Make subpixel smoothing default?

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at
Tue Oct 21 21:34:10 UTC 2008

2008/10/21 Callum Lerwick <seg at>:
> On Tue, 2008-10-21 at 10:38 -0400, Matthew Miller wrote:
>> It depends a lot on your monitor. If you've got relatively large pixels, the
>> colored fringes can be very visible and distracting. If you've got a
>> high-PPI monitor, it can look quite good -- but then, of course, you need
>> it less.
>> I also find that it looks much worse for light text on black background
>> (i.e. old-school terminal windows) than for dark text on light (the typical
>> modern default terminals and most modern web sites).
> I find that subpixel and hinting seem to interact sub-optimally. Setting
> the hinting on "full" seems to work best, (This seems to be default
> now?) but some fonts still look really bad. What seems to happen is
> freetype is not keeping stroke widths a minimum of 3 subpixels wide,
> which makes for nasty color fringing on thin vertical strokes. (Should
> they always be a *multiple* of 3 subpixels wide? Some experimentation is
> needed here...)

Hm. I would have expected functioning hinting to defeat subpixel
rendering by snapping edges to integer pixel boundaries.  Obviously
this would reduce the color bleed but nor more nor less than simply
turning off subpixel rendering.

More information about the devel mailing list