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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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

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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 2

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 Parent 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 Parent Score: 2