Font smoothing/text rendering

Discussion of general topics about Mozilla Firefox
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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am

Post Posted September 16th, 2011, 6:41 pm

Hello, I've been using Firefox for several years now, but recently I started using IE9 for only one reason: it renders text better. As a former user of Mac OS X, I find Windows' text rendering pretty horrible in all programs, although it gets better in all browsers when I zoom in so the page takes up almost the width of my monitor (1920), but still it's never as good as it is under Mac OS X.

IE9, while it's not Mac OS X's rendering style, renders text better than Firefox and Chrome. Not great, but definitely bolder than the others. It's like it turns a regular font into a semibold font. This is very easy to appreciate when loading the same website, zooming it to the same dimensions on both browsers and then switching back and forth with Alt + Tab.

Searching for font or text rendering add-ons I only found one called Anti-Aliasing Tuner, but it does nothing at all, at least nothing I can appreciate. I had tried it on earlier versions of Firefox down to 3 and it did nothing either.

Is there any way to force Firefox to render text like IE9 does? IE9 may render text better, but everything else about it sucks. It's just a monument to poor usability compared to Firefox and even Chrome, which is inferior to Firefox.

My current version is 6.0.2 BTW.




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Post Posted September 16th, 2011, 10:55 pm

If you really like Mac's font rendering that much, try Safari for Windows. By default it uses the Windows rendering, however, you can change it to render EXACTLY like a Mac.

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Joined: June 7th, 2010, 7:39 am

Post Posted September 17th, 2011, 6:51 am

I know, but Safari is even more horrible than IE. And it doesn't have any kind of smooth scrolling.

However, even though I'm still playing with it, setting gfx.font_rendering.cleartype_params.enhanced_contrast to 600 makes it look very close to IE9, although sometimes fonts that are longer vertically seem to show this multicolored border, if they are shown black on white background. It's not something really terrible, but you can notice if you go back and forth between Firefox and IE9.


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Post Posted September 19th, 2011, 9:22 am

The solution for FF 6 is to change gfx.font_rendering.cleartype_params.rendering_mode to 2 keeping the HW acceleration. :-)
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