Weird fonts - another font smooting issue


macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 14, 2011
I just upgraded my imac to intel i5 version 2.5Mhz.
Before i had a version from 6 months ago with i3 processor 3.0Mhz.
First thing that i noticed that fonts dont look clear.
They are kind of gray,sort of like there would be some problem with convergence.
I never felt this with older mac i3 which had ati card and this one has AMD card.

So far i was able to figure out that you can set 4 types of the

they all can be set with below commands or tinkertool (before it could be done in preferences)

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 0 - None

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 1 - LIGHT

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2 - MEDIUM

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 3 - STRONG

it looks like above setting are used to choose the the type of the subpixel
rendering (Quartz) and if you use it together with option:

"Turn off the font smooting for sizes smaller then ..."

any font that has fonth smoothing enabled (not the font below minimum value above)
will use smoothing settings set with above commands or tinkertool.

The only exception is lucida grande that is not affected by any
settings.(it is supposed to be by design - see zoomed.png)

Attached are few samples:
no_smoothing.png - standard settings - 144 setting for font with tinkertool
standard_smoothing.png - standard settings - font below minmum settings
light_smooting.png - light settings
medium_smoothing.png - medium settings
strong_smooting.png - strong settings

Unfortunately, my eyes have different sensivity and the subpixel rendering (called Quartz on MAC) does not work for me. Interesting part is that all was good until I changed the Mac to the one with AMD card.
Before I never complained.

I understand that Mac is trying to make fonts look like on print, but they dont look like that. They look blurry and my eyes get tired quickly.
I guess all you here, have different eyes and see it super sharp.
I dont. For me I see it like there would be a convergence problem with the display. Those who ever calibrated the tv know what effect i am talking about. Next step is go to the eye doctor and check my eyes.

I started to read a lot about the history of the fonts and different methods to make them smooth and I found this nice artice about windows:

anyone knows about similar information but for mac?

Attached examples of different methods for mac.

I use my mac for processing the raw photograms, but I hate the font rendering. I was able to move to Tahoma font and disable smoothing, but it does not work everywhere (Lucida grande) and it also does not look as good as microsoft true type fonts with bi-level font rendering.

What is your experience?
Did you notice a change recently? (last two or 3 updates)







macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jul 14, 2011
I cannot believe that everyone here likes the mac fonts rendering.
Looks like you all (no offense) like that blurry look.
My eyes cannot get use to it.
It is so NO SHARP!!!
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