Mac Osx Font Is Blur Compare to XP

Discussion in 'macOS' started by zxcvb, Dec 25, 2008.

  1. zxcvb macrumors regular


    Sep 14, 2008
    hi guys, Im a recent new mac swicher from xp to MBP but I cannot help noticing mac osx system font is very blur compare to xp, xp character font is much slim and clear even on the same computer (bootcamp)

    so can anybody let me know what's the trick or is it supposed to be like this?

    thanks a lot
  2. ayeying macrumors 601


    Dec 5, 2007
    Yay Area, CA
    XP uses standard font smoothing, unless you activate ClearType. I find the "smooth" to be extremely annoying on XP. ClearType and OSX font rendering is much better imo.
  3. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    Basically, Mac OS X uses font smoothing and sub-pixel rendering by default, and XP doesn't.

    You'll get used to it after a while. OS X's way is technically better (not to mention more accurate), but I can understand the confusion.
  4. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Aug 13, 2006
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    It's called Font Smoothing. It looks better than ideas left over from the monochrome screen days.
  5. Catfish_Man macrumors 68030


    Sep 13, 2001
    Portland, OR
    Actually it's a lot less clear cut than that. OSX's antialiasing is smoother and represents letter shapes more accurately, but sacrifices clarity. Windows (w/ClearType) uses hinting heavily, resulting in clearer text, but sacrificing letter shapes. Arguably OSX's text is better suited for design work since it more accurately represents what you would see in print, and Windows text is better for screen use (although a lot of that comes down to what you're used to and how your eyes work).

    The real solution is higher DPI displays, so we can have both clarity and accuracy.
  6. deltaiscain macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    I am writing this right now on my bootcamp installation of vista, and it's killing my eyes. Yes, it is clearer to read, but then you get a big page of text, and halfway down it starts to hurt my eyes. I prefer osx's way 100x more. Just my opinion.
  7. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Going from XP to OS X, the font appears blurry, but you get used to it and eventually it becomes much easier on the eyes because you are not expecting it to be unnecessarily sharp.

    When I see an XP screen now, I find it hard on my eyes almost because it isn't smooth - too piercing.

    But I guess it is what you are used to and what your brain expects a font to be like.
  8. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Wasn't it the concept that Mac would be more faithful to what it would look like printed?
    It is different, but you can get used to them both.
  9. kunze50 macrumors regular

    Nov 13, 2007
    Victoria, BC
    You can always play around with font smoothing in the appearance pane in System prefences and use light for an xp look; but try to use automatic, (default), for a couple of days to get used to it. It will appear best after some good use with it this way.
  10. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
  11. opeter macrumors 65816


    Aug 5, 2007
    Slovenia, EU
    Yeah, it will appear best as soon as you get glasses because of blurynes.

    The blur problem is annoying if you have 10 pt letters or especially smaller. That is quite problematic, if you are using a 20" or bigger screen with 1600x1200 and up resolution.

    But if you turn of anti-aliasing in OSX, what will you get? Gosh.

    Windows's ClearType is much better for screen reading, especially for small typeletters. You know, there must be made a difference bettwen the screen-reading and printed material-readings. Simplay because printer materials is still much sharper.

    When (if) we get high dpi resoultion monitors (like, let's say 150-200 or even more dpi) in the future, than Apple's font antialiasing will be the one, that can be used for reading and elegantly displayed on these screens. But today, it will help you, that you get glasses, if you don't have already.

    Linux has also better font anti-aliasing than Mac OS X.
  12. phoobo macrumors regular

    Sep 13, 2008
    known problem with OSX - see link

    This is a known problem that causes headaches and dizziness in some with more sensitive eyes, and is more acute on certain Apple laptops than others: particularly bad are the *old* MB and MB pro and the Macbook Air (all models - indeed the MBA is, in my experience, the very worst in this respect).

    The *new* late 2008 aluminum MB screen is actually one of the best in this regard. Despite all the complaints you may see, the MB is actually much better than the MBA in for volume reading (though not so good for watching video because of problems with the black levels). It sounds like the new MBP has a similar visual noise problem to the MBA; you might consider switching from the MBP to the straight MB to get some relief. I know of one writer besides myself who finds the new MB screens to be much less "noisy" than other Apple laptops' screens in regard to font rendering - indeed he could not work on any other Apple laptop without getting headaches very rapidly.

    OSX rendering introduced problems that were not present in OS 9 and previous versions. This is discussed to some extent here

    Good luck.

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