asian character rendering fuzzy

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by hehe299792458, May 3, 2009.

  1. hehe299792458 macrumors 6502a

    hehe299792458

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    Dec 13, 2008
    #1
    I noticed that I FF and Safari, asian character (japanese, and most notably Chinese) characters seem to be render in a rather fuzzy way. It's quite similar to what happens on Vista with cleartype enabled and outputed via VGA. However, I left the font smoothing options on default, and this is on the primary screen of my UMBP. Making the text larger does help somewhat, but are there more permanent solutions? Thanks!:)
     
  2. jon08 macrumors 65816

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    Nov 14, 2008
    #2
    What fonts are you using on FF/Safari? Can you post a screenshot of the fuzzy characters? I wonder if it's the same as on my MBP...
     
  3. hehe299792458 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    hehe299792458

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    #3
    I left the fonts on default....

    Does the text in the picture look somewhat blurry to you (especially look at the blue headlines on top)?
     

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  4. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #4
    Yeah, this is just the way OS X renders fonts. It's not specific to Asian fonts, either.

    As far as I know, there's no simple solution.

    You can workaround in Firefox by setting a minimum size for character sets in FF prefs or setting text smoothing to a higher font size in your system preferences. I prefer the former and have my Korean and Japanese fonts set that way though it can definitely screw up the layout sometimes. :(
     
  5. hehe299792458 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    hehe299792458

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    Dec 13, 2008
    #5

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I was hoping for a more effective solution, but it seems that this is not possible under OS X. The minimum font in FF is already at 16, and font smoothing is set to size 12 and above. I wonder why OS is so lacking in this area.
     
  6. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    Well, it has to do with Apple going for accuracy in preserving the shape of the typeface vs the fit into pixel approach of other OSes. Supposedly, this helps the graphics and publishing type people.

    I agree with you that OS X is definitely lacking here and/or Apple made the wrong choice in terms of form over function in terms of on screen readability. A lot of Apple fans will try to convince you that the fuzzy is better but the moment you move away from Roman script (which on the surface is a pretty simplistic writing system) readability goes to hell.

    I notice this a lot less on most Korean fonts, but there are a few that definitely suffer under Apple font smoothing. I'd hate to have to spend most of my day reading Chinese characters on an Apple machine.
     
  7. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    #7
    Man, OS X + Asian characters = bag of hurt.

    Thread necro, but I've been going nuts the past few days because I've been working mostly in CJK on a Mac and the font rendering has been driving me nuts.

    Here's a viable workaround for FireFox and Safari.

    First, download and install TinkerTool if you don't already have it. There's a pane for Font Smoothing. You can use this option to set it higher than 12pt, which is what the Appearance pane in System Preferences will limit you to. Depending on the language, this will need to be 16+.

    Safari, you should be good to go.

    FireFox, by default, doesn't respect the system setting. In the address bar, type about:config. Go to gfx.use_text_smoothing_setting. By default, it will be set to false. Double click it to set it to TRUE. This will make FF respect the OS settings for anti aliasing. Restart.

    I've noticed that menu items will look terrible but at least the pages will render readable characters.

    Default Apple system fonts for Asian characters just plain suck. :mad: Also, some of the localization teams need to be fired. Unbelievable how inconsistent language use is at the system level.
     

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