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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > ClearType and OS X Font Smoothing - why such difference?

ClearType and OS X Font Smoothing - why such difference?
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Hash
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Jul 11, 2004, 06:23 AM
 
Recently in addition to my Syncmaster 171, which I use with PC with Windows XP SP 1, I bought Beng 17 inch LCD FP 737s, which is not bad and has very clear image, for use with my Mac, G4 with Radeon 7000, OS X 10.3.4. However, I really was not satisfied with the image quality of the Benq and Mac. On browser windows, text in OS X looks not only very blurry and not sharp, but also somewhat bolder than the original font. I thought that it is monitor's fault, so I changed the cable to shielded and filtered best video cable in order to escape possible ghosting, tried to adjust font smoothing in preferences and even changed system fonts by tinkertool. Lastly I swapped Syncmaster to Mac and Benq to PC, thinking that it may be hardware fault after all.

however, after viewing at the same website on PC and Mac, even though Mac had superior quality Syncmaster, XP displayed very sharp yet antialiased text, very readable, while Mac's fonts were blurred, bolder and thinner than original one. Comparison of the webpage is revealing. Using Firefox for looking at the same webpage, I really can say that XP displays text superiorly. Its ClearType font smoothing is very good. Yet, Mac OS X fonts are blurred, not sharp in general and the subpixel rendering is awful. You still can turn off antialising in XP to standard one and customize a lot, while in OS X you still stuck only with choice of font size for smoothing, rather than the smoothing method.

I really do think that the font smoothing must be improved in OS X, after all, we spend so many hours staring at the display every day.. if ergonomics are important, then font smooting is surely important as well.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 11, 2004, 06:43 AM
 
I love Quartz font smoothing, personally. I can't immediately tell the difference between Quartz text and text rendered in Photoshop. Windows XP smoothing just doesn't do it for me. It looks harsh.

By the way, you know that changing the font smoothing prefs only affects new applications that you open, right? Ones that were already open will retain the old font smoothing.
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Spheric Harlot
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Jul 11, 2004, 07:03 AM
 
Originally posted by Hash:
in OS X you still stuck only with choice of font size for smoothing, rather than the smoothing method.
System Preferences --> Appearance

I get FOUR different types of anti-aliasing to choose from.
     
BearOso
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Jul 11, 2004, 09:02 AM
 
XP displayed very sharp yet antialiased text, very readable, while Mac's fonts were blurred, bolder and thinner than original
Actually, Mac fonts are much closer to the original than Windows XP, you're just used to the different way they're displayed.

Windows XP in its cleartype incarnation utilizes sub-pixel rasterization with filtering, and NO antialiasing whatsoever. The "antialiasing" effect is the result of the subpixel distribution involved in filtering. Windows XP utilizes the bytecode innate to the font files, which it undoubtedly licenses from Apple. Windows' bytecode interpreter lacks the ability to handle delta hints, which can cause kerning to be off in some fonts (this site!). In general, fonts will seem very skinny.

Apple utilizes a light version of either supersampled or vector-calculated antialiasing. The hinting is balanced and applied in specific cases so as not to distort the font shapes greatly. (the antialiasing options turn on/off different hints and adjust the alpha curve) The result is that fonts appear more true to their actual shape, but may be "fuzzy" in some circumstances or to some people.

Personally, I prefer Apple's approach, and even on my x86 computers I don't use hinting at all, which makes fonts blurry, but gives them perfect shape. Obviously you prefer Windows' fake crisping effect. The end result is that fonts on low-resolution solutions like monitors will never be perfect, and Microsoft and Apple have taken different approaches that inevitably satisfy their primary user-bases. We're more likely to see Microsoft switch to Apple's method than vice-versa as pixel density increases in the future, because in-font hinting is very size-specific.
     
Millennium
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Jul 11, 2004, 09:11 AM
 
Originally posted by Spheric Harlot:
System Preferences --> Appearance

I get FOUR different types of anti-aliasing to choose from.
That's correct. Also, if you have an LCD monitor, you should make use of the Medium setting, which uses sub-pixel rendering similar to XP/s ClearType.

As for the font seeming bolder, it actually isn't. OSX attempts to emulate a printed page with its fonts (WYSIWYG and all that), where XP does not. Fonts tend to look bolder on a printed page than they do on a Windows screen.
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iJed
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Jul 11, 2004, 10:38 AM
 
I can't believe that anyone would say XP has nicer font smoothing than Mac OS X! I have to put up with XP daily at work and fonts look horrible throughout. Everything in OS X looks so much better...
     
Sydney Tsai
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Jul 11, 2004, 11:29 AM
 
I don't like the "Clear Type" too, It looks like those old Carbon Apps Smooth font...

And Hash didn't set the System Prefs 's font, I think that's the problem

Thinktools is only for hacking the system options...

Also, Make sure the mac is use the same resolution as the XP ...
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barbarian
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Jul 11, 2004, 12:39 PM
 
Perception of font smoothing is highly subjective. Put 5 users in front of 5 machines using different font smoothing algorithms and you'll get five options as to which is the best.

To my eyes ClearType is obviously well clearer and Quartz is somewhat blurry (especially at the font sizes I use the most.) Oddly enough CoolType which uses a similar type of sub pixel rendering (and which you can check out in Adobe Acrobat 6 by setting the font prefs) looks really bad to me. I see color fringes which give me a headache.

Ultimately what I really wish for would be a way to control font smoothing to a very fine degree on a per font basis. Some fonts (courier for example) I prefer unsmoothed....

Note that I can't tell the difference between any of the options on the apple appearance control panel (yes I do log out to see the different setting... which, as an aside is a very Microsofty thing to do). Anyway they all look the basically same to me both on my 23 inch cinema display and on my powerbook. Apple's font smoothing just looks blurry to me.

Complete font control will never happen... at least not from apple....although maybe one of those clever 3rd party people will do this someday...
( Last edited by barbarian; Jul 12, 2004 at 11:46 AM. )
     
JKT
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Jul 11, 2004, 01:09 PM
 
Originally posted by barbarian:
Note that I can't tell the difference between any of the options on the apple appearance control panel. They all look the same to me both on my 23 inch cinema display and on my powerbook.
You are aware that you have to log out/back in to activate the different font smoothing options in OS X? Nothing changes until you do this.

FWIW, I highly recommend reading this excellent Daring Fireball article on text rendering by John Gruber. It is enlightening to say the least.
     
Sophus
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Jul 11, 2004, 02:08 PM
 
It's been mentioned, but to make things clear, the "medium" setting in the control panel, uses sub-pixel rendering, the same method as XP. However, the algorithms are different. XP produces thin, but sharp fonts. The problem with XPs way of smoothing the fonts is that the end result strays a long way from the original font outline. The OSX method is much more true to the font used. Both settings (the OSX medium and the XP ClearType, should only be used with LCDs).

The "medium" setting was introduced in MacOSX 10.2, if memory serves me right. Before that, OSX only had greyscale smoothing, which in my opinion looked horribly blurry on LCDs, and really is only suited for CRTs. With 10.0 and 10.1 it struck me as strange that Apple, who sold more LCDs than any other computer company (per computer sold) did not have a working sub-pixel rendering system at the time. Fortunately, Apple realized this problem and included the "medium" setting in Jaguar. I really like the OSX way of smoothing fonts, but as mentioned, on this subject, taste really differs, probably with color perception and the eyesight of the individual user.

Read more about sub-pixel rendering here:

http://grc.com/cleartype.htm
( Last edited by Sophus; Jul 11, 2004 at 02:14 PM. )
     
Adam Betts
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Jul 11, 2004, 02:43 PM
 
Originally posted by Chuckit:
I can't immediately tell the difference between Quartz text and text rendered in Photoshop.
I disagree 100%. They're so different even with all text rendering option in PS.

The text rendering engine they used in PS is ancient (untouched since 1999) and need to be updated badly.
     
Apfhex
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Jul 11, 2004, 03:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Sophus:
Both settings (the OSX medium and the XP ClearType, should only be used with LCDs).
I've found that with the Medium font setting, it does make a very noticeable difference on LCD (for me it is very sharp looking and I really prefer it over WinXP's), but on a CRT monitor (well... /my/ CRT) "Medium" and "Standard" look exactly the same to me.
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Adam Betts
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Jul 11, 2004, 04:20 PM
 
I think it's important to mention that changes to text rendering option in OS X won't be effective right away... You'd have to restart/logout in order for them to change.
     
LaGow
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Jul 11, 2004, 05:00 PM
 
Ironically enough, I understand ClearType font rendering technology was developed by The Woz Himself some years ago.
     
BuonRotto
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Jul 11, 2004, 05:06 PM
 
Originally posted by LaGow:
Ironically enough, I understand ClearType font rendering technology was developed by The Woz Himself some years ago.
Sort of. It has its roots in a sub-pixel text rendering scheme Woz developed for the Apple ][(something) way back in the day. It isn't a direct descendent, just that MS used some info and concepts from the Apple patent they had access to. It was part of the QT/WMP settlement Apple and MS struck in 1997, along with MS continuing to develop Office for Mac and MS buying stock in Apple. (The deal is over at this point, they don't share access to Apple's patents any more AFAIK.)
     
Sophus
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Jul 11, 2004, 08:57 PM
 
Originally posted by Apfhex:
I've found that with the Medium font setting, it does make a very noticeable difference on LCD (for me it is very sharp looking and I really prefer it over WinXP's), but on a CRT monitor (well... /my/ CRT) "Medium" and "Standard" look exactly the same to me.
Of course you CAN use it on a CRT, but the result is worse than greyscale antialiasing.

Depending on the CRT monitor and the individual user, many will notice a color fringe around the letters if sub-pixel rendering is used on a CRT.

See the link I gave for a full explanation (Q&A).
     
Brass
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Jul 11, 2004, 09:36 PM
 
The Mac OS X anti-aliased font-smoothing may be accurate, and it may be smooth, but the whole basis of anti-aliasing is blurring the edges.

To me it looks horrible on small fonts. As others have said its a matter of opinion. It makes me feel like my glasses aren't working and I can't focus properly. Yes, I know I can set a minimum font size for it to take effect, and I do, but I can't do that for everyone else's machine.
     
Hash  (op)
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Jul 12, 2004, 06:21 AM
 
I have no doubts that Apple font smoothing makes fonts look like printed paper, and it is indeed the case - it definitely looks like that. But the idea of font smoothing is different from making text looking like printed paper, if you ask me and I think that thin and clear antialiasing of XP definitely looks much better than thick, bold and blurred OS X fonts. The system Finder font is for example horrible and looks even worse with OS X font smoothing.
     
Horsepoo!!!
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Jul 12, 2004, 07:12 AM
 
I can't wait until LCD screens get higher pixels per inches. Then any anti-aliasing of text or graphics won't be important anymore.

Tiger seems to have a preliminary resolution-independent GUI solution.
     
Synotic
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Jul 12, 2004, 07:35 AM
 
Originally posted by Horsepoo!!!:
Tiger seems to have a preliminary resolution-independent GUI solution.
It does?
     
Horsepoo!!!
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Jul 12, 2004, 07:49 AM
 
Originally posted by Synotic:
It does?
Well...it's a demonstration inside Quartz Debug in the Developer tools. I don't think anyone knows for sure when a res-independent GUI will make it to OS X...but it's promising to see something like that in the dev tools. I'd say by 10.5, we will probably see a res-indepeneant GUI.

Icons in OS X are already semi-res-independent in a sense. You'll never achieve a truly and fully res-indpendent GUI if it's composed of bitmap graphics (you can but scaling bitmap graphics up is never very pretty). If all the window widgets (damn you Arlo and Apple for changing the meaning of the word widgets) are redone on a big enough canvas, and still look good scaled down, then that would be the way to go.

Going res-independent is going to be tough since so many things depend on a fix res. The world-wide-web, any bitmap graphic...the transition will be ugly.
     
qnxde
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Jul 12, 2004, 08:13 AM
 
Yeah I posted some pics in a thread about it

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barbarian
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Jul 12, 2004, 12:05 PM
 
Ironically enough, I understand ClearType font rendering technology was developed by The Woz Himself some years ago.

Very loosely. This is a quote from Woz ""Back in 1976, my design of the Apple_II's high resolution graphics system utilized a characteristic of the NTSC color video signal (called the 'color subcarrier') that creates a left to right horizontal distribution of available colors. By coincidence, this is exactly analogous to the R-G-B distribution of colored sub-pixels used by modern LCD display panels. So more than twenty years ago, Apple_II graphics programmers were using this 'sub-pixel' technology to effectively increase the horizontal resolution of their Apple_II displays."

Does anyone else remember when Apple introduced "hi-res" graphics on the apple ][. I was 8 or 9 at the time and thought that the hi-res mode was amazing. But it's funny that the same problems people have with sub pixel rendering today (namely color fringes)... were visible in very high relief back then. Basically thin lines became either green/purple/orange/ or blue.

It was a very similar concept to what is used today although it was obviously light years more primitive....

Ahh... to have an afternoon of choplifter, loderunner, and wolfenstein again... I should hook up that old machine in my garage and see if it still runs...
     
dfiler
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Jul 12, 2004, 12:47 PM
 
Display calibration is critical to sub-pixel rendering of text.

When displays aren't perfectly calibrated, sub-pixel anti-aliasing text will exibit blurryness and unexpected line width/placement.

Also, given the vast differences in the relative perception of the three human primary colors, no single rendering algorithm or display calibration can possibly look best to all people.

Simply changing ambient lighting will completely alter the perception of glyphs rendered with sub-pixels.

This is immediately noticeable with text because characters are comprised of high contrast lines approximately the thickness of one or two pixels. Color balancing becomes critical since a slight shift in hue results in movement of the lines comprising the character.
     
K++
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Jul 12, 2004, 04:20 PM
 
Originally posted by Hash:
Recently in addition to my Syncmaster 171, which I use with PC with Windows XP SP 1, I bought Beng 17 inch LCD FP 737s, which is not bad and has very clear image, for use with my Mac, G4 with Radeon 7000, OS X 10.3.4. However, I really was not satisfied with the image quality of the Benq and Mac. On browser windows, text in OS X looks not only very blurry and not sharp, but also somewhat bolder than the original font. I thought that it is monitor's fault, so I changed the cable to shielded and filtered best video cable in order to escape possible ghosting, tried to adjust font smoothing in preferences and even changed system fonts by tinkertool. Lastly I swapped Syncmaster to Mac and Benq to PC, thinking that it may be hardware fault after all.

however, after viewing at the same website on PC and Mac, even though Mac had superior quality Syncmaster, XP displayed very sharp yet antialiased text, very readable, while Mac's fonts were blurred, bolder and thinner than original one. Comparison of the webpage is revealing. Using Firefox for looking at the same webpage, I really can say that XP displays text superiorly. Its ClearType font smoothing is very good. Yet, Mac OS X fonts are blurred, not sharp in general and the subpixel rendering is awful. You still can turn off antialising in XP to standard one and customize a lot, while in OS X you still stuck only with choice of font size for smoothing, rather than the smoothing method.

I really do think that the font smoothing must be improved in OS X, after all, we spend so many hours staring at the display every day.. if ergonomics are important, then font smooting is surely important as well.
Your an idiot, ClearType is garbage, it mangles your fonts to all look exactly the same, it is horrible on LCDs and every comparison you can find will tell you such, GIYF. Go search for yourself, no one in their right mind would choose ClearType over Quartz's Text Rendering. Your problem is either the monitor or video card.
     
Hash  (op)
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Jul 12, 2004, 05:04 PM
 
something tells me that you must be not only ***** but also ****, ****** and ******* and dont know **** about anything even remotely related to font smoothing
     
kcmac
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Jul 12, 2004, 06:14 PM
 
All I know about this subject is what I see.

When I put my PB next to my Dell Laptop there is no way Clear Type wins. Just working on that PC for any length of time drives me crazy and it ain't the OS I'm talking about.

I have never found anyone that looks at them side by side that doesn't feel the same.
     
ooninay
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Jul 13, 2004, 12:08 AM
 
This got me thinking because I've been kind of dissatisfied with the blurriness of fonts on both my Macs compared to both my XP computers. E.g. when I compare the same web pages or documents on an XP computer (on a Dell LCD monitor) with my Mac (17" PowerBook), the font on XP is sharper and for me easier to read. The Font on the PowerBook in most cases looks slightly blurry which strains my eyes. By the way, for those of you who might be tempted to call me an idiot or say that I'm just wrong, this is MY EXPERIENCE and therefore not subject to debate.
     
Synotic
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Jul 13, 2004, 02:37 AM
 
Originally posted by K++:
Your an idiot, ClearType is garbage, it mangles your fonts to all look exactly the same, it is horrible on LCDs and every comparison you can find will tell you such, GIYF. Go search for yourself, no one in their right mind would choose ClearType over Quartz's Text Rendering. Your problem is either the monitor or video card.
Yep and everyone else who prefers ClearType is an idiot too. Again I'll refer you to an article regarding the differences between text smoothing (or lack thereof) on OS X and Windows. The basic premise is the difference is smoother, blurrier and more aesthetically pleasing and sharper, less aesthetically pleasing. While most people don't doubt that OS X rendering looks better, that doesn't necessarily mean it's the most functional for certain people. Personally I think it's a little ridiculous to claim that nobody would choose one anti aliasing method over another when here you have one person right here (two actually). Disregarding of course all the hundreds of others that prefer it. Anyways, read the article, it provides a much better case than I could give.
     
barbarian
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Jul 13, 2004, 04:07 AM
 
Your an idiot, ClearType is garbage, it mangles your fonts to all look exactly the same, it is horrible on LCDs and every comparison you can find will tell you such, GIYF. Go search for yourself, no one in their right mind would choose ClearType over Quartz's Text Rendering. Your problem is either the monitor or video card

We have a very Mac friendly environment in this office, but everyone can choose their platform. We are agnostic. We have about 70% Mac 30%PC.

Of the PC people at least 7 of them switched back to PCs after being on Macs primarily because of.... drumrolll.... they perceived the text to be blurry. In the words of my officemate. "That damn thing is giving me a headache." The tried every setting. It was all the same. My preference is not as strong as theirs, but I basically agree that OS X text looks worse at small font sizes.... I prefer OS X at large fonts sizes.

You can be as dismissive as you want, but these rendering schemes are similar enough so that the problem is perceptual and personal. There is no right or wrong. Some people prefer one type to the other and find one much easier on the eyes than the other. There's one guy who sticks with his old G4 even when offered a G5 because he hates anti-aliasing all together and prefers to stay in OS 9 where he can set all fonts to bitmap sizes and never has to look at a smoothed font except in photoshop. Why.... OS X fonts looks fuzzy to him.

There is nothing wrong with any monitor here (all big flat panels), there is nothing wrong with the video cards. It's that we all see and perceive things differently.
( Last edited by barbarian; Jul 13, 2004 at 06:03 PM. )
     
Adam Betts
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Jul 13, 2004, 11:13 AM
 
Originally posted by barbarian:
Of the PC people at least 7 of them switched back to PCs after being on Macs primarily because of.... drumrolll.... they perceived the text to be blurry. In the words of my officemate. "That damn thing is giving me a headache."
Did you forget to tell them to change anti-alias setting or what?
     
bborofka
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Jul 13, 2004, 01:07 PM
 
Just for a comparison...

X:



XP:



It's pretty subjective, but I'd say the XP shot is a lot more clear and easier to read, even if the fonts look a little funky. i's look like l's in OS X.
     
Sophus
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Jul 13, 2004, 01:46 PM
 
Originally posted by bborofka:
Just for a comparison..


It's pretty subjective, but I'd say the XP shot is a lot more clear and easier to read, even if the fonts look a little funky. i's look like l's in OS X.
It certainly looks better on my Mac (more like the XP sample). Is the OSX sample done with medium setting?
     
MindFad
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Jul 13, 2004, 03:06 PM
 
Strong setting is the only way to go.
     
snerdini
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Jul 13, 2004, 04:50 PM
 
Originally posted by MindFad:
Strong setting is the only way to go.
Isn't that called the "Instant Headache" setting?
     
MindFad
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Jul 13, 2004, 05:45 PM
 
Hey, I find any of the other text settings harder to read. I like it nice and dark.
     
LaGow
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Jul 13, 2004, 05:59 PM
 
Originally posted by barbarian:
Ironically enough, I understand ClearType font rendering technology was developed by The Woz Himself some years ago.

Very loosely. This is a quote from Woz ""Back in 1976, my design of the Apple_II's high resolution graphics system utilized a characteristic of the NTSC color video signal (called the 'color subcarrier') that creates a left to right horizontal distribution of available colors. By coincidence, this is exactly analogous to the R-G-B distribution of colored sub-pixels used by modern LCD display panels. So more than twenty years ago, Apple_II graphics programmers were using this 'sub-pixel' technology to effectively increase the horizontal resolution of their Apple_II displays."

Does anyone else remember when Apple introduced "hi-res" graphics on the apple ][. I was 8 or 9 at the time and thought that the hi-res mode was amazing. But it's funny that the same problems people have with sub pixel rendering today (namely color fringes)... were visible in very high relief back then. Basically thin lines became either green/purple/orange/ or blue.

It was a very similar concept to what is used today although it was obviously light years more primitive....

Ahh... to have an afternoon of choplifter, loderunner, and wolfenstein again... I should hook up that old machine in my garage and see if it still runs...
I love this sort of historical context for discussions like this. I was actually led to believe that Microsoft lifted the algorithms right from Woz's work and incorporated them basically intact into XP's display engine. I had that argued passionately to me some time ago and thought, if the algorithms are good, why change 'em?
     
barbarian
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Jul 13, 2004, 06:12 PM
 
They definitely did not "lift the algorithms"... apples and oranges maybe just the idea. NTSC monitors and LCDs are wildly different animals and the fact that you can do this on both is something of a coincidence. Did they take the idea... probably, but it could have reasonably been re-invented for the LCD.

Read here for more: http://grc.com/ctwho.htm

---
Re the samples above I prefer (in order):

XP - sharp but character shapes are odd
X - blurry but better character shapes.
Strong -horribly blurry to my eyes

Actually for most text less than 12 points I simply prefer a good pixel font with no smoothing.
     
Brass
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Jul 13, 2004, 06:53 PM
 
Originally posted by bborofka:
Just for a comparison...

X:
(image removed)


XP:
(image removed)


It's pretty subjective, but I'd say the XP shot is a lot more clear and easier to read, even if the fonts look a little funky. i's look like l's in OS X.
As much as I'm not a fan of anti-aliasing on either system, I have to admit that your Mac OS X image looks a lot worse than my Mac OS X screen. Something appears to be wrong with your configuration. My OS X window (in Camino, Mac OS X) looks much like the XP image you posted in terms of fuzziness, darkness and readability (yes, they are the technical terms... I used a fuzzometre to compare fuzziness).
     
bborofka
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Jul 13, 2004, 07:28 PM
 
Originally posted by Brass:
As much as I'm not a fan of anti-aliasing on either system, I have to admit that your Mac OS X image looks a lot worse than my Mac OS X screen. Something appears to be wrong with your configuration. My OS X window (in Camino, Mac OS X) looks much like the XP image you posted in terms of fuzziness, darkness and readability (yes, they are the technical terms... I used a fuzzometre to compare fuzziness).
Strange, I took both screenshots with Firefox 0.9.2 on each platform. X is running the "Standard - Best for CRT" setting, XP running cleartype. Both were using exact same font settings in the browsers. Screenshots were taken at 1024x768 res. with full screen browser windows.
     
CubeWannaB
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Jul 13, 2004, 09:16 PM
 
Originally posted by Adam Betts:
I disagree 100%. They're so different even with all text rendering option in PS.

The text rendering engine they used in PS is ancient (untouched since 1999) and need to be updated badly.
So true. Have you seen the anti-aliasing options available in Fireworks? How I wish Photoshop could do that.

http://www.macromedia.com/software/f.../antialiasing/
     
kcmac
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Jul 13, 2004, 09:34 PM
 
Screenshots never look quite right for either platform. Side by side is the only way to go.
     
Chuckit
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Jul 13, 2004, 10:11 PM
 
Originally posted by bborofka:
Just for a comparison...

It's pretty subjective, but I'd say the XP shot is a lot more clear and easier to read, even if the fonts look a little funky. i's look like l's in OS X.
The XP fonts are clearer. I suppose I can see how it would be easier to read for some people. I can read either without going to any extreme difficulty, so I can't really judge a difference there. But like you said, this potential extra readability apparently comes at the cost of mangling the character shapes.
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K++
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Jul 14, 2004, 04:10 PM
 
Originally posted by bborofka:
Just for a comparison...

X:



XP:



It's pretty subjective, but I'd say the XP shot is a lot more clear and easier to read, even if the fonts look a little funky. i's look like l's in OS X.
I take it back, that text is awful, I have an APple Studio displa yand ever pixel is perfect, but since you took a screencap and not a picture of the screen, I assume the problem is the video card. The people with awful test, do you guys have Nvidia cards or some card that makes text like like shiat?
     
Stradlater
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Jul 14, 2004, 04:12 PM
 
Originally posted by Chuckit:
By the way, you know that changing the font smoothing prefs only affects new applications that you open, right? Ones that were already open will retain the old font smoothing.
I thought the ones already open still changed as long as you were viewing new text or if existing text has refreshed.
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diamondsw
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Jul 14, 2004, 04:33 PM
 
As a result of this forum thread, I tried the Strong, Medium, and Light settings (all of which do subpixel antialiasing) on my iBook LCD. Looks great with black on white text, but looks *awful* with white on colored text (like selected menu items).

If you want to see a truly awful example, set Safari's font to Lucida Grande 13 (nice unified look and feel) and surf on over to http://slashdot.org. Whoa...
     
Sophus
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Jul 15, 2004, 04:19 AM
 
Originally posted by diamondsw:
As a result of this forum thread, I tried the Strong, Medium, and Light settings (all of which do subpixel antialiasing) on my iBook LCD. Looks great with black on white text, but looks *awful* with white on colored text (like selected menu items).

If you want to see a truly awful example, set Safari's font to Lucida Grande 13 (nice unified look and feel) and surf on over to http://slashdot.org. Whoa...
Only the medium setting (best for LCD) does sub-pixel rendering (utilize parts of the pixel by only lighting the pixels R or G or B part to smooth (or blur) the outline of the font).

The other settings do ordinary pixel rendering, and does this by using greyscale on the sourrounding pixels outlining the font.

You can check this by taking a screenshot of text and magnify it about 500%. With the medium setting, colored dots are used in the smoothing, while on the other settings, grey pixels are used.
     
kefkafloyd
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Jul 15, 2004, 12:23 PM
 
Originally posted by Sophus:
Only the medium setting (best for LCD) does sub-pixel rendering (utilize parts of the pixel by only lighting the pixels R or G or B part to smooth (or blur) the outline of the font).

The other settings do ordinary pixel rendering, and does this by using greyscale on the sourrounding pixels outlining the font.

You can check this by taking a screenshot of text and magnify it about 500%. With the medium setting, colored dots are used in the smoothing, while on the other settings, grey pixels are used.
This is incorrect, the "light, medium, strong" are all differing strengths of the sub-pixel rendering. Only Standard does regular grayscale AA.
     
sanity assassin
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Jul 15, 2004, 04:52 PM
 
A lot of this is personal preference. I much prefer Windows font rendering to OS X's.

Same thing with mouse movement, Windows is far nicer than OS X's again. Personal taste.
     
Sophus
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Jul 15, 2004, 05:44 PM
 
Originally posted by kefkafloyd:
This is incorrect, the "light, medium, strong" are all differing strengths of the sub-pixel rendering. Only Standard does regular grayscale AA.
Yes this is correct. Thank you.
     
 
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