[XeTeX] Jagged Type in PDF

Will Robertson will at guerilla.net.au
Tue Nov 23 04:17:59 CET 2004

On 23 Nov 2004, at 1:22 PM, Bob Kerstetter wrote:

> Is jagged type in PDF the normal when anti-aliasing is turned off?

Hi Bob

In a word: yes :)
In the "olden days", fonts came with bitmap screen counterparts for 
rendering text on-screen. (This is still the case for Monaco, and a 
couple of other old Mac fonts. Compare the differences in TextEdit 
between Monaco at 9pt, 10pt, 11pt and 12pt...) This is generally no 
longer the case, and Mac OS X uses anti-aliasing to approximate the 
look of the font at these small sizes.

Without anti-aliasing, the screen output is essentially a 
discretisation of the font at a very low resolution and the detail 
suffers. Since the printed output uses the same font but at a much 
higher resolution (300 or 600 dots per inch compared to an LCD's 100), 
it looks a lot better on paper!

TeXShop always uses anti-aliasing, so the fonts are always smoothed to 
look nice; as to the reason why you've never noticed it before, maybe 
you just haven't turned off anti-aliasing in Preview.app before?

If you're interested, John Gruber has written some excellent articles 
on anti-aliasing at 
<http://daringfireball.net/2003/03/antiantialiasing> (and others) with 
some nice examples.


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