I have been developing a lot of Windows 7 gadgets lately.

The max suggested height and width are 400x400 but ideally 300x400 is the area I develop a gadget in. Now a lot of rendering is being done in iframes , and gadgets have a tendency to distort text due to aliasing.

I would want some help , as to which font should I use, as the space is constrained and rendering ends up with font aliased.

  • I don't know anything about developing Windows gadgets, but from your mention of iframes, it sounds like they're effectively small webpages, so assume you'd be using CSS/HTML to specify the text?
    – e100
    Feb 24, 2011 at 8:55
  • I think you do need to add a bit more information here on how fonts are specified, as it's quite a specialist area of design.
    – e100
    Feb 24, 2011 at 19:00

4 Answers 4


If the user interface is only intended for Windows, then I would suggest sticking with Tahoma. It is Window's default font (I believe at 9 pt) for all interface elements and is clearly readable at small sizes.

  • 1
    Didn't that change to Segoe UI in Vista?
    – e100
    Feb 24, 2011 at 16:13
  • I think you're right. Either way, I would recommend the OS default because they (Microsoft) has already gone over all of these issues. Feb 24, 2011 at 16:16

Generally, when developing applications within an OS, you just inherit the current system font, whatever that is, rather than specifying a font explicitly. I'm pretty sure that's the case for default Windows gadgets, like the weather one.

Games, which generally run full screen are a notable exception.

  • I hate most applications that deviate from the UI style (and UX guidelines) of the host OS. With the exception of iTunes and Adobe apps, they're almost always incredibly tacky and have poor usability. And even if your particular widget/app is well-designed, it's not aesthetically pleasing for every app on the desktop to have a different UI style. Jan 29, 2012 at 4:06

i would suggest :

  1. Times new roman
  2. verdana
  3. arial unicode ms
  4. Arial

if you are using Photoshop to discover text then click on text layer and click on anti alias none by this you'll come to know how your font will look like when anti alias turned of..

hope this will help :)

  • Times New Roman (serifs) and Verdana (wide characters) are not good choices when working in a constricted screen space.
    – Farray
    Jan 29, 2012 at 4:06
  • Suggestion's never goes for particular choice...
    – Jack
    Jan 30, 2012 at 4:57

I don't know the basics of gadgets, but if you can specify 3rd party fonts, then look at so-called pixel or bitmap fonts ( e.g. http://www.dafont.com/bitmap.php ). They are specifically designed for sub-9px size.

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