I'm assuming this is a modern version of GDI++, which a decade ago brought Mac-style font rendering to Windows, but stopped being maintained a while ago.
For people who aren't aware of the difference, it's essentially that Windows uses heavy font hinting to try to align character strokes with pixel boundaries which produces sharper letterforms at the cost of distortion of the aesthetic personality of the font, while Mac antialiases more to faithfully maintain the accurate letterforms of a typeface, at the cost of being blurrier.
It's basically the tabs-vs-spaces debate of font rendering. Nobody's "right", it's just personal preference. Fortunately, high-resolution "retina" style displays make the distinction much less important, in the same way that it's entirely irrelevant in high-resolution printing.
It was obviously not the screen resolution or anything, because you can run a linux vm (say, on virtualbox) and the text rendering inside the VM will look much better than the text in windows.
> Nobody's "right", it's just personal preference.
I don't think that's true. macos is clearly better.
Sure, it's great on higher DPI screens, but then it makes even less of a difference whichever one you use.
I'd say Microsoft made the right call here.
Yes I do prefer MacOS on high DPI screens but, at low DPI, I prefer Windows. It's about how the edges of characters look, as I was saying here https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=28031314
TTF fonts at small sizes on newer ~200+ dpi screens are even better again though. I'd love to try coding on a high res color e-paper screen.
In fact, I even built my own font just to make the Windows font rendering look even more crisp and pixelated like the good old DOS bitmap fonts.
I agree that it looks like sh*t, though. But I still believe the readability improvements are well worth the bad aesthetics.
It is easier for me to read fonts on Windows. And that is all that really matters to me. Fonts on Mac look fuzzy. This "clearly better" is just your perspective. It is not universally shared.
Yes I do use large 4K monitors but I keep text scale at 100%. Otherwise what's the point. The more text I see when programming the happier I am
The difference nowadays is so slim, I doubt it matters - assuming your app uses DirectWrite, and not GDI.
It's this form vs function distinction that's important here.
Quite apart from that, my understanding (as a non-user of macOS) is that macOS’s font rendering used to be better than it is now, because they used to do subpixel antialiasing but no longer do, preferring to simplify things because it’s not as valuable on high-resolution displays which they mostly (but not consistently) try to shunt people towards. Mind you, it’s still not useless on high-resolution displays, but definitely not as valuable.
I've also noticed certain Windows programs especially installers have their own resolution and it becomes even more apparent.
Yes aesthetics are somewhat subjective but that does not mean there's no good answer to what is more aesthetically pleasing. A small minority of people will inevitably disagree. But this does not invalidate the premise.
Fully agree that it is a personal preference: a slightly distorted shape is something I stop to notice after a day of using the system (I adapt to whatever shape font has unless it is badly distorted like in FreeType with some settings). Blurry fonts on other hand are always look blurry for me.
Personal anecdata: I use MacOS daily and FreeBSD every few days, but when once in a while I boot Windows 7 I always pleasantly surprised how nice and sharp windows fonts look; it is especially noticeable if I compare small font sizes across the systems.
The Mac rendering while a little less sharp means letters always have roughly the same shape, as intended by the typeface authors, while the Windows anti-aliasing distorts them unpredictably depending on where and which pixels they fall onto. Two ‘a’s might look slightly different within the same word because they fall into different alignments on the pixel grid. This is what gives it the wonky appearance.
That said, Windows has highly configurable font hinting/rendering so I'm perplexed as to why this project is a thing
It's still possible to force (most of) it to the good old MS Sans Serif and with no antialiasing, the way I like it, but it's getting harder with each new version.
I have a feeling that this exact idea is the reason why most Linux DEs look like crap [to me]. The way fonts look (especially those used in the system UI) is, just like colors or margins, [in my opinion] a matter of design, not just personal preference.
blender is a notable exception, though.
See Krita for another OSS project with great UX.
And this is what my yearly-or-so foray into Windows shows up - most apps look like garbage. The handling of displays with different DPIs connected to one machine is even worse. This has even been a solved problem _on Linux_ for quite some time.
Third-party apps, on the other hand, do seem rife with clipped text, even in English at nonstandard DPIs.
Edit: Ah, this was already said by the existing sibling comment.
Chinese/Korean rendered incorrectly on English UI because system hardcoded a font fallback, which put Japanese font first, regardless of how languages are ordered in the Settings. This is largely true for traditional Win32 programmes, like Chrome, Edge, Explorer.exe, etc. However UWP apps using the new UI framework (like Unigram, Intel Command Centre etc) behave correctly if setting Chinese/Korean as secondary language.
It's different on macOS or iOS however, if you set a system locale order as 1. English, 2. Chinese, then Chinese content will render correctly with correct Chinese system font PingFang.
Another issue that is also very important is that Chinese (Simplified or Traditional), Korean and Japanese share amount of the same characters but written differently. That means system must render the glyph in correct variant, like in the example of Source Han Sans
This is big problem on Windows, where the heavy-handed hinting means actual font size doesn't even come close to being linearly related to requested font size. So you can't even make the simple assumptions such as that the same UI layout will work if you render everything at 2x for a high DPI screen.
How much you can, or can't modify as an end-user probably relates to the HIG and general usability and transferability as well.
In some ways, there have been cases where you cannot change the background of things, or at least not in an obvious way. I suppose it really depends on the specific user and their user-case to have that matter (or not matter at all).
Within UX you can focus on many things, be it an abundance of choice vs. known defaults, aesthetic vs. utilitarianism, CAPEX vs. OPEX etc.
Edit: for those who don't believe me for whatever reason, https://www.howtoguides.org/change-your-desktop-background-i...
What if I want my taskbar in the middle of the screen instead of the top or bottom?
What if I want textboxes to have flashing orange outlines around them?
What if I want the close button to be blue instead of red?
What if I want the Finder face to be a sad face instead of a smile?
Customizability needs to end at some point. Technical details about font rendering is not important to 99+% of users and is only confusing.
For something that's so visual, you really REALLY need to draw the eyes to something that shows why you need to download it.
Prior to very high pixel density screens, I hated the Mac/android font rendering, mostly due to the migraines caused by my eyes straining to correct for the seemly out-of-focus text blur.
It's mostly hinting. Windows actually doesn't do subpixel antialiasing in many applications anymore. (such as Start menu or new Settings panel)
Windows machines are still primarily 1080p. Windows renders font differently that macOS/iOS and is lower resolution. The number of graphics designers that fail to test their font or content on 1080p Windows machines is too damn high!
This was ten years ago, so dunno if anything has changed.
Edit: now that I’m thinking about it, I (used to) use Spotlight for the conversions which was introduced in Mac OS X 10.4, released in 2005.
 62.5% for 10px, 87.5% for 14px, etc.
Used MacType back in my window 7 days and I remember being quite happy with it. These days when I tried it out on windows 10/11 it does not seem to improve the experience much, perhaps fails to patch some elements of the UI, I don't care enough to investigate.
On macOS I remember having to explicitly enable font smoothing in Mojave for non retina displays to fix the blurry fonts, But I don't think it did much difference.
I wasn't sure if it was just in my head, but something about the rendering in Mac seems better to me. I don't know if they have better calibration for colors and contrast, better anti-aliasing, etc., but I seem to see the screen much better and my eyes don't strain as much.
As for images, the only difference I can imagine is a different handling of color profiles.
Update: I totally forgot about the mixed dpi situation. When you hook up a monitor of a different dpi than the laptop (e.g. the laptop is 150% scaling but the monitor is 100%, or vice versa), then only one display will be perfectly crisp for all apps, and that's the primary display at login. Only applications designed to take advantage of the right scaling API's will look crisp on both displays in that case. The other ones will look blurry on the non-primary display. MacOS does tend to handle that situation a little bit better.
The blurry apps will render a bit bigger on the non-primary low-res display but everything will be crisp.
(It basically does what Microsoft should have done decades ago and changes GDI pixels to be virtual rather than physical.)
Because audio drivers and colour management aren't important ofc....
There is no system level volume mixer, you can't route audio between apps, you can't even monitor an audio output device.
To do anything sane with audio on MacOS requires external applications like Loopback or Blackhole or any of the virtual cable applications.
On Windows, you need to buy a dedicated audio card and install 3rd party audio and MIDI drivers, so that you can finally--assuming you bought the correct gear--get almost the same functionality that every Mac has out of the box.
Windows used to be horrid when it comed to music production but that was like almost two decades ago. Been using W10 for quite some time and any basics I need is pretty much there.
On the other hand, hardware taxing when gearing up the equipment is insane on apple hardware, that's why I migrated from their ecosystem. It's a huge drawback for many I believe.
Edit: basically what I'm getting at here is one is not better than the other and one is not worse than the other every single OS has quirks and honestly you should just be running one of everything in your house if you need it. Make sure to always have an up-to-date latest Mac and run WSL 2 in Windows 10 or 11.
I used to prefer the Windows text rendering for this reason, but since so-called 'Retina' screens, everything looks the same to me.
defaults -currentHost write -g AppleFontSmoothing -int 0
I have a metric compatible clone of the SF Mono font installed on Windows. To get it to look the same as it does on macOS, I have to use the Medium weight to account for this.
I really don't understand when someone makes a project such as this (which seems to have been around for a while), and does not include at least 1 screenshot
But people are saying it's meant to inject code into existing processes.
The heck is it?
Riot games is a bunch of arrogant cowboys who think they know better than everyone else, yet somehow other folks have managed to make anti hack systems that are just as effective and much less intrusive.
If the designer only tested on macOS, I don't think this has anything to do with what the designer "intended". It just shows a lack of testing on other platforms, something that happens quite often (i.e. when dealing with scrollbars ).
Personally, I dislike the vague, blurry rendering macOS uses. Macs usually compensate for their weird, blurry, bold rendering with high-resolution screens, but on lower resolutions I really dislike the way fonts look on macOS.
The effect is esp. obvious when working on Word documents. Somehow fonts are not rendered "thick" enough in Word, and this app takes care of that.
Honestly, I wish MS would do something about blurred fonts in some of the not-so-old programs. Some parts of the Windows OS itself are not rendered correctly!!
As another commenter said, moving toward higher DPI makes this less necessary. But I'm still bitter over the years of ugliness I had to suffer through after having such nice Cleartype rendering in Windows XP and 7.
Another bug is that MacType makes Sublime Text in GDI font rendering mode chop off the right side of wide CJK characters. Enabling MacType's experimental DirectWrite support makes Sublime Text's DirectWrite text fuzzier, but not chopped off.
On low DPI screens (think 24" or 25" at 1080p) I prefer how fonts render in Windows. It seems they have better antialiasing, while Mac fonts look slightly pixelated.
However on high DPI screens (13" Retina, 25" 4K etc.) fonts on Mac look sharper while Windows fonts look a bit "soft". So I prefer Mac on those.
Putting this in table form:
| System fonts | Other fonts |
low DPI | Windows | macOS |
high DPI | macOS | macOS |
Also, I'm a big fan of the Whirlpool forums ;-)
(I've noticed "dotau" in your username so I had a look at your profile).
This tool is more important in Chinese/Japanese/Korean environment as CJK glyphs have more strokes per character as compared to Latin languages. Windows's font rendering tends to fit glyph strokes into pixels (tint).
On a low DPI settings (<100), fonts on Windows look more sharp and clear, while on macOS, which discards the bitmaps altogether, the result is blurry (albeit I still prefer to be able to appreciate the original design).
On a higher DPI settings (>130), IMO under normal font sizes (>=10pt) the font has enough pixel realestate to behave like what it was designed. The antialiasing could do its job without relying the heavily hinted result.
Here are some comparisons.
Left: AppleWin (Safari for Windows) | Right: Chromium | 12px PingFang SC on 200% system scale
As you can clearly see, Apple's font rendering makes every glyph clear enough while ensuring every stroke has the same weight, while Chromium, relying on Windows's font rendering makes the font jagged (stroke width varies), baseline not level (遵守 on the 3rd last line, component 辶's bottom is way up)
Left: AppleWin | Right: Chromium | 15px MS Gothic on 200% system scale
MS Gothic has a very large character design, but on the first line of paragraph, 口 from "口周辺" is not reaching the the height it supposed to do, because of Window's approach of fitting that stroke into a line of pixels. And Windows makes the font thinner. This approach apparently ruined every diagonal strokes like 丿 and 丶, making those strokes even fainter.
I have another example of Microsoft Yahei font being drastically better on 200% with MacType but I couldn't find it at the moment.
It's suffice to say that MacType will recovered the font rendering for Windows in 200% scale. However, in 100% scale, it provides fixes when Windows messed up with fonts in some cases when it purposefully fit the strokes into pixels.
Safari for Windows, 100% scale
Vivaldi, 100% scale
Font rendered on Vivaldi is thin, not equal stroke width, with jagged curves. It's miles better on Safari on Windows. Just look at the "产品" on the bottom left, Windows makes the upper 口 in the 品 painfully short in height.
While i appreciate Windows's effort to make glyphs more legible for lower pixel density displays, but at least provide a toggle to turn it off as it literally ruins everything else. Fonts MS used in every Office/Windows/even Windows Terminal showcase video are not hinted font yet the glyphs look pretty legible, and even gorgeous (if you appreciate the curves of Segeo UI) in a 4:2:0 subsampled video, animated, yet average Windows users can't find a way to experience this on daily basis without MacType.
This is an interesting project—Windows’s font rendering is definitely one of the things I dislike about it the most—and they are doing themselves a disservice by not actually explaining clearly what it is or does. I wish Microsoft would provide a font rendering mode like this by default since from reviewing some of the wiki & README it sounds like this is some crazy hack that hooks into apps to intercept calls to DirectWrite and GDI and might break the entire OS.
IIRC He said that when Apple got the cleartype patent (due to the Apple/Microsoft cross patent agreement that happened in the late 90s), they kinda messed up the implementation of cleartype and Windows actually implements it correctly and Mac OS X (now Mac OS) doesn't.
So I find this somewhat amusing.