Posts in Category "Windows"

March 6, 2012

On Keyboard Layouts

An ANSI keyboard.

At the ATypI conference 2011 in Reykjavík, I gave a talk entitled “Pitfalls of Pi fonts.” This presentation was the culmination of a project that involved the creation of keyboard layouts for all of our dingbat fonts. The ultimate purpose of this project was the desire to replace obsolete Type 1 (T1) fonts with more current OpenType fonts (OTFs), which was necessary for various reasons, the most important of which being that T1 fonts lack proper Unicode information. On another hand, this shortcoming in the T1 font format was also its greatest advantage: virtually all the glyphs were easily accessible from the keyboard.
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8:00 AM Permalink
November 12, 2010

Microsoft DirectWrite is Coming

You may remember my earlier blog post in which I stated that turning on ClearType makes the fonts look better on Windows, and that is generally true if the text is set at a small size (i.e. 9–16 px). But at the same time, text set at a large size displays jagged edges, whereas it doesn’t if the font smoothing option is set to anti-aliasing (aka grayscale).

Headlines from Typekit's homepage rendered by Google Chrome 7.x on Windows 7 with ClearType turned on. Notice the jagged edges on the curved top and bottom parts of the letters.

Headlines from Typekit's homepage rendered by Google Chrome 7.x on Windows 7 with ClearType turned on. Notice the jagged edges on the curved top and bottom parts of the letters.

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10:31 AM Permalink
October 13, 2010

Default Font Smoothing On Windows

A couple weeks ago I mentioned the three rasterization methods available on Windows XP, and explained how to enable ClearType. This time I’m going to talk about the browsers’ default font smoothing method on the various versions of Windows, and how that may affect the rendering of text.

Windows
XP
Windows
Vista and 7
Firefox 3.x
Google Chrome 6.x
Internet Explorer 6.x
Opera 10.x
Safari 5.x
Anti-aliasing
(browser uses the system’s
default setting)
ClearType
(browser uses the system’s
default setting)
Internet Explorer 7.x
Internet Explorer 8.x
ClearType
(browser has a setting independent of the system setting)

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2:57 PM Permalink
September 28, 2010

Turning On ClearType On Windows XP

When you see text displayed on a modern computer screen or on a handheld device’s display, you are likely to be looking at a font that has been rasterized, i.e. converted, from vector outlines to pixels. There are currently three main ways of accomplishing this rasterization. The most basic one is aliased rendering, where the letters are drawn in black and white pixels only. The next one is anti-aliased rendering, where the pixels can assume shades of gray, in addition to black and white. And the third one is sub-pixel rendering, where the intermediate degrees of pixel opacity between black and white are displayed in color rather than grayscale. Microsoft’s sub-pixel rendering technology is called ClearType.

From left to right: aliased, anti-aliased and sub-pixel renditions of the letter o (enlarged to show detail).

From left to right: aliased, anti-aliased and sub-pixel renditions of the letter o (enlarged to show detail).

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9:00 AM Permalink