Font smoothing on a retina machine..

leman

macrumors G4
Oct 14, 2008
10,979
5,488
IMO, font smoothing shouldn't even be an option on retina machines... It is a 'hack' that employs certain idiosyncratic physical properties of LCD displays to make the text appear smoother. However, it can't work on the retina display simply because of the behind-the-scene resampling that the OS does to the images when running in a scaled mode. And the granularity of pixels on a retina display is small enough to make font smoothing unnecessary.
 

ABC5S

Suspended
Sep 10, 2013
3,395
1,646
Florida
You have to log out and back in to have the setting take effect.

My take on this is the other way around - I think it's fine on the retina display and really needs to be turned off for the MBA TN displays. YMMV!
Have done so. No difference noticed on my MacBook Pro Mid 2014 retina
 

newellj

macrumors 604
Oct 15, 2014
7,749
2,630
East of Eden
Have done so. No difference noticed on my MacBook Pro Mid 2014 retina
It's possible that there isn't any difference, or that the difference depends on settings, with the retina displays. I did see some difference on an MBA TN display, though it wasn't dramatic.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,428
796
Disable LCD font smoothing in preferences/general

everything looks MUCH better #
I don't see any difference either way. Of course, my old eyes don't see any difference between retina and non-retina, either.

With font smoothing:
With font smoothing.PNG
Without font smoothing:
Without font smoothing.PNG
 
Last edited:

Sheza

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2010
1,776
1,355
It seems to make fonts look a little less 'bold' on a retina display.

However I have to have it enabled because it look much better when docked to as 1080p display, which it is most of the time.
 

xgman

macrumors 603
Aug 6, 2007
5,050
811
I tried it off, but I hated it. I need the bolder fonts to see them clearly with my old eyes.
 

GatorGhost

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2014
113
19
I tried it off, but I hated it. I need the bolder fonts to see them clearly with my old eyes.
I agree...mostly so on the menu bar the font smoothing is much better with my iMac retina...no question...maybe it is better on a laptop. I have no way to know seeing as I have no MacBook retina to gauge it against. The beauty here is the font smoothing selection is optional as per the user. Win win!
 

Eduardboon

macrumors 6502
Jul 17, 2012
266
39
I turned it off as it gives more space between the letters. Especially on scaled resolutions it looks a lot better with smoothing turned off.
 
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