Fuzzy Text

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by EchoPure, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. EchoPure macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011

    I just got my new Macbook Air from UPS today and I love it! I'm really glad I got the Sammy SSD.
    However, the display is really bothering me. The fonts seem fuzzy compared to my Sony Vaio. Is there anyway I can fix this??

  2. ShiftClick macrumors regular


    May 9, 2010
    Los Angeles
    Post a pic, both models have very sharp displays.
  3. EchoPure thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
  4. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009

    Have you used OSX before? Font rendering on OSX (and now some modern Windows apps/frameworks) is more "fuzzy" and less locked to sharp pixels as opposed to what most people are used to with Windows font rendering.

    The result is text that's rendered more closely to printed text. Some people prefer it and some don't. On a high DPI screen like both Macbook Airs have it shouldn't be as noticeable as on lower DPI screens.

    Edit: Your screenshot looks normal to me on my Macbook. Try googling for OSX screenshots and looking at them on your Vaio screen. That should help determine whether you're just seeing the difference in font rendering or whether it's something with your display.
  5. taeclee99 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2002
    Anywhere but here
    Let me guess, you have the LG screen right?

    The fonts look slightly fuzzy on mine too. Not sure if the samsung screens are like this as well.
  6. EchoPure thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    Yes, I have the LG screen. When I was at Futureshop, and I don't remember the text being as fuzzy as my new Macbook Air.
    I believe the iPhone 4s have LG LCDs too right? My iPhone 4 screen looks amazing compared to the Macbook Air screen.

    Is there anyway to configure the rendering??

    Also, is there a way to set the default text size to be bigger? I find that I constantly have to zoom on each page that loads in safari.
  7. taeclee99, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011

    taeclee99 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2002
    Anywhere but here
    This is the calibration file that I use. i found it easier to read after I changed the calibration settings. Found it on another thread here on macumors:


    Copy it to Library\ColorSync\Profiles

    After the file is copied, press alt + F2

    Go to the color tab

    Select the profile to apply settings. (this profile is also called color lcd)
    You can tell that you are choosing the right one by hovering over it - It will display the file name CustomMacRumors.icc)

    The profile is known to kill darker colors notably blacks but I find it is alot easier to read with this profile.

    You can set the zoom level in safari for all pages with an extension called "AllPagesZoom."

  8. Tagbert macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2011
    Which model do you have? 11.6 or 13?

    All of the 11.6" airs I've seen had very crisp screens due to the high dot pitch.

    You might be seeing a difference in anti-aliasing settings. Anti-aliasing is how the jagged pixels in fonts are smoothed by adding faintly colored pixels to the edge of the fonts. Usually Mac OS smooths fonts at smaller size than Windows does.
  9. Mandork macrumors member

    May 8, 2011
  10. EchoPure, Aug 2, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011

    EchoPure thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 20, 2011
    I just went on my Vaio laptop to look at the screenshot I took.
    The text looks like how the picture is displaying it on the Vaio.

    Does this mean I'm just not used to the rendering of fonts on osx?

    I have the 13 inch model.
  11. CubeHacker macrumors 65816


    Apr 22, 2003
    Yep, that means you are not used to it.
  12. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    Please stop this nonsense. I've used both screen types, and they are both very good.
  13. The Expert macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2011
    It should not matter weather its an LG or Samsung display. Ultimately, they are both identical with perhaps a minor discoloration on the LG display which OCD people seem to pick up and notice.
  14. taeclee99 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 4, 2002
    Anywhere but here
    I'm just stating my opinion that's all. SInce you have used both screens, which of the two do you prefer?
  15. TheRealDamager macrumors 65816

    Jan 5, 2011
    Honestly - I don't prefer either. Once calibrated, they are both very good.
  16. OSMac macrumors 65816

    Jun 14, 2010
    If your used to Win 7 fonts on the Sony,
    you will probably find OSX fonts blurry for a while.

    They actually look better on the Air
    than they do on the 13" Pro due to the Airs higher resolution.
  17. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Part of that is that the iPhone 4 has more than double the DPI of the Macbook Air screens ;)
  18. nebulos, Aug 3, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 4, 2011

    nebulos macrumors 6502a


    Aug 27, 2010
    once you take a picture (screenshot), each computer is simply displaying the image file (e.g., jpeg). there's no font rendering going on, because it's not showing font, it's showing an image.

    anyways, yes, font smoothing in OSX is different than in Windows. rendering font is like writing on a lite brite, since you're using pixels. you have to approximate curves and shapes, so you have to choose how to approximate. Apple's approach is to stay as close to the font shape as possible, even at the cost of readability, fuzziness. Microsoft's approach is to get the most readable approximation, even at the cost of altering the font's shape, or aesthetics.

    Apple font is fuzzy, which i hate. i was on a mac for years, but have now been on windows for about 2 years and looking back at the fuzz is hard. i'm getting a new air soon and i'm hoping i can adjust.

    traditionally user's have been able to adjust the amount of font smoothing in OSX (light, medium, strong). for Snow Leopard, you had to go into the terminal, or download TinkerTool. not sure what to do in Lion.

    anyways, it doesn't work miracles, but it might help a tiny bit. it's still fuzzy on any setting. you can (could) also turn it off completely, but then it looks atrocious.

    what resolution do you have on the Vaio? i'm on a high res thinkpad and font is crystal clear. it makes going back to the fuzz even harder.
  19. oBMTo macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2010
    Fonts look fine in Windows 7 and look like crap in Lion with my MBA.
  20. vader_slri macrumors regular

    Mar 15, 2009
    Fuzzy text was the first thing I noticed when I first started using OS X having used Windows for many years. As others have mentioned, it is a design decision made by Apple to render fonts more faithfully. Many in the design and related industries prefer and appreciate this aesthetic. It does take some time getting used to it but your eyes adjust eventually.
  21. JJHello macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    First thing I noticed when I moved to OSX. I came from a high resolution screen PC before owning a Mac, and it was such a change. I just installed Windows 7 through bootcamp, and it was nice to see how clear the resolution of Windows was again. :)
  22. Bob Coxner macrumors 6502a

    Mar 24, 2011
    Is text in iOS the same as text in OS X? I'm a lifelong PC looking to buy my first Mac but the fuzzy text is not a welcome topic. I don't have a problem with text on my iPad, so I'm hoping it would be the same on the MBA.
  23. JJHello macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    I don't think it's that bad honestly--go to an Apple Store and see it for yourself if you want.
  24. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    This is the result of a windows to osx switch. Whenever I use windows I can't stand how aliased the fonts are. On inferior monitors it even pixel doubles to chromatic aberration.
  25. Hands Sandon macrumors 6502

    Aug 3, 2008
    Don't different browsers render text differently too?

    Safari has always seemed more natural than the more digitized text of IE and Firefox to me.

    I use a safari extension to automatically make the page zoom in- http://sidetree.com/extensions.html#AllPagesZoom

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