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Desktops (Apple)

+ - Mac OS X and Font Smoothing

Submitted by Piroca
Piroca writes: Font smoothing in OS X is one of the worst aspects of the system, yet few users dare to complain about it. The rationale behind Quartz font rendering is that anything in the screen should be rendered as they would while printing. Apple decided to turn off font hinting and perform anti-aliasing indiscriminately, thus adding artifacts to horizontal and vertical lines. It happens the end result is that fonts at small sizes are blurry and not very easy to read (which is exactly the opposite result expected from the anti-aliasing strategy, and renders the crispness of LCDs useless). Apple has been heavy-handed about this issue since OS X 10.1 by not acknowledging it and not providing configuration options to turn off anti-aliasing in small fonts while providing font hinting and choices for system fonts (the ubiquitous Lucida Grande is not hinted therefore it looks wrong when anti-aliased) as the old System 9 and Windows do. This situation is unlikely to change anytime soon (Leopard won't do anything about it, at least). For me, this is a problem because I have to develop on OS X and keep starring at blurry fonts the whole day gives me headaches. I'm pretty sure other developers out there have the same problem, therefore here goes my question: what do you do to cope with the troublesome font smoothing in OS X?

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