Sunday, February 20, 2005

Bored ... understood font fundas

Bored ... need to do something other that working on the current proof. Options include

* Going out with the camera - its too cold outside. I cant manage the camera with gloves.
* Work on showing the access points in the right click context menu of kwifimanager. Its halfway done but once I start working on it, I wont have any work done tonight.
* Fine-tune my KDE 3.3.0/Mandrake 10.1 system. Vote for that!

I recently saw a couple of screenshots of OS X. One of the reasons their display look so smooth and nice is their text engine. Like Adobe and Microsoft, Apple has invested a lot in their text rendering. Anti-aliasing (AA), sub-pixel hinting and other sophisticated font technology give users a feel of ~1200 dpi print medium on their ~75 dpi (my Dell LCD panel) laptop display.

The recent mandrake distributions use fontconfig. One can use the KDE control panel or manually set up AA and hinting. I initially excluded AA for range 8-12pt but then didnt like it and turned on AA for all sizes. I also changed the menu/window title etc. fonts. Things look a lot smoother and better (for the eye too) now. One of the problem that still stays is the ugly bold font of the taskbar buttons. I could not find a font which would look good on the current button (with bold face) and inactive buttons (with normal face). Anyway - its not that bad.

And oh ... after you change the AA settings you need to restart the (relevant) app to see the change. For the taskbar (which cant be restarted that easily) you can just go to a text console (alt+fn+1) and come back or hide the panel and then show it; all of these will force font rendering with the new setting.

Back to latexing.

- d.

1 comment:

chak said...

hmm... good post..i did not realize that anti-aliasing is turned off by default for a font range in kde... :-p Just turned it on. Things look wee bit better now! :-D Aar kothaye thaakish... kokhono call korle to paoai jaaye na :-(

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