emulates the smooth font rendering as seen on OSX and it makes Windows 7 look even more incredible. GDI++ works on x86/x64 while gdipp only works on x86.

    • Thanks for sharing.

      GDI++ is a useful little tool that would enhance the font rendering on XP and Vista, but not so much on Windows 7. Windows 7 already did a good job on that.


  2. You’ve got it backwards, John. gdi++ is an x86-only proposition. gdipp supports both x86 and x64. Its owner and contributors seem to be very active — or *had been* until a recent quiet spell over the last fortnight — so it’s a project that likely bears watching.

    And, uh, Kent, opinions is opinions is opinions. Which is another way of saying that — surprise! — in my opinion, yer flat-out wrong about native Win7 gdi font-rendering versus gdi++. The folks with the gdipp project say they plan to support directwrite and at least one other api, in addition to gdi+. So you might want to check it out.


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