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You can change system fonts in Windows 7 using the Window Color and Appearance dialog - if you can find it, that is. I'll show you.

How do I change my fonts? On Windows 7, where are they?

I assume that you mean your system fonts - the fonts used by the system itself as it displays windows, menus, and other things.

There used to be a handy little dialog that allowed you to change all sorts of system-related appearance settings. The trick is finding it.

The magical path

This takes just a few steps that make it pretty clear why no one can find this.

Open Control Panel.

Now, in the search box for the Control Panel, enter "window color":

Window Color entry into Control Panel's search

In the search results, click on the link Change window colors and metrics.

The result:

Window Color and Appearance dialog in Windows 7

To those of you who are used to making these changes in earlier versions of Windows, such as Windows XP, this is a very familiar dialog. Other than the steps for locating it, not much has changed.

Window Color and Appearance and Aero

As you can see by the text in the dialog itself, one thing that has changed is the addition of the Aero theme to Windows 7.

Aero used advanced techniques to display many of the items that would normally be controlled by the settings in this dialog. As a result, the Window Color and Appearance dialog does not apply when using Aero; you'll need to be using one of the more traditional styles, as indicated.

Window Color and Appearance ... and more

One common question that I've received from people moving to Windows 7 from Windows XP is how should they control the spacing of icons on their desktop and elsewhere.

That also is covered by the Window Color and Appearance dialog:

Icon Spacing (Horizontal) in the Window Color and Appearance dialog

In fact, there are several setting that are adjustable here:

Window Color and Appearance dialog settings

If you want to experiment here, that's fine. Just make sure to write down or otherwise save the original settings so that you can always revert back to them.

Article C4818 - May 14, 2011 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

May 17, 2011 4:04 PM

There's an easier way. Right click on a desktop empty space. Left click on Personalize. At the bottom of that window you'll see Windows Color. Left click on it and then click on Advanced appearance and settings. Hmmmm! Perhaps no easier after all.

December 8, 2011 12:18 AM

My fujitsu labtop has one problem after installing the imejp (japanese fonts). After this, when I type the "\" key , this key appear as Japanese yen symbol.Moreover, this symbol appear in "enviroment variable". So, please answer me to solve this key wrong problem.

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