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Apple Beats Microsoft in Font Rendering

When Apple introduced its Safari browser for Windows, I for one, realise what I’ve been missing. And no, it’s not the “authentic Apple experience” which I dont buy into. It’s the font-rendering.

Windows Internet Explorer font rendering:

Safari font rendering:


Even with ClearType turned on in Windows Vista, I think it just doesn’t look as good. Fonts look bolder, and more like they’d be if they were printed.

Microsoft has its own font-smoothing technology called ClearType, it was designed with the intent of screen-reading. In fairness, ClearType is a massive improvement over the regular Windows font-smoothing. However, Mac’s own font-smoothing technology just looks better.

ClearType’s problem isn’t so much a problem as a different philosophy. Apple wanted to accurately replicate the fonts we see when printed, and Microsoft made it easier to read things on screen.

Both systems have their advantages. Over a long period of extended use, I think Windows’ rendering might just have the edge, and many agree. However Safari’s level of font-smoothing can be reduced. I have mine set on medium.

Every time I load up Safari to check rendering issues, it just looks better. While it may not be as readable, it makes text so much more beautiful.

Disagree? Have something else to add? What do you think? Let me know in the comments.

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Anonymous said...

it is true, safari's rendering of fonts has the edge over internet explorer. i'm even going to lengths to try and have my PC emulate Apple font smoothing for not just internet browsing, but for the whole computer. i haven't been successful in finding out how to do it though.

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