iMAC 24" shadow affect / out of focus around text in all Apps

Discussion in 'iMac' started by KevinClarke, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. KevinClarke macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2008
    Near London
    Dear Forum,

    I'm new to this forum and MAC's having spent( for my sins)most of my time working in windows... So please excuse me if I'm missing something obvious or if I appear I'm trying to compare as I'm not and really want to move to iMACs from windows.

    I have new 24" iMAC 3.06GHZ running Leopard 10.5.5 O/S. I also run Parallels which is required for work where I switch or emulate to Vista. This works really well and is very quick.

    The Problem:

    When I'm using the iMAC as a MAC and not in emulation to Vista. I notice the quality of the text is poor or looks like a shadow affect around the text. This can be seen whether simply looking at the folder names in the HDD or headings. It is especially noticeable when using Safari or Firefox. I have tried to alter the fonts as I appreciate the fonts are set per application and not system wide, but this has little or no affect.

    I also played around with the 'Appearance settings' (font smooth scrolling style). However this has very little affect. I did exit and re-start safari to test each time to make sure a change occurred.

    I have also been through the calibration, this makes no difference either.

    Please Note - This issue is only on text as pictures, jpg's are absolutely fine.

    Now If I use Parallels and emulate to Vista, (sorry I don't like comparing) everything appears as I would expect to see without problem. This to me is strange! and rules out a screen issue, but more like some kind of problem with the way fonts and settings are handled in pure MAC mode.? I did read somewhere on this forum other making this point?

    In summary the shadow affect I see in MAC mode seems like the setting "Clear type" Vs "Standard" that is available and alterable in windows,it appears more exaggerated though on the iMAC.

    Can anyone help as to be honest I find myself using Parallels more than I want to and this is not what I bought te iMAC for. :(

    Many thanks for your help
  2. johto macrumors 6502


    Jan 15, 2008
    Ok firstly, this is very common question. There is nothing "wrong" on your fonts. This is just how OS X renders them. Aka more "antialiased" than you have used in old Windows, or even if compared to a "clear type" rendering in newer Windows. I think OS X has much better looking font. Much softer and "thick", so they appear much more like the real ones once printed!

    This is the main idea behind the looks of fonts in OS X.

    Its a matter of opinion and what you have been used to. I can say, of course i too first noticed the difference when i switched to mac from 15 years of using Windows. Now when i compare the "normal" old font in Windows XP (running inside vmware) they look HORRIBLE thin and "sickly" and "jaggy" :D

    Like i said, apples and oranges...Here, i want to take screenshot of my own text so you can see if your are the same and that its "OK AND NORMAL" for a Mac. :rolleyes:
    Here is a zoomed version, so you see there is a designed antialiasing:


    Your problem stems from the fact that your eyes arent yet adjusted to the Mac side of rendering fonts. Please stop using Windows and check back to it month later, youd be suprised! :D

    Oh, btw, you do run your imac at full resolution aka 1920x1200 ? Just checking ;)
  3. KevinClarke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2008
    Near London
    Dear Johto,

    Firstly many thanks for responding to my post. It is reassuring their is not a problem with my system or set-up as I can concur the image you sent is the same clarity as mine. My resolution is indeed set for 1920x1200.

    I will endeavour to persevere with how MAC O/S renders the fonts, though this will be difficult as I still need to use Parallels and switch to Vista for business applications use. However, this is something I can live with given the many excellent aspects of MAC O/S I have seen so far and no doubt their are many more I have not yet experienced as well.

    I guess we all got caught up to varying degress in the 'windows revolution' over the years for both personal and business use. I'm certainly looking forward to breaking away from this mould and lean more about MAC O/S.

    Once again many thanks for your help and comments

    Kind regards
  4. phoobo macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2008
    if it makes you feel any better

    The problem is much worse with OS X on notebooks!

    (And it's a relatively new problem on Macs - didn't exist in OS 9)

    It is part of the plan in a way: Windows is designed to be easier to read off a screen; OS X is designed so the fonts will more closely resemble print - which is not necessarily the easiest thing on the eyes when reading hour after hour.

    This is a physical problem with a certain percentage of users whose visual processing in the brain is more sensitive. I have the same problem; on a mac laptop, I have to run windows to avoid getting headaches and eyestrain. Have given it many chances, but no luck adapting so far.

    There is a very intelligent forum OS X font-rendering ergonomic problems here:

    One hopes Apple will provide a more ergonomic alternative, or that a third-party developer will come up with a ClearType-type (!) solution.
  5. KevinClarke thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2008
    Near London
    I guess it does make me feel a 'little' better to know it is not just me..

    Dear Phoobo,

    Many thanks for your response and link about this well known problem. It is reassuring to to know their are others (many others) who feel the same way.

    I had no idea this was not a problem so much on OS 9.... It seems a backwards step to me and this is not in anyway sticking up for windows. I originally came from a Unix background (well many years ago) and I don't recall anything like this.

    I do agree with you that Apple or other need to provide altenatives.

    Kind regards

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