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No antialiased fonts here, thank you

Edd Dumbill writes from time to time about hinting or using the right fonts so they look nicer - At the first glance, I found three such articles in ~six weeks. I don’t know if I’m too atypical in this area as well… But for most of my work, I prefer fonts not to be beautified by antialiasing. Strangely, it seems to depend on which program (or, maybe, activity) I am working - I have no grudge against antialiasing in a web browser, but I swear to God that if you antialias my emacs or my xterms, I will hate you. It just gets more tiring. I have no rational explanation for this - I just noticed the fact after using it for a while. I get more tired if the borders of the letters are not crisp - and I don’t really care about the little details in smaller sized fonts. Maybe that’s part of the reason antialiasing is nicer in the browser - After all, it is common to find text too small to read there. At 1280x1024 (or 1400x1050 on the laptop) with the usual font size, I get a nice 170x66 rxvt. That’s quite OK for most of the work that requires attention - and for following large amounts of text, decreasing the font size to a somewhat tiring size gives me a nice 200x92 window - almost always enough room. Crisp fonts. Easy to read. Does anybody else feel the same, or am I just too looney?


Henrik 2006-01-17 09:04:55

RE: No antialiased fonts here, thank you

Just FYI, the XFT support that will eventually be folded into mainline Emacs is entirely optional.

mabs 2006-01-17 14:28:49

RE: No antialiased fonts here, thank you

yep, thanks geez the xterm has no antialias. In fact I feel that GNOME has very good anti-aliasing in the menus. I was just ROFL when I saw Edd’s personal, "optimised" version - imho the worst of all… shiver…

paurullan 2006-01-17 08:59:50

RE: No antialiased fonts here, thank you

It is a great rare thing this of the antialiased fonts. I can hardly work without them (I am using a terminal at font size 8 with a resolution of 1280x768). In the browser, as you said, I have them always, but I have not found yet a font that fits me in the terminal. Which one do you use?

Rui 2006-01-17 10:36:35

RE: No antialiased fonts here, thank you

No you’re not alone.

I also can’t stand anti-aliased fonts. For me it’s on everything, not just terminals and emacs.

I see it this way: anti-aliased fonts are just an ugly kludge to deal with the low-resolution monitors we have today. Hopefully when high-res monitors (300+ DPI) start to be common, people will end this anti-aliasing nonsense.

Yet, Edd has a point. The font rendering quality of freetype/xft could see some improvement. On this regard Windows does a beautifull job: non anti-aliased fonts without rendering glitches at all sizes and shapes, Windows fonts are always very crisp. I do use Microsoft fonts on my desktop without anti-aliasing but they are never as perfectly rendered.