Font rendering in 2016

Software

A couple of months ago, I built a gaming machine for the first time since I was a teenager. It was tons of fun, and the kick arse GTX970 was only rendered (HAH!) outdated after a couple of weeks! Darn you NVidia and your 1070.

Point is, I’ve been using Windows on the desktop for the first time in years. There are a few small improvements, but the font situation is still horribly grim.

I’ve never been a fan of the way Windows renders fonts, but the situation has subjectively not improved since I moved off XP. I remember reading ClearType’s subpixel rendering optimised sharpness by aligning strokes to pixel boundaries, but the effect still manages to look fuzzy and ill-defined in Windows 7 and 10.

(Surprisingly, GTK desktops on \*nix nailed this legibility–over–accuracy; if you turn on full subpixel rendering in Xfce the results are clearer than anything on Windows. And it’s not even the year of the Linux desktop)!

If I had to answer truthfully about why I use MacOS [sic] on the desktop, fonts are among the big reasons. If you’re a font nerd, nothing comes close.

Author bio and support

Me!

Ruben Schade is a technical writer and IaaS engineer in Sydney, Australia who refers to himself in the third person in bios. Wait, not BIOS… my brain should be EFI by now.

The site is powered by Hugo, FreeBSD, and OpenZFS on OrionVM, everyone’s favourite cloud infrastructure provider.

You can leave me a comment by contacting me, and I might publish your thoughts. Please read the FAQs first though.

If you found this post helpful or entertaining, you can shout me a coffee or buy some silly merch. Thanks!