Can anti-aliasing be turned off in OS X

akadmon

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Aug 30, 2006
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I'm one of those people to whom anti-aliased text looks fuzzy & blurry. So how do I turn anti-aliasing off completely in OS X?
 

AllieNeko

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2003
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Develop sanity and see a psychologist? Modern "anti-aliasing" is not merely filling in pixels with grey. It's using specific colors to address only certain subpixels, thus radically increasing (3X) the horizontal resolution of the text. It's not "blurry" at all - it's FAR sharper creating a smooth appearance.

Only with old anti-aliasing (greyscale) techniques or on CRT monitors could it be considered blurred.

See this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Subpixel_rendering
 
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Blue Velvet

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Jul 4, 2004
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It's ugly as hell but go to System Preferences>Appearance>Font Smoothing (at bottom) and mess with the options till you're happy.
 
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akadmon

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It's ugly as hell but go to System Preferences>Appearance>Font Smoothing (at bottom) and mess with the options till you're happy.
The trouble is I'm not happy with any of them! It seems none of the options actually turn anti-aliasing off.

I came across some references to a little program called Tinkertool. Does anyone know if it can turn OS X anti-aliasing off?
 
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panoz7

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2005
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I came across some references to a little program called Tinkertool. Does anyone know if it can turn OS X anti-aliasing off?
Tinkertool won't let you turn font smoothing off entirely but it will let you set the minimum font size (OS X's default is 8) for which font smoothing occurs. Set it to something big and I think you'll be set.

I'd also recommend giving font smoothing a try for a little while. When I first tried OS X it drove me crazy... I thought it was really blurry also. After a week or two I adjusted and now I can't live without it.
 
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akadmon

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Tinkertool won't let you turn font smoothing off entirely but it will let you set the minimum font size (OS X's default is 8) for which font smoothing occurs. Set it to something big and I think you'll be set.

I'd also recommend giving font smoothing a try for a little while. When I first tried OS X it drove me crazy... I thought it was really blurry also. After a week or two I adjusted and now I can't live without it.
Not possible for me to adjust, as I spend 9 hours a day looking at a Windows screen at work. Sad, but when I get home, I actually prefer surfing on WinXP under Boot Camp just becuase text looks so much more readible to my eyes.

Can you provide a download link to the latest version of Tinkertool? I looked on tucows and download.com, but it's not there.
 
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panoz7

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2005
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Not possible for me to adjust, as I spend 9 hours a day looking at a Windows screen at work. Sad, but when I get home, I actually prefer surfing on WinXP under Boot Camp just becuase text looks so much more readible to my eyes.

Can you provide a download link to the latest version of Tinkertool? I looked on tucows and download.com, but it's not there.
Here ya go: http://www.bresink.eu/Downloads/TinkerTool.dmg.gz
 
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akadmon

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I downloaded Tinkertool and changed the minimum font size for smoothing to something >12. Text looks much better now!:) Macrumors looks exactly as it does in Windows IE. I haven't checked many other sites, but the font Apple uses on its site does not look all that great when it's not being anti-aliased. Strange -- it seems OK in Windows.

Is there any way in Safari to override the font a page specifies for itself? I've changed the standard font to Helvetica, but this has no effect on apple.com. Also, even though I've turned off anti-aliasing, text appears to be still anti-aliased in Opera (not that I'm thinking of using Opera much -- I find it slower than Safari).
 
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Cromulent

macrumors 603
Oct 2, 2006
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Fonts on websites are defined using CSS, so you have no control over what font it displays short of disabling the specific fonts it does use and thus forcing it to use the nearest compatible font.
 
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iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
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Fonts on websites are defined using CSS, so you have no control over what font it displays short of disabling the specific fonts it does use and thus forcing it to use the nearest compatible font.
Safari supports user style sheets, so you can override stuff locally. There is a dialog to choose a local CSS file under the Safari advanced preferences. A Google search will point at ways to make use of this.
 
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akadmon

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Fonts on websites are defined using CSS, so you have no control over what font it displays short of disabling the specific fonts it does use and thus forcing it to use the nearest compatible font.
Hm -- I thought that control over anti-aliasing rests with the OS, and that the CSS only sets the typface and style.
 
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wwooden

macrumors 68010
Jul 26, 2004
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Burlington, VT
I guess by using OS X so much, I don't notice it. I work with a windows computer all day at work and don't think twice about the font when I get home. The stuff at work looks very computery, while the Apple font is nice and smooth.

I read on here before that OS X font is much more accurate and representative of what it will look like when printed, which is good for graphic designers and such.

I know some people have similar problems with the mouse acceleration between the two systems, I can't even feel a difference.
 
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yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
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Portland, OR
Strange... I guess being an Apple lifer has warped my views of fonts as well. Whenever I use a PC (every ay long at work) I'm astounded at how crappy the fonts look. Nothing is round, no curves are actually curved, etc. It's just ugly. Tomato, tomatoe, I guess. :)

(god, Print Screen takes such a piss-poor picture)

I know some people have similar problems with the mouse acceleration between the two systems, I can't even feel a difference.
I have to turn off "Enhanced" pointer precision on WindowsXP. I can barely use a mouse with it on.
 

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