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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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 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: No AA for me, please
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 06:52 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 Parent Score: 2

RE: No AA for me, please
by Moochman on Wed 24th Jun 2009 09:19 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: No AA for me, please
by Glynser on Wed 24th Jun 2009 09:27 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 Parent Score: 1