I installed bitstream vera fonts on my PC and they look rubbish.
November 18, 2004 2:13 AM   Subscribe

I installed bitstream vera fonts on my PC and they look rubbish. [mi]

I liked the look of this font on a linux system I set up, so tried to install the same fonts on a Win2K machine. The fonts look blotchy. (See examples). Are there Windows Happy versions of these fonts? Is there anything I can do to make them look more like they do on Linux?

posted by seanyboy to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
Generally for showing font problems jpeg isn't the best choice of image format, it's lossy and intended for images with few sharp edges. Try png or gif next time.

As for the difference, it might well be a matter of the results differing because of the differences (auto)hinting. Does the problem occur at all font sizes?
posted by fvw at 4:43 AM on November 18, 2004

Blotchy? That's how it's supposed to look I'm afraid.

If you have an LCD monitor you could try switching on ClearType, but other than that you'll just have to blame Microsoft for Windows' poor font-smoothing (Vera actually works better with it than most fonts).
posted by malevolent at 5:11 AM on November 18, 2004

As far as I can tell, the font lines are too thin, and anti-alaising kicks in to grey out curves in the letters. This occurs (for example) on drupal.org for all font sizes except "largest" (ie). Even then, letters like "e" appear to blur out on the thinnest parts of the letters.

I feel that the font may be optimised for Linux, and wonder if there is another version that has been optimised for Windows.
posted by seanyboy at 5:27 AM on November 18, 2004

Plus, as far as I can tell, there is no ClearType for win2k.
posted by seanyboy at 5:29 AM on November 18, 2004

The truth of the matter is: Linux's freetype is better at rendering fonts with no hinting than Windows. Yep, Bitstream Vera has no hinting (as far as I know!). Freetype has a built-in "autohinter." I suppose they felt like since it was mainly a font to be used on Linux, they didn't bother to hint it. That's why it *really* looks bad without any antialiasing. Bitstream Vera looks awesome in Windows with Cleartype. Windows' old font smoother is rubbish. But, on the other hand, I use Bitstream Vera Sans all the time in Windows with normal font smoothing for terminal apps and text editing, and I think it looks good.
posted by zsazsa at 6:22 AM on November 18, 2004

Okay, I was wrong. It does have hinting. Note that the Vera family uses minimal delta hinting.
posted by zsazsa at 6:25 AM on November 18, 2004

Thanks all.
posted by seanyboy at 7:02 AM on November 18, 2004

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