Firefox 3 Text rendering versus Safari

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by petvas, Jan 2, 2009.

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Text rendering quality: Which browser is better?

  1. Safari renders text better

    14 vote(s)
    73.7%
  2. Firefox is renders text better

    2 vote(s)
    10.5%
  3. No difference to me. Both browsers look the same to me.

    3 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. petvas macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #1
    This is not another thread which of the two browsers is the best, but I would like to know which renders text better. In other words, where does text look better, on Safari or on Firefox 3.xx?

    I am now using Firefox as my main browser and the things that bother me are the lack of Mac OS X integration (drop down menus, text boxes, no bouncing download icons, etc) but I can live without them because for me Firefox is technically superior...

    I still have the impression though that the text renders best on Safari. Am I wrong? It seems to me that the character spacing works better on Safari than Firefox, not that the latter isn't any good. This thing could make me return to Safari again, so now I am trying Firefox out for the next couple of days.
    Please note I am using Firefox 3.1b2.
     
  2. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #2
    Between those two browsers, I'd say Safari. However, I think Opera renders text better than both of them.
     
  3. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #3
    I haven't included Opera because it doesn't support 1Password, so I don't even consider using it, however if more people think that Opera should be included, then Mods please change the poll accordingly
     
  4. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #4
    For me I can not stand the way FF renders text and it was the major issue that caused me not to switch to it.

    Opera on the other hand is the same as Safari (or at least as close as not to notice)
     
  5. ZiggyPastorius macrumors 68040

    ZiggyPastorius

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Berklee College of Music
    #5
    If I understand you correctly, you're talking about the ability to remember passwords and usernames and such, and fill them in automatically when you visit websites?

    Opera had that long before Safari and Firefox did, just like tabbed browsing, saves sessions, closed tab undoing, and many other features. (some of them they still don't have). Plus, I don't know what 1password has to do with text rendering.

    Edit: I guess this 1password is actually some third-party thing that creates passwords and stuff for you. No, I guess it probably doesn't have that.

    Edit 2: I'm adding to this post so I don't clog your thread anymore. I understand what you were asking, which is why I was confused when you mentioned 1password, which has nothing to do with text-rendering.
     
  6. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #6
    The thread is about which browser handles Website text better. I only said that I am not considering Opera because of the lack of a plugin for 1Password.
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    When you say that you like text on Safari better than Firefox, could it possibly be because Firefox, by default, ignores OS X's threshold for smallest font size on which smoothing is applied? Small font sizes should look different in the two because by default, they will be smoothed in Firefox and will not in Safari (smoothing small fonts sometimes makes them a bear to read).

    See this:

    http://kb.mozillazine.org/index.php?title=Gfx.use_text_smoothing_setting&printable=yes&printable=yes

    You should also probably at minimum set the same default fonts in Firefox and Safari before you draw a conclusion about which one renders text better.
     
  8. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #8
    I have set the same fonts in Firefox as in Safari and text looked better on Safari. Thanks for this link. I will disable text smoothing and see what happens.
     
  9. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #9
    I still think that Safari renders text better than Firefox. It's a shame actually because I love the plugins and the feature set of FF....
     
  10. VSMacOne macrumors 601

    VSMacOne

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2008
    #10
    I was an avid Firefox fan before i switched to a Mac. I loved the add-ons and all the cool stuff, but since I got my MB, i've used Safari. I just loved the way it displays pages/fonts and i've been able to get Safari set up pretty close to what my Firefox used to be...
    So yes, I like Safari text better.
     
  11. petvas thread starter macrumors 601

    petvas

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2006
    Location:
    Mannheim, Germany
    #11
    After changing the option to false, the text is being much better rendered and displayed. I still believe that Safari renders it better but now the difference is really very small.
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    ^^ Agreed, there's definitely a difference irrespective. There was an interesting article on this...

    http://css-tricks.com/font-rendering-differences-firefox-vs-ie-vs-safari/

    Essentially, there is very little standardization on this issue, and it's a major thorn to web developers, since text is a major part of most websites, and there is no way to adequately control its appearance.

    I also think Safari is the best looking, although these days I rarely use it and live with Firefox....
     
  13. Nick L. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    #13

    Thats exactly what bothers me in Firefox, all small fonts are still smoothed. even though i checked to honor OSX settings, everything is still smoothed. Anybody else experiencing this problem?
     
  14. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #14
    consider the font smooth in OSX only being disable for font smaller than 5pt? 8 pt? Im not sure there are significant amount of people ever see it in a webpage at all.

    I prefer firefox's font rendering after all, safari's font is vertically shorter. OSX's font is somewhat fussy already, smaller make it more difficult for me to read.

    Its less about which is "better", more about they are "different".
     

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