Logos 4 Font Anti-Aliasing Subpar

Page 1 of 1 (17 items)
This post has 16 Replies | 3 Followers

Posts 19
Sean Crotty | Forum Activity | Posted: Sat, Jan 2 2010 12:14 PM

Compared to other Windows applications, the font rendering in Logos 4 is inferior and - to my eyes - bothersome.

I believe this is due to Logos 4's lack of subpixel rendering. And that is probably due to the terrible implementation of ClearType in WPF. From what if understand, however, WPF 4 has addressed this problem.

I guess, if anything, this is a just FYI for other forum readers since WPF 4 is still in beta. However, I am really looking forward to Logos 4 text becoming more readable as soon as it _is_ released!

 

Here are some screen shots comparing the same text in Times New Roman in Logos 4 and Word (and zooming in):

Logos 4:

 

Word:

 

Logos 4:

 

Word:

 

Logos 4:

 

Word:

Posts 18577
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 2 2010 12:55 PM

There have been some other threads discussing the quality of the fonts in Logos here and here. Maybe those only apply to the default font not how Logos renders other fonts. But it has something to do with "hinting," whatever that is. Bob Pritchett weighs in on it in one of those threads and promises that we'll soon be able to choose whether we want fonts with hinting or not.

Posts 19
Sean Crotty | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 2 2010 5:09 PM

Rosie Perera:

There have been some other threads discussing the quality of the fonts in Logos here and here. Maybe those only apply to the default font not how Logos renders other fonts. But it has something to do with "hinting," whatever that is. Bob Pritchett weighs in on it in one of those threads and promises that we'll soon be able to choose whether we want fonts with hinting or not.

Thanks, Rosie. From these threads it is appears that WPF ClearType is indeed the culprit. Version 4 of the WPF framework - which is supposed to correct the problem - is due out from Microsoft in 3 months or so. I can't wait! In the meantime I'll try out some of the workarounds discussed in the 1st thread you reference.

Posts 19
Sean Crotty | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 2 2010 5:41 PM

Sean Crotty:

 In the meantime I'll try out some of the workarounds discussed in the [here]:

Bob Pritchett:

I believe WPF 4.0 (next year) will offer some better compromise options, but even then it looks like the problem will be one of taste.

The good news is, we have the font with and without hinting, so it may be possible to offer both styles. I'm going to look into it.

(You can read more about this, and WPF 4.0's "yet another" solution, at: http://blogs.msdn.com/text/archive/2009/08/24/wpf-4-0-text-stack-improvements.aspx The ultimate solution is for us all to work at 200 dpi, instead of the typical 92 dpi. If you have a very high-res screen with tiny pixels (many newer laptops) you can use the "Set Program Scaling to 200%" to approximate this, and see how it makes the fonts smoother in all scenarios.)

Ha!  Setting the Program Scaling to 200% does indeed solve the fuzzy font problem, but is a completely impractical solution. I think Bob Pritchett was pulling our leg on this one unless he expects any of us to have a WQXGA display.


Logos 4 is, at its heart, a framework for reading text - lots and LOTS of text. Logos uses WPF to render the user interface. But given its inability to snap pixels to glyphs horizontally, WPF is much inferior to GDI when it comes to rendering actual text. I'm sure that WPF offers the Logos team other features unavailable in GDI that made it the only reasonable choice.

But, that said, it does sting that the one thing I do most in Logos 4 - read - is not something Logos 4 allows its users to do as easily as is possible in other text-based applications (like Word).


Hopefully WPF 4.0 will make this whole issue moot.

 

Posts 18577
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 2 2010 6:14 PM

Sean Crotty:

Ha!  Setting the Program Scaling to 200% does indeed solve the fuzzy font problem, but is a completely impractical solution. I think Bob Pritchett was pulling our leg on this one unless he expects any of us to have a WQXGA display.

Wow, I'd never heard of those. Looking it up led me to discover that there's even bigger: WHUXGA. Can you imagine Logos running on this baby? Man!

Posts 19
Sean Crotty | Forum Activity | Replied: Sat, Jan 2 2010 10:30 PM

Re-reading my previous post, I think I was a bit harsh on Logos' implementation. For my use of Logos, I like small fonts and don't care about perfect glyph spacing. I also don't (yet) read any of the Greek text. It may well be that WPF's "ideal" display is best in that case - and Logos already does that right.


I have found this evening that simply bumping up the "Default Text Size" to 140% is a reasonable workaround for me. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it will suffice until other options become available.

I _am_ very happy to read that the development team is aware of the issue, of possible solutions, and is willing to make options available to users at some point in the future.

Posts 19
Sean Crotty | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 12 2010 7:52 AM

.NET Framework 4 is now available! Hopefully we might see improved font aliasing soon??? Confused

Posts 804
Richard Lyall | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 12 2010 10:09 AM

For a good alternative in the meantime, you might try Adobe Garamond Pro (which I think gets installed if you install any Adobe product).

It does not have a full Unicode character set for e.g. transliteration, but for most purposes it looks superb and is a joy to look at hour after hour. I am Mr Fussy when it comes to visual quality, esp. relating to fonts, and I am quite happy with this font. It also has a lovely italic which gives headings etc. a classic look.

Here is a sample of normal and italic text.

Posts 1328
Ben | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Apr 12 2010 10:38 AM

I know Apple has its own font-smoothing that differs from Windows implementation. Any idea how this plays out on the Apple side of things?

"The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected."- G.K. Chesterton

Posts 1
Maciej Wolfart | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Apr 25 2010 4:22 PM

Sean, thanks for your posts! I can't agree more that reading is what you do in Logos, so the font readability is a crucial issue. It just does not look good enough unless I bump the size to 200%, which, as you noted, is not a practical solution. Will we see a good solution soon, Logos? (Pretty please.)

Richard, thanks for the font alternative, I will definitely give it a try!

Posts 7905
LogosEmployee

Sean Crotty:

.NET Framework 4 is now available! Hopefully we might see improved font aliasing soon??? Confused

1. Installing .NET 4 will not make any difference, because Microsoft designed .NET 4 to run side-by-side with .NET 3.5. We need to port Logos 4 to this new version of .NET.

2. We do have a working build internally that runs on .NET 4. We've found four major bugs in WPF 4 so far, but only have workarounds for three of them (and are a little worried that we might find more bugs with additional testing). We're working with Microsoft on the final issue. I'm not sure yet which version of Logos 4 will be the first one to run on .NET 4; apart from just getting the program itself working, we need to update our installer (to install .NET 4) and test it on every different flavour of Windows. In the past, installing the .NET Framework has never been quite as simple as the documentation has promised and it may need a longer-than-normal beta test period to solve all the problems.

Posts 19
Sean Crotty | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, May 13 2010 10:26 AM

Thank you, Bradley. I am a developer myself and understand the challenges of integrating with a new, major release of an API. I'm also familiar with acting as unintended tester of said new API. That responsibility can become a time sink but is rarely something that is accounted for on your own release schedules.


I look forward to seeing the benefits (especially with respect to font rendering) of Logos running on .NET 4 but understand that this is major migration that will take time to roll out properly.

 

Thanks!

Sean

Posts 33
Vaclav Janca | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 25 2011 3:14 AM

Hi, has there been any progress with the font rendering issue? Currently, the text looks bad. Everytime I work on my WinXP laptop, I'm surprised how nice it looks there. Logos in Win7 has very ugly text.

Thanks for working on it!

Václav

Anonymous | | Replied: Tue, Jan 25 2011 5:20 AM

I think .net4 was supposed to fix some of the scrolling problems on notebooks too.  Will it also fix any of the performance issues?

Posts 7905
LogosEmployee

Vaclav Janca:

Hi, has there been any progress with the font rendering issue? Currently, the text looks bad. Everytime I work on my WinXP laptop, I'm surprised how nice it looks there. Logos in Win7 has very ugly text.

Unfortunately, there hasn't been a lot of progress; we're still working with Microsoft on the following issues (which are blocking our adoption of WPF4):

https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/637517/text-rendering-performance-can-be-much-slower-in-wpf4

https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/545057/typography-variants-superscript-and-subscript-bug-with-net-4-0

https://connect.microsoft.com/VisualStudio/feedback/details/545921/old-style-numerals-are-not-rendered-for-runs-containing-only-numbers

Posts 33
Vaclav Janca | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jan 25 2011 8:03 AM

Thanks for the info.

Václav

Anonymous | | Replied: Tue, Jan 25 2011 10:30 AM

Bradley Grainger:

Yikes.  WPF 3.5 is already so slow it's painful to use.  I can't even begin to imagine it being any slower.

You reported these nearly a year ago.  Back when I was a compilation system sustainer (not for Microsoft), my objective was workaround within 24 hours, development release within 72 hours, and an official patch within a week (or two, depending on how much testing was needed).  We rarely failed to meet that objective.  Microsoft seems to think in years where I thought in days.  :-(

I must say, I think using WPF is the worst decision Logos ever made.  I still think we'd have been better off keeping the old user interface and just implementing the fast searching within that framework (Logos3's search engine being the second worst decision Logos ever made).

Page 1 of 1 (17 items) | RSS