Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 21:40 UTC
Graphics, User Interfaces The Engineering 7 weblog has an item about the improvements made in the ClearType font rendering technology which has been included in Windows since Windows XP. While I won't go too deeply into that post, I did figure it was a good opportunity to talk about font antialiasing in general; which type do you prefer?
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Comment by Laurence
by Laurence on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 21:56 UTC
Laurence
Member since:
2007-03-26

I tend to prefer a slight anti-alias; but at the end of the day, I just want to read text, not make love to it. So as long as the text is easy to read, then that's good enough for me.

Same goes for the fonts used. Over the years I've seen some poor, non-standard choices of fonts on some applications / websites. A choice that was clearly picked for aesthetics rather than readability.

Reply Score: 5

Cleartype
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 21:59 UTC
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

For all of the reasons Thom mentioned.

The RISC OS mention is interesting for someone who's never played with it before. Those are some nice readable fonts, no question. The readability on a textured background is impressive, but it still just seems wrong. Text on textures shouldn't be done. It just conjures up in my mind some truly bad, ugly interfaces. Maybe that's just my preconception due to never really seeing text properly presented on textures. I think one of the options in VB6 was to change the window frame color to a texture ( or that might have been a third party control, Its been a while). It was ugly as sin.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Cleartype
by jokkel on Wed 24th Jun 2009 08:12 UTC in reply to "Cleartype"
jokkel Member since:
2008-07-07

Remember Mac OS X's Brushed Metal theme http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brushed_Metal_(interface) ?
There you have it: text on texture. And it's not that bad really.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Cleartype
by B12 Simon on Wed 24th Jun 2009 09:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Cleartype"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

Which demonstrates that it depends on the texture.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Cleartype
by dylansmrjones on Wed 24th Jun 2009 10:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cleartype"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

...and the chosen font rendering.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Cleartype
by Bill Shooter of Bul on Thu 25th Jun 2009 00:50 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Cleartype"
Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, yeah. I mean, brushed metal *is* a texture, but a really *good* texture. It uses a variation in color to simulate something I'd recognize in real life: brushed metal. Most of the Textures from the 90's were crap-o-rific(TM) variations in coloring for the purpose of variating the color. It didn't really look like anything you'd normally see in your everyday life.

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Cleartype
by B12 Simon on Thu 25th Jun 2009 09:21 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Cleartype"
B12 Simon Member since:
2006-11-08

True. We should all be thankful that image backgrounds have gone out of fashion (with exceptions like MySpace of course).

Reply Score: 2

Not ClearType
by Toonie on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 22:03 UTC
Toonie
Member since:
2007-11-19

I'm sorry, I'm not a big fan of ClearType for 2 reasons. Firstly, because it uses sub-pixel rendering, unless it is 'tuned' to your LCD screen, then the effect is of having colour fringes around the text. This I find hard on my eyes. Secondly, is that even if you do tune ClearType, then if you take a screenshot of the desktop and send it to someone, then they will see the ClearType fonts tuned to 'your' screen, not theirs. I tend to hate sub-pixel anti-aliasing in general, though it looks OK on my Windows Mobile smartphone.

I am rather used to Windows standard anti-aliased rendering, but I agree that FreeType has come along way, and I think I would prefer it if I used Linux for long enough.

Regards,
Toonie.

Reply Score: 3

Readability
by drstorm on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 22:04 UTC
drstorm
Member since:
2009-04-24

I prefer on-screen readability.
Of course, that's because I read a lot, but I don't really print that often. Even when I do print, accuracy is not an issue, since I am not a publisher.

I think ClearType does a pretty nice job. Now, I don't know if they improved the engine in Vista (compared to XP), but I really started using it when I first installed Vista. (Works just fine on 7, of course.) On XP, I used the 'Standard font smoothing'.

Also, I considered Linux's (FreeType) rendering superior to XP's.

Now, Mac. Thom was right. It does seem "fuzzy" to me, as I'm a Windows user.
I meant to say: "I'm a PC.", but it just sounded too lame. ;)

Reply Score: 2

no font-antialiasing on my pc
by smashIt on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 22:28 UTC
smashIt
Member since:
2005-07-06

it's allways one of the first things i disable after setting up a pc

Reply Score: 5

RE: no font-antialiasing on my pc
by helf on Wed 24th Jun 2009 16:20 UTC in reply to "no font-antialiasing on my pc"
helf Member since:
2005-07-06

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that does that. AA is NOT that great, at least to me. I never use it. Tends to blur and smish fonts making them hard to read.

Reply Score: 2

Depends on the app
by orestes on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 22:32 UTC
orestes
Member since:
2005-07-06

If I'm doing printed work I want accuracy to take precedence over readability, otoh, if I'm staring at a terminal for hours writing code I want readability first and foremost

Reply Score: 2

Depends on the application
by jjezabek on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 22:41 UTC
jjezabek
Member since:
2005-08-07

When used in UIs - readability is the most important thing. But of course this has lots of drawbacks, e.g. a 8 point Times New Roman/Helvetica looks totally different than a 9 or 10 point version of the same font. It has different weight, spacing, etc. This is of course a problem in word processing and (even more) DTP applications - to get a feeling of how the printed text will look like, you have to zoom it 2 or 3 times.

Btw. grid-fitting is done on all major platforms. Also on Windows it's not only used by Cleartype (the renderer with sub-pixel precision), it's even more critical when using normal antialiasing or no antialiasing at all. On Mac OS X the edges are a bit more blurry and the font looks a bit heavier, but IMO this does not affect readability adversely. With FreeType the results are very close to Windows - hinted TrueType fonts look almost identical using both renderers (when the patented grid-fitting code is enabled).

Reply Score: 2

Mac font rendering sucks & blows IMHO
by kragil on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 23:09 UTC
kragil
Member since:
2006-01-04

On a Mac you just need high resolution monitors, because otherwise small fonts just look ridiculous. _I_ cannot stand the way the Mac handles fonts. I print next to nothing and couldn't care less for accuracy.

I just want to read.

Reply Score: 2

middleware Member since:
2006-05-11

All you think this way is because you may too English-center. English letter is one of the most simply character shape in the world so Windows' ClearType can survive so long.

Have you ever read Chinese (especially Traditional, unsimplified Chinese) characters (especially in Italy style)? You will found ClearType's rendering is a nightmare. Moreover, Windows actually use pixel-based font shape directly for small font size, that means the character shape for some very complex Chinese character is WRONG.

Basically, preferring so-called "readability" over accuracy is a way simply not sustainable and not scalable.

Reply Score: 4

joshv Member since:
2006-03-18

All you think this way is because you may too English-center. English letter is one of the most simply character shape in the world so Windows' ClearType can survive so long.


It's called the Roman, or Latin alphabet. Used for almost all European languages, not just English.

Reply Score: 2

middleware Member since:
2006-05-11

Yes. Thanks for the correction. Actually I had that word in my mind but I was lazy to check it out from dictionary. So sorry blame to English but the point is still valid that there is other languages whose characters are way complicated than Latin. So the way preferring accuracy over so-called "readability" is more sustainable and scalable.

Reply Score: 1

KrimZon Member since:
2009-06-24

The whole issue will disappear when monitors become high enough resolution that you can't resolve pixels at normal distances, and the OSX way of rendering fonts should look fine. My brother and I found that this happened when holding an iPhone at around arms length.

Edited 2009-06-24 12:54 UTC

Reply Score: 1

The one thing like better about Windows
by Moochman on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 23:32 UTC
Moochman
Member since:
2005-07-06

Yup, I like ClearType too. Admittedly I've gotten used to the Mac way, but with the subpixel rendering everything just looks amazingly sharp--I love it.

As for color fringing due to not being "synced" with your LCD, I think (but I'm not sure) that that's becoming less of a problem, because I haven't noticed it much recently. Maybe the color order on LCDs has become more uniform.

Reply Score: 3

Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Oh wait... there's one more thing I like better about Windows: I like Explorer better than Finder (though with Vista it's stretching it).

Reply Score: 1

Depends
by abraxas on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 23:56 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

It really depends. I prefer readability to shape accuracy but shape accuracy is more important for DTP work, although it's quite annoying when you're not doing DTP work. The best compromise would be to use shape accuracy only in DTP applications and err on the side of readability otherwise.

Reply Score: 2

Best for screen or best for print
by Angel Blue01 on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 23:56 UTC
Angel Blue01
Member since:
2006-11-01

Since I mostly read computerized text on screen I prefer Cleartype, updated packages for freetype make fonts look almost as good as Windows 7. On the other hand I do sometimes print stuff so the Mac rendering looks better there. I wish the system could switch the font rendering system/appearence depending on whether it was being displayed on screen or being sent to a printer.

Reply Score: 1

BeOS, pre-bitstream engine.
by bryanv on Tue 23rd Jun 2009 23:58 UTC
bryanv
Member since:
2005-08-26

Granted, the bitstream engine was post R5, but I'd give the first knuckle of my left pinky to be able to use the BeOS font renderer on OS X.

I really miss that thing.

As for another aside: I've -never- gotten sub-pixel rendering to work appropriately. Every freaking time the fonts end up with weird colors on the curved borders. I understand the theory, but I've -never- appreciated the results. Frankly, I hate it. First thing I disable.

Reply Score: 4

LCD sub-pixel
by zlynx on Wed 24th Jun 2009 23:47 UTC in reply to "BeOS, pre-bitstream engine."
zlynx Member since:
2005-07-20

You must have your screen resolution set to the LCD native resolution.

If you don't, sub-pixel anti-aliasing will never work properly.

Another thing that makes sub-pixel impossible is a monitor with too-large pixels like a 40+ inch HDTV. Another HDTV problem is sometimes in the display settings, if it is trying too hard to "improve" image quality with "sharpening", etc.

Reply Score: 2

Shape accuracy with provisions
by bousozoku on Wed 24th Jun 2009 00:16 UTC
bousozoku
Member since:
2006-01-23

Having seen a lot of odd renderings of typefaces, I want shape accuracy first. The problem is that a lot of people designing for the display vs. the printed page, don't choose typefaces that are appropriate and have the inbuilt quality necessary to be displayed well on a low resolution device.

I don't find that most cheap font files are created nicely enough to look good in every situation or that displays (cheap or expensive) are capable of clearly displaying text. It's a matter of giving the renderer plenty of information, not allowing it to make guesses at what the typeface designer wanted.

Reply Score: 2

Readability on OS-level
by sphere2k on Wed 24th Jun 2009 01:28 UTC
sphere2k
Member since:
2009-04-17

As much as I like Apple's GUI aesthetics - Quartz's font rendering is an absolute deal breaker for me. I much prefer the way fonts look with Microsoft's ClearType subpixel rendering (after proper tuning of course). That is for every-day stuff like web browsing and email that involves a lot of reading.

In situations where I need an accurate representation of what a typeface will look like in print, it's most likely in an application that has its own rendering engine anyway - InDesign in my case. Adobe's engine is called CoolType and produces results quite similar to those of Quartz as far as I can tell.

Reply Score: 1

PlunderBunny
Member since:
2009-02-19

I always found the MacOS X font rendering fuzzy, until I got my new laptop. It has a 133 dpi screen (or is it 144 dpi? I can't remember). Suddenly, the MacOS font rendering looked ok.
As screen density increases, the disadvantages of the MacOS X font rendering mechanism fade away. With the increased emphasis on resolution independence in modern operating systems, higher density screen are inevitable (cell phones screens for example, have dpi betwen 160 to ~300).
For graphic designers, the choice is clear - they won't accept a rendering method that distorts the shape of the fonts. Does anyone know if photoshop on Windows eschews the built-in rendering mechanism to use it's own?

Reply Score: 3

A moot point
by dylansmrjones on Wed 24th Jun 2009 02:54 UTC
dylansmrjones
Member since:
2005-10-02

The battle between readability and shape accuracy is pretty moot these days with reasonably high resolution monitors. It is perfectly possible to get screen accuracy with high readability, as long as you stay away from using resolution below 1280*960 (or something very close to it).

In 640*480 on a normal sized monitor (13"-17"), I prefer no antializing or readability antialiazing (Cleartype or an equivalent).

In 1600*1200 I strongly prefer shape accuracy, since the resolution is so high that shape accuracy doesn't harm readability.

That said I dislike Cleartype since it is a socalled dumb renderer. 'Tis a thing I've inherited from doing DTP-work and font designing on Mac OS Classic (and OS/2).

Postscript for teh win! ;)

Reply Score: 2

Apple vs Windows claims
by rephorm on Wed 24th Jun 2009 03:16 UTC
rephorm
Member since:
2006-07-20

I'm not sure I understand the claims in the image on the posted site. If you zoom in on the "blurry" macintosh "i" and the "crisp" windows "i", they are identical. Down to the color and pixels.

The lighter non-bold windows font rendering in the title (ostensibly to fit to the pixel grid) is also the same width (2px) as the mac version. The colors are just lighter on windows.

The "rounded g descender" also isn't rounded any differently from the windows version (the latter simply has more AA fuzz around it).

So, I'm not sure how much faith I'd put in the rest of that article...

Reply Score: 1

Legacy subpixel hinting
by l33tmmx on Wed 24th Jun 2009 03:59 UTC
l33tmmx
Member since:
2009-02-02

Most of the time the 'normal' subpixel hinting just sucks, be it Mac or Windows style; I definitely don't like the 'rainbow edges' of the fonts. Of course, that effect depends greatly on the quality of the display and the size and shape of the chosen font.

Fortunately, a friend of mine discovered a way to achieve very crisp antialiased fonts in X, which are both accurate and easy to read at the same time. The original article is here: http://johan.kiviniemi.name/blag/ubuntu-fonts/ and an another with examples here: http://martin.ankerl.com/2009/01/22/beautiful-font-hinting-in-ubunt...

I have used these settings on all Linux/Solaris installations since, and am very satisfied...

Reply Score: 3

RE: Legacy subpixel hinting
by Wowbagger on Wed 24th Jun 2009 04:22 UTC in reply to "Legacy subpixel hinting"
Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

Have you seen the lowercase "o" of Trebuchet in both renderings? Looks like a 0 to me.

I don't see what's readable about both methods. Also by using either kind of hinting and antialiasing in those screenshots, the thickness of the font and their character is completely lost. So why use more than one font at all. They look almost the same anyway?

Reply Score: 1

Wrong assumption
by Wowbagger on Wed 24th Jun 2009 04:17 UTC
Wowbagger
Member since:
2005-07-06

Your post assumes that ClearType is more readable on displays as OS X's font rendering. Forgive me, but I think that assumption in itself is wrong.

Most fonts we have available are designed for print so the shape they are supposed to have are the ones they have on paper. For that purpose they are designed and for that purpose they are very readable. Changing that shape means in most cases making them less readable. So what is wrong in trying to get as close to the shape of the font as the font designer made it to be?

Apart from that I have to use a lot of Japanese in my working environment and for these languages ClearType is simply put a disaster.

And last but not least these rainbow-effects you get from ClearType are definitely not improving the readability either.

Also, why do you think is it that most typographers prefer OS X's font rendering? If anyone should know about type it's them, isn't it?

Edited 2009-06-24 04:18 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Wrong assumption
by macUser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 04:27 UTC in reply to "Wrong assumption"
macUser Member since:
2006-12-15

This is one of those discussions where people will argue until blue in the face. All I know is that trying to read text in windows makes my eyes bleed.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Wrong assumption
by siride on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:30 UTC in reply to "Wrong assumption"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Actually, fonts like Tahoma were designed for the screen. So what you say is not true.

Also, for printing and typography, just use programs that do their own special font-rendering. Don't make the rest of the system have sucky font-rendering just so those few people who need specialized font BS can get it. I have no problem with mathematically perfect font-rendering, just as long as it's kept to MS Word and Photoshop or whatever. I don't want that on my menus and web pages. I want something I can look at all day without wanting to gouge my eyes out. Unfortunately, I have to look at OS X all day and I still hate the fuzzy, inconsistent font-rendering (sometimes the exact same letter will be rendered differently in different places on the screen -- I consider this to be plain wrong behavior).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Wrong assumption
by sanders on Sun 28th Jun 2009 07:33 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong assumption"
sanders Member since:
2005-08-09

I have no problem with mathematically perfect font-rendering, just as long as it's kept to MS Word


Thanks, that was funny.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Wrong assumption
by jal_ on Wed 24th Jun 2009 08:04 UTC in reply to "Wrong assumption"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Also, why do you think is it that most typographers prefer OS X's font rendering? If anyone should know about type it's them, isn't it?


Race car drivers prefer very tight suspension. If anyone should know about cars it's then, isn't it? Still, I prefer my suspension such that I don't get a hernia every time I hit a speedbump.

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: Wrong assumption
by Wowbagger on Thu 25th Jun 2009 02:01 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong assumption"
Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

Completely failed analogy here.

Race car drivers are in no way comparable to typographers.

Race car drivers use non-standard cars on non-standard roads to drive with non-standard speeds where normal people would just get crazy. They have no connection to the "real-world" of our every day lives.

Typographers make fonts for human beings (sounds very ubuntu doesn't it ;-), to be read by normal human beings, and they try to achieve best readability for about any kind of communication in our everyday lives. They are knowledgeable about human perception and create fonts and layouts to match and support that perception in the most natural and unintrusive way (well to catch attention they sometimes deliberatly break some rules, but that has a clear purpose and scope then).

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Wrong assumption
by jal_ on Thu 25th Jun 2009 21:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Wrong assumption"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Typographers make fonts for human beings (sounds very ubuntu doesn't it ;-), to be read by normal human beings, and they try to achieve best readability for about any kind of communication in our everyday lives. They are knowledgeable about human perception and create fonts and layouts to match and support that perception in the most natural and unintrusive way (well to catch attention they sometimes deliberatly break some rules, but that has a clear purpose and scope then).


Agreed. But that doesn't mean one should always go for best screen approximation of a printed font, especially not in a browser, or IDE, since that almost never gets printed. Microsoft understands that, even designing fonts specifically for on-screen reading.

Reply Score: 1

Comment by antenna
by antenna on Wed 24th Jun 2009 04:20 UTC
antenna
Member since:
2006-10-22

I'm one of the 5% (apparently) that prefers what they term there as Bi-Level rendering. I find everything else to look blurry, weak or thin and the halo effect around characters really bothers me. Give me my jagged edges any day.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by antenna
by BiPolar on Wed 24th Jun 2009 14:35 UTC in reply to "Comment by antenna"
BiPolar Member since:
2007-07-06

I'm one of the 5% (apparently) that prefers what they term there as Bi-Level rendering. I find everything else to look blurry, weak or thin and the halo effect around characters really bothers me. Give me my jagged edges any day.


Nice comparison of different font AA techniques in Windows 7:
http://blogs.msdn.com/e7/archive/2009/06/23/engineering-changes-to-...

Of the example images... the only one that doesn't makes me cry is the first one ("bi-level" or "Smooth edges of screen fonts" set to off).

Reply Score: 1

What makes me laugh
by deathshadow on Wed 24th Jun 2009 05:19 UTC
deathshadow
Member since:
2005-07-12

Is all the people saying that the apple approach, or even worse the freetype approach, is 'better formed' and 'closer to print'...

I wasn't aware that when printing the letter "i" it should dance around like a Mexican jumping bean inside a word just based on how far across the page it is. I was not aware that two instances of the same word on a page only have a 80 in 1 chance of rendering the same appearance twice... More true to print and the shape of the characters my ass! I think that's my problem with it, the 'true to print' approach seems to put too much emphasis on the character and not enough on the SPACING of the letters (aka Kerning) and words.

Either way though - seriously, if it ends up the same number of words per line how big a difference is it apart from elitist art snobbery and placebo effect?

For the handful of artsy people for whom it ALLEGEDLY makes a difference, build that type of rendering into the program (pagemaker, quark) so they can sit there dicking with the kerning one tenth of a pica at a time as if it matters, and give the rest of us fonts that look good on SCREEN.

Edited 2009-06-24 05:31 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: What makes me laugh
by abraxas on Wed 24th Jun 2009 11:03 UTC in reply to "What makes me laugh"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

More true to print and the shape of the characters my ass! I think that's my problem with it, the 'true to print' approach seems to put too much emphasis on the character and not enough on the SPACING of the letters (aka Kerning) and words.


Kerning is controlled by the font itself not the rendering technology.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: What makes me laugh
by jal_ on Wed 24th Jun 2009 15:02 UTC in reply to "RE: What makes me laugh"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Kerning is controlled by the font itself not the rendering technology.


The font is data. The renderer processes the data to create what you see on screen. If the renderer ignores the kerning information supplied with the font, you get bad kerning. I'm not sure how you would imagine 'the font' controlling something the 'rendering technology' does not.


JAL

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: What makes me laugh
by Wowbagger on Thu 25th Jun 2009 02:06 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What makes me laugh"
Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

Properly designed fonts are usually hinted, that means they have data about how certain letters and especially certain letter combinations are to be kerned (problem combinations like "AV" or "To" come to mind).

If the font renderer ignores that information, it's most likely to look ugly, because depending on the shape of the letters the kerning requirements can differ considerably. It's not always the same combination of letters that need the same kerning in every font.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What makes me laugh
by deathshadow on Thu 25th Jun 2009 04:32 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What makes me laugh"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

If the renderer ignores the kerning information supplied with the font

Or interprets it improperly/inconsistantly

you get bad kerning.

Aka Freetype with it's dancing letter 'i'.

I'm not sure how you would imagine 'the font' controlling something the 'rendering technology' does not.

Bingo. Font may provide that information, but the engine still has to implement that information properly... and having the letter dance around up to 4px on it's location is NOT a consistent interpretation of the data. Hence the reason OoO sucks since it doesn't even use the host OS kerning and instead applies it's own interpretation to it (which appears to mimic freetype's faulty behavior)

Hence this old comparison pic I took from just a few years ago:
http://battletech.hopto.org/images/Freetype_vs_Win.jpg

It be spacin g! ... and people wonder why I can't use linsux or OoO when working with large bodies of text.

Open up OOO in either windows or linux (font smoothing on or not - even in windows OpenOffice ignores how the host renderer says things should be kerned even when it uses the host renderer for the glyphs!), type the word 'spacing' on twenty lines, on each line add one extra space before each word so you get a nice diagonal indent (that's one space on line two, two spaces on line three, three on line 4, etc, etc, etc), and watch the character kerning. /FAIL/ hard. Arial is the worst on this since it requires full hinting for proper rendering, but most any sans-serif font wills how just how weak the open source font rendering engines are, even with the alleged 'restricted' fixes.

Edited 2009-06-25 04:40 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: What makes me laugh
by abraxas on Thu 25th Jun 2009 11:27 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: What makes me laugh"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

It be spacin g! ... and people wonder why I can't use linsux or OoO when working with large bodies of text.


This must have been fixed years ago. Either that or the font kerning data itself is not quite right. My Deja Vu fonts are kerned just right. I don't get that weird spacing issue and have never had the issue you describe with this font. Look at my earlier post where I link to a sample of my fonts on Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: What makes me laugh
by deathshadow on Fri 26th Jun 2009 16:45 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: What makes me laugh"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

This must have been fixed years ago. Either that or the font kerning data itself is not quite right. My Deja Vu fonts are kerned just right.


Ehhh... nope.

http://files.myopera.com/deathshadow/files/freetypeKerning.png

That's ubuntu 9.04, with all the latest updates installed, showing that it still be spacin g - though I'm particularly fond of how it handles the 'ac' combination on FreeSans... and that 'ci' combination on Deja Vu Sans is cute too... and if it's screwing up Bitstream Vera Sans, then it's very likely the problem is likely NOT with the fonts, but with the renderer.

Edited 2009-06-26 16:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[6]: What makes me laugh
by abraxas on Fri 26th Jun 2009 21:34 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: What makes me laugh"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I just tried it on my machine (Gentoo, OpenOffice 3.1.0) with all three fonts that you used and it doesn't happen to me. I'm not quite sure what is different but the kerning works fine here.

Edited 2009-06-26 21:36 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: What makes me laugh
by rhy7s on Fri 26th Jun 2009 23:34 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: What makes me laugh"
rhy7s Member since:
2008-08-04

I just tried it on my machine (Gentoo, OpenOffice 3.1.0) with all three fonts that you used and it doesn't happen to me. I'm not quite sure what is different but the kerning works fine here.


I'd like to see an example, I've never seen OO.o handle font display well, http://bayimg.com/MabNhaaCK - but I'm not fussed for free. Printed and pdf output are fine for most uses - though not up to LaTeX standards - I don't use OO.o as a reading environment.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: What makes me laugh
by abraxas on Thu 25th Jun 2009 11:23 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: What makes me laugh"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

"Kerning is controlled by the font itself not the rendering technology.


The font is data. The renderer processes the data to create what you see on screen. If the renderer ignores the kerning information supplied with the font, you get bad kerning. I'm not sure how you would imagine 'the font' controlling something the 'rendering technology' does not.


JAL
"

Exactly. The font itself contains the kerning data. That's the point I was getting at. I wasn't aware that some common font renderers ignore this data.

Reply Score: 2

Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 24th Jun 2009 05:22 UTC
kaiwai
Member since:
2005-07-06

Personally, I've never had a religion obsession of one mode of rendering over another; I like how Mac does it, just as I like how Windows Vista and Freetype (with patented hinting + personal tweaks). For me I can't work out why people thing that there is this accusation of 'fuzzy' when one looks at the screenshot of my desktop I can't see it:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v420/kaiwai/Picture1.png

Maybe my eye's are screwed because I don't see any fuzziness.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:25 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

I can totally see it and it hurts my eyes. The smaller the fonts, the worse it gets when AA is turned on. Just look at some of the letters, they aren't even all black, some are much more lighter than others. You should especially notice that in the comment box on your screenshot. If not, then you might be lucky in some kind of way ;) but for me it's terrible, I'm glad that I can turn that off in Windows.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 24th Jun 2009 07:39 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

I can totally see it and it hurts my eyes. The smaller the fonts, the worse it gets when AA is turned on. Just look at some of the letters, they aren't even all black, some are much more lighter than others. You should especially notice that in the comment box on your screenshot. If not, then you might be lucky in some kind of way ;) but for me it's terrible, I'm glad that I can turn that off in Windows.


What browser are you using? did you actually MAXIMISE the screenshot? from the sound sof it, you didn't maximise the size of it - you kept it in its shrunken state.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 09:16 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29
RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by No it isnt on Wed 24th Jun 2009 23:33 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
No it isnt Member since:
2005-11-14

He's correct. Look at the is in "Disco" and "Easy Listening" in the iTunes window: they're not identical, the latter being smeared out and weaker. Same goes for the letter l in "Electronica" and "Gospel".

All the letters in the toolbar or whatever you call the line on top of the screen look blurry as well.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by rhy7s on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:26 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
rhy7s Member since:
2008-08-04

Have a look at the different weight of the i's in "Spirit of Summer", and anywhere else with a bit of verticality to it, look at the l's in "All". Along with the occasional collisions of characters, there's that sort of sandpapered look to the text when you see a block of it, as if some of the letters have been partially obscured or rubbed away. For example, in "Clapton" the C and t look like a different weight to the rest of the name.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by kaiwai on Wed 24th Jun 2009 07:41 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Have a look at the different weight of the i's in "Spirit of Summer", and anywhere else with a bit of verticality to it, look at the l's in "All". Along with the occasional collisions of characters, there's that sort of sandpapered look to the text when you see a block of it, as if some of the letters have been partially obscured or rubbed away. For example, in "Clapton" the C and t look like a different weight to the rest of the name.


Oh, come on, what a load of horse crap - I've just spent a good 15 minutes with my face up against the screen scanning the photo working out what the hell you're going on about - show me exactly where it is - because none of what you say exists except maybe in your mind.

Honestly, you're as bad as those Windows zealots who would look at Freetype and make up artifacts simply to bolster their position rather than accepting that rendering wasn't so bad as to burn their eyes.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 07:54 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

I really can't believe your ignorant comments. You could at least open your screenshot in a graphics program and zoom in, then you'll see that both "l" letters of the word "All" are rendered completely different.

And to the question of maximizing: I'm not a browser noob, and I know how to maximize screenshots. Besides that, my browser doesn't shink by default. I know what I'm talking about, and I think it's YOUR eyes that have a problem.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by Thom_Holwerda on Wed 24th Jun 2009 08:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Uhm, I see those differences too, and I'm a long-time Mac user. Fonts on Mac OS X ARE fuzzy, there's no denying that. Heck, it's a feature, not a bug.

You're just so used to it that you can't even accept that fact. Try putting a row of i or l, and you'll see a "wave" going through it of ones that are "blacker" than the other. It's clearly obvious and well-documented that it makes absolutely no sense to deny it.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by jal_ on Wed 24th Jun 2009 08:02 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
jal_ Member since:
2006-11-02

Maybe my eye's are screwed because I don't see any fuzziness.


I can't comment on your eyes, but to me that text looks fuzzy as hell.

Reply Score: 2

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by dylansmrjones on Wed 24th Jun 2009 10:17 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

I can also "totally" see it (sowwy, have to go to the loo and throw up after that teen-language), in its maximized state. If you look at "Spirit of Summer" the second i in "Spirit" is fuzzy compared with the first i. The first part of the u (that'll be the leftmost stem) in "Summer" is also fuzzy, and the last half of the first m and the first half of the second m is also fuzzy.

That said it might be related to my cheap, slutty and crappy LCD-monitor, where everything is somewhat fuzzy, no matter what I do. It is better than no monitor, but also worse than my former (and butt old and recently deceased) CRT-monitor.

If it looks good on your monitor, don't change anything. I strongly prefer OS X-rendering over "ClearType".

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 10:45 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by kaiwai"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

Always be aware that there *might* be some people around who don't speak English as their native language.

Btw, tell me more about your slutty and crappy monitor.

Reply Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai
by dylansmrjones on Wed 24th Jun 2009 10:51 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by kaiwai"
dylansmrjones Member since:
2005-10-02

True. Natively I speak the Danish tongue.

My monitor? It's dirty, that's what it is. Cheap and dirty - and quite nasty. But easy and fast - you can't expect too much for $99.

It's some cheap ASUS lcd-something and true to its nature, it claims that it's splendid and I should try to push its buttons. Which usually results in all kinds of weird color cycling. Some sort of rage, perhaps?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: Comment by kaiwai
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 11:01 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: Comment by kaiwai"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

Yeah, totally...
Well, maybe color is in fact the problem with the kawai discussion. Maybe his monitor is BGR and ours is RGB, and that's why his screenshots looks so crappy and slutty on your dirty monitor (and my monitor as well). Maybe he even has vertical RGB or something... who knows

Reply Score: 1

RE: Comment by kaiwai
by abraxas on Wed 24th Jun 2009 11:08 UTC in reply to "Comment by kaiwai"
abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

Personally, I've never had a religion obsession of one mode of rendering over another; I like how Mac does it, just as I like how Windows Vista and Freetype (with patented hinting + personal tweaks). For me I can't work out why people thing that there is this accusation of 'fuzzy' when one looks at the screenshot of my desktop I can't see it:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v420/kaiwai/Picture1.png

Maybe my eye's are screwed because I don't see any fuzziness.


I think you're just used to the fonts. I can see all kinds of fuzziness in that screenshot. The lowercase "e" in the text input box for the OSNews in your screenshot is a good example. It looks like mush to me.

Reply Score: 2

No AA for me, please
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:20 UTC
Glynser
Member since:
2007-11-29

I always turn it off completely, as I prefer on-screen-readability, and this means for me that I don't want that smudgy smoothed stuff, I want raw pixels. Not because I'm a total pixel fanatic (which I am, admitted), but because I still think it looks much better and clearer than any "Clear"Type technology could ever be.

For layouting stuff, I think it's nice if graphic programs can smooth it, but this is something entirely different. That's why I don't think the MacOS way is a useful one, because I won't print out my on-screen window text, so I simply don't need those glyphs to be rendered as they would on paper (which is not true anyway, because on paper it would be clear, not smudgy).

Sadly, under Linux, it's a different story. Because of patents stuff, it's not easy to get non-AA fonts there. I installed freetype-freeworld, and it mostly works and looks superb, but in some windows it doesn't work, and this means that text looks really horrible (especially in the browser).

BTW, here's a nice comparison pic (also because it shows the old OSnews ;)
http://www.sharpfonts.com/images/comparison.png
To me, the right side is the clear (hehe) winner. It's just more satisfying on my eyes than that smudgy crap.


PS: I especially hate AA on monospaced pixel fonts. It's two worlds colliding.

Edited 2009-06-24 06:29 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: No AA for me, please
by siride on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:33 UTC in reply to "No AA for me, please"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

You can have good AA on Linux, you just have to tweak the FreeType settings. Of course, I have it disabled for mid-sized fonts (only less then 7 points and greater than 12 points have it enabled, as do bold and italic fonts, where the smoothy prevents obvious ugly jaggies).

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No AA for me, please
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:52 UTC in reply to "RE: No AA for me, please"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

Yes maybe, but I don't want to have good AA on Linux, I want to have ZERO AA on Linux ;) and this worked for me in most situations, but my browser still looks crappy.

Reply Score: 2

RE[3]: No AA for me, please
by siride on Wed 24th Jun 2009 13:45 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: No AA for me, please"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

How do you still have AA in the browser even if you have it turned off elsewhere?

Reply Score: 2

RE[4]: No AA for me, please
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 14:56 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: No AA for me, please"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

No, inside the browser it's also without AA, but it's the "standard Linux without AA" way. Which means that my fonts look completely broken because there's no hinting :/

Reply Score: 1

RE[5]: No AA for me, please
by siride on Wed 24th Jun 2009 15:00 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: No AA for me, please"
siride Member since:
2006-01-02

Here's my ~/.fonts.conf. Maybe it will help you on your quest:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="rgba" >
<const>rgb</const>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="hinting" >
<bool>true</bool>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="autohint" >
<bool>false</bool>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle" >
<const>hintfull</const>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >
<bool>false</bool>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<test qual="any" name="size" target="font" compare="more_eq">
<int>11</int>
</test>
<test qual="any" name="size" target="font" compare="less">
<int>7</int>
</test>
<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >
<bool>true</bool>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<test qual="any" name="weight" target="font" compare="eq">
<const>bold</const>
</test>
<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >
<bool>false</bool>
</edit>
<edit mode="assign" name="autohint" >
<bool>false</bool>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<test qual="any" name="slant" target="font" compare="eq">
<const>italic</const>
</test>
<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >
<bool>true</bool>
</edit>
</match>
</fontconfig>

Reply Score: 2

RE: No AA for me, please
by Moochman on Wed 24th Jun 2009 09:19 UTC in reply to "No AA for me, please"
Moochman Member since:
2005-07-06

Yes, that right-side pic does look amazing in its own retro way. But part of the reason the one on the left looks so bad is that the kerning (the spacing between letters) is horrible!!! Linux AA has come a long way since that screenshot was taken, methinks.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: No AA for me, please
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 09:27 UTC in reply to "RE: No AA for me, please"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

That's also true, I know that it's a bad example of AA on Linux. But anyway, even in the most up-to-date distros I haven't found an AA mode that completely satisfied me, and I don't consider the normal hinting without AA "retro", for me it's just the "Clearest Type" that anyone can come up with, and it's pretty readable for me. For layouting and publishing, it's a different story, but for plain on-screen text, this is the one and only method for me ;)

Reply Score: 1

URW Gothic L Book
by OSGuy on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:33 UTC
OSGuy
Member since:
2006-01-01

The URW Gothic L Book font on Linux looks really good, at least on Ubuntu. Try it out. I have set mine on size 9 with default DPI but 10 looks really nice too so it's hard to decide.

Reply Score: 2

I'm no font pro, but... it depends.
by UltraZelda64 on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:42 UTC
UltraZelda64
Member since:
2006-12-05

First off, I should mention I'm probably biased towards Windows since it's what I've always used and preferred over Mac, and since I've never really used Macs that much (or owned one). Either way, while I'm used to Windows, I think ClearType is... well, crystal clear and nice looking on screen, so I like it. But then, I don't print much, and never did. In the few times I used Mac OS X, I thought the text, while... different... looked pretty nice; thick, a little fuzzy, easily readable. It was a nice change.

However... when I tried Safari for Windows, my opinion changed. Well, somewhat. It looked hideous. I think it's because it looks so blatantly different compared to every other program on the screen, but it looked bad as a result. So my conclusion: They're both good... where they belong. As soon as they cross their territory, they've gone too far.

I have been running nothing but Linux for the last couple years (previously Xfce on Zenwalk, now Gnome on Ubuntu), and have always put hinting on to the lowest level or off completely (the higher settings make the text to thin and sharp). Since switching to an LCD monitor, I've also been using subpixel smoothing. I like it... it looks good, is highly readable, and for those reasons I never really think about it, so what can I say... it does its job.

Over the years during my distro hopping, I've seen some really bad fonts in certain Linux distros. Luckily, I haven't run into a distro that's an eyesore to use in a long time.

Reply Score: 2

RISC OS fonts
by torbenm on Wed 24th Jun 2009 07:40 UTC
torbenm
Member since:
2007-04-23

I have never seen a font rendering system that beats the one on RISC OS. It is not so much the anti-aliasing over texture, it is other features:

- The same rendering engine is used for both on-screen view and print, so the screen view is print accurate (up to your screen resolution).

- It has a hinting system that I find superior to that used in Windows or MacOS fonts. For example, a hint can say that two vertical bars (like in "H") should appear identical, so you avoid one appearing thinner or more blurred than the other. I'm not that familiar with the hinting systems in ClearType or TrueType, but it doesn't look like they handle this very well.

- It works very well on low screen resolutions, partly because it had special handling of very thin lines (like the upper and lower parts of an "O" in Times Roman) that prevented gaps. My first RISC OS computer had a screen resolution of 640x256 pixels, and anti-aliasing really helped readability quite a lot, even with small fonts.

- It is fast. This might not matter much on today's computers, but when you had an 8MHz 1MB computer, it was essential.

- It is easily user-tunable. You can set the size where anti-aliasing kicks in, where sub-pixel character placement kicks in (both vertically and horisontally) and so on. This both allows quality vs. speed compromises and a degree of screen readabiliy vs. print accuracy compromise (i.e., in the sub-pixel choice).

- It uses cubic Bezier curves (like PostScript), where TrueType uses the less accurate quadratic Bezier curves.

As for print accuracy versus screen readbility in a font renderer, I favour print accuracy. I can always get better screen readbility by choosing fonts that are designed for this -- I don't edit programs or LaTeX source files in Times Roman font anyway, but if the screen renderer is not print accurate, I can't get an accurate preview no matter what I do.

Reply Score: 4

Depends on DPI
by jal_ on Wed 24th Jun 2009 08:10 UTC
jal_
Member since:
2006-11-02

On a normal monitor, I prefer no anti-aliasing at all. I don't give one bit about font accuracy: when I'm writing documents, it's about the contents, not the looks, and when I'm programming, there's nothing to be printed at all. Same for browsing the web: I almost never print a web page, so who cares that the fonts are 'inaccurate' compared to the printed varieties? Until screens have the same DPI as printers, there's nothing 'accurate' about it anyway, it's just a gross approximation.

On my notebook, I do use anti-aliasing though, as otherwise the lines become so thin I can hardly see them (getting old...).

Reply Score: 2

Linux font rendering the best
by abraxas on Wed 24th Jun 2009 10:46 UTC
abraxas
Member since:
2005-07-07

I'll add to me previous comment by saying something that is sure to make someone's head explode somewhere but generally I prefer Linux font rendering to OSX or Windows font rendering. With the right font readability is much better on Linux. I use Deja Vu fonts with subpixel smoothing and full hinting enabled. The fonts are crisp and easy to read. You can enable ClearType rendering in Linux but it looks worse in my opinion. It works poorly with light type on a dark background. You can cleary see the rainbow effect. I don't get that effect with native Linux font rendering. OSX by comparison is terrible for general readability although shape accuracy is very good.

This is what fonts looks like for me on Linux:

http://cdsmith80.googlepages.com/LinuxRender.png

Edited 2009-06-24 10:52 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE: Linux font rendering the best
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 11:03 UTC in reply to "Linux font rendering the best"
Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

I must admit, this is actually one of the nicest examples for Linux AA rendering. Except for the bold text, which is just too smooth on some of the edges. But for the normal font, it's definitely readable and a working alternative (though I'd still prefer good hinting without AA).

Reply Score: 1

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

I must admit, this is actually one of the nicest examples for Linux AA rendering. Except for the bold text, which is just too smooth on some of the edges. But for the normal font, it's definitely readable and a working alternative (though I'd still prefer good hinting without AA).


I'm not sure what you mean by "too smooth". It's probably not as shape accurate as it could be but the smoother edges make it a lot easier on the eyes in my opinion. It is just an opinion though because I realize that fonts and font rendering preference is highly subjective.

Reply Score: 2

Glynser Member since:
2007-11-29

Well the thinner letter look pretty clean and sharp, but the bold letters have edges that fade out pretty much. That's what I meant with "too smooth".

Reply Score: 1

RE: Linux font rendering the best
by Wowbagger on Thu 25th Jun 2009 02:23 UTC in reply to "Linux font rendering the best"
Wowbagger Member since:
2005-07-06

The inner corners of "o"s and "d" are smudgy, I find that kind of blurryness much more irritating than having an overall smooth (or blurry if you prefer that term) look, because of the stark contrast to the sharpness of the rest of the letters.

Also the contrast between bold and regular fonts is not high enough (either are too thin and the difference in font weight between regular and bold is too little).

Also with font weights appearing too thin in general you end up with worse readability due to reduced contrast to the background. Sharp lines don't help if they end up looking like hairlines.

Reply Score: 1

abraxas Member since:
2005-07-07

The inner corners of "o"s and "d" are smudgy, I find that kind of blurryness much more irritating than having an overall smooth (or blurry if you prefer that term) look, because of the stark contrast to the sharpness of the rest of the letters.


Rounded edges are either going to be blocky or a little fuzzy given the nature of LCDs. I hate jagged blocky edges so I prefer a slight fuzziness to rounded edges but it is not nearly as bad as OSX fuzziness in my opinion. It's a good compromise for me.

Also the contrast between bold and regular fonts is not high enough (either are too thin and the difference in font weight between regular and bold is too little).


I don't see that at all. The bold "Read More" and "Comments" links are significantly bolder than the standard text. I really don't see how it could be confusing at all.

Also with font weights appearing too thin in general you end up with worse readability due to reduced contrast to the background. Sharp lines don't help if they end up looking like hairlines.


I'll chalk that up to preference.

Reply Score: 2

Lemme see..
by FealDorf on Wed 24th Jun 2009 15:22 UTC
FealDorf
Member since:
2008-01-07

Depends on what I'm doing. ClearType looks good only on Vista/7 with the new fonts; but the clarity pays off on a monitor with a good size.
On the other hand; I've developed a fetish for Monaco on Font-Smoothing; maybe it's cuz I code in mac on my desktop and XP in my laptop (with consolas font).
I don't like linux font-smoothing that much; it doesn't work that well..

Reply Score: 1

CaptainN-
Member since:
2005-07-07

Saffron, OS X, Ubuntu Freetype, Windows - in that order. I find Windows less readable. There's so much edge vibrance, it hurst my eyes after a while. I don't know why people keep saying it's better for screen, it simply isn't.

If anyone is unfamiliar with Saffron, it is the text engine introduced in Flash Player 8, and updated in Flash Player 10. It's used other places too.

http://www.merl.com/people/perry/SaffronWebPage/index.html

Reply Score: 1

rhy7s Member since:
2008-08-04

I find Windows less readable. There's so much edge vibrance, it hurst my eyes after a while. I don't know why people keep saying it's better for screen, it simply isn't.

What PPI is your screen? I find AA distracting on 19" 1280×1024 monitors with their big, fat pixels. I also find the jaggies of non-AA fonts at this size distracting though. I prefer WUXGA or UXGA in 15" panel sizes which makes working with sub-pixel elements a lot more effective. What panel do you use primarily http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/panelsearch.htm ? Also, what brightness do you run your screen at? Adobe RGB specifies 160 cd/m2 and SRGB 80 cd/m2 which are both way below the extreme default brightness levels found in many of today's monitors.

Reply Score: 1

CaptainN- Member since:
2005-07-07

At work, a 25.5" Samsung 2693HM (TN panel, set for sRGB - is too electric by default for web work) hooked to a Windows Vista machine, and a Samsung SyncMaster 213T (PVA panel) hooked to a Mac Mini, running 10.5.x.

The PVA panel is not as bright as the TN panel, and the pixels are smaller (they run the same vertical resolution despite being different sizes). I run at 1600x1200 (in portrait mode) on the PVA and 1920x1200 on the TN. I like the PVA panel better, even if is is dimmer - it's more consistent.

I have them networked and use Synergy and SynergyKM to share mouse and keyboard, if anyone is curious.

At home I use an old 22" CRT (Mitsubishi) with Windows 7 RC, and occasionally Ubuntu or Mac OS X. I run that at 1600x1200@85Hz, on all platforms. CRTs rock for gaming. No flat panel I've seen compares (I haven't seen the true 120Hz panels in person yet, hoping they can replace the CRT).

Reply Score: 1

must read
by renhoek on Wed 24th Jun 2009 20:47 UTC
renhoek
Member since:
2007-04-29

A must read article about font rendering :

http://www.antigrain.com/research/font_rasterization/

It explains WHY Microsoft and Apple made the renderers like they are. And exactly how they render differently. I personally prefer the one of Apple because i can freely scale my font without it getting bolder or making huge jumps.

Reply Score: 2

if not needed, no AA at all
by greygandalf on Thu 25th Jun 2009 08:25 UTC
greygandalf
Member since:
2008-04-07

For the UI elements I prefer no AA at all, provided a correct bitmapped font is available for the size needed. It is just more readable, has more contrast and is easy on the eyes after hours of usage.
So this is also very true for console, text editor for programming.
Of course, scalable fonts without bitmaps for screen display are horrendous without AA.

When working with fonts aimed for printing or anyway for the visualization of a graphic or DTP page (for exmaple also PDFs) I prefer clear, sharp Antialiasing, but I dislike subpixel rendering because it usually color fringes.

If you check photoshop, I like that you choose the smoothing needed for the font, I almost always put it sharp.

Reply Score: 1

Subpixel rendering in Linux
by giddie on Thu 25th Jun 2009 11:49 UTC
giddie
Member since:
2008-04-29

I absolutely love modern subpixel-rendered fonts in Linux. It's not available by default yet, but there's widespread support for the necessary modifications nowadays. I should add that I'm using a MacbookPro, so the screen DPI is higher than average anyway.

http://content.screencast.com/users/giddie/folders/Default/media/2c...

To get this, you need patches for Cairo, LibXft, and FontConfig.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Subpixel rendering in Linux
by deathshadow on Sat 27th Jun 2009 04:25 UTC in reply to "Subpixel rendering in Linux"
deathshadow Member since:
2005-07-12

To get this, you need patches for Cairo, LibXft, and FontConfig.

Or use Ubuntu which ships with those installed and enabled.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Subpixel rendering in Linux
by giddie on Sat 27th Jun 2009 13:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Subpixel rendering in Linux"
giddie Member since:
2008-04-29

Cool; I didn't know Ubuntu was shipping with these patches by default now. However, they really ought to be trying to convince the projects to merge these patches upstream.

Reply Score: 1