Resolution indpendence

Glynn Clements glynn at
Sat Jun 28 14:01:17 PDT 2008

James Cloos wrote:

> Glynn> And I wouldn't use anti-aliasing. The visual system relies upon
> Glynn> edge detection, and blurring the edges reduces legibility. The
> Glynn> place for anti-aliased text is if you are viewing the page as
> Glynn> "artwork" (rather than trying to read it), where accurately
> Glynn> representing the balance between ink and paper is more important.
> That is strongly dependent on the type of grid-fitting.  A well-
> instructed sfnt/glyf font will look better than a bitmap font, by
> fitting the vertical and horizontal strokes to the grid and using
> grayscale (or subpixel colouring) only on diagonals and curves.

I find that even properly hinted and scaffolded fonts don't cut it for

At a superficial level, AA text may look nice, but if I try reading a
significant amount of AA text, then switch back to reading text with a
bitmap font of a similar size, I get a noticable feeling of relief.

IOW, if the font looks messy without AA, you just don't have enough
resolution to be using scalable fonts for "normal" text (meaning,
stuff you're trying to read, not DTP).

The only time I see AA text is when reading "hardcopy" formats (PDF,
PostScript), where you don't have the option of using an approximate
font, and where non-AA text turns out to be even worse.

But then, I seem to use smaller fonts than most. If you only have
single-pixel strokes, everything tends to become a blur with AA.

Glynn Clements <glynn at>

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