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Font smoothing and development

  • # November 23, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    I’m using XP, and when developing, like all of you, I’m switching back and forth between FF (for dev tools) and IE (to see how the page will render for the majority of users).

    Now, FF doesn’t have any native font smoothing. IE does. So, text will render differently in the two browsers. Especially italics, which can look horrible in FF.

    You can make FF display smoothed text by turning it on globally in Windows’ display properties > effects > smoothing > cleartype. Now IE and FF look the same.

    Question is this: despite the jaggy appearance of FF’s font display in some cases, does it make sense to leave smoothing off so you at least have one browser that shows you what it will look like? Or, is this a bit like not supporting IE6 or non-javascript users: if they don’t have it turned on… then they should get with the program!

    ?

    # November 23, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    It doesn’t particularly matter, in the end.

    Font display isn’t really an issue. People are going to be able to read it regardless, why should it matter if it’s smooth or not?

    In my opinion, smoothing is a personal preference and should have nothing to do with the development of a site.

    # November 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Since we’re on the topic… Anyone know what causes it to be smooth or crisp? Is it the video card (settings)?

    # November 23, 2009 at 6:23 pm
    "AshtonSanders" wrote:
    Since we’re on the topic… Anyone know what causes it to be smooth or crisp? Is it the video card (settings)?

    As always, Google/Wikipedia, are your friends:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Font_rasterization

    :)

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