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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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).

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