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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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 Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: What makes me laugh
by jal_ on Wed 24th Jun 2009 15:02 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: What makes me laugh
by Wowbagger on Thu 25th Jun 2009 02:06 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 Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: What makes me laugh
by deathshadow on Thu 25th Jun 2009 04:32 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 Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: What makes me laugh
by abraxas on Thu 25th Jun 2009 11:23 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 Parent Score: 2