View Full Version : Font Rendering Differences across Platform/Browsers

06-07-2007, 05:26 PM
I do most of my developing on a Mac, so I don't see Windows very often. Mostly, I check Windows compatibility through Remote Desktop. Lately, I've been looking more closely at how my sites looks directly viewing Windows.

I've noticed that the fonts are a quite a bit more jagged than I recall them to be. I know that is usually a per computer basis, but 4 out of 5 XP machines showed the fonts to be more jagged than I remembered XP to render. The 5th one that rendered them more smoothly was a laptop with an external monitor plugged into it. All 5 XP machines have clear type turned on.

Anyone else have experience with this and anyway to get around fonts looking so jagged sometimes. I've attached a screenshot of how my XP machine renders fonts on a page I am testing, also I will provide the link. Maybe someone could let me know if theirs looks similar or smoother.




Thanks in advance


Karen S. Garvin
06-07-2007, 05:40 PM
Hi there. I'm working on a Mac at work with a Dell monitor. The font looks like the Mac version you show. When I get home I can take a look at the website again from my PC. I'll let you know if it looks different.

In the meantime, I am thinking that some of the difference might be the actual font used on the different systems. Even though the font has the same name on Mac/PC, they're not always identical in practice.

Also, the difference could be due to differences in dot pitch on the monitor and/or settings on the graphics card. Do you know what the specs are on the monitors/cards you are viewing with?

06-07-2007, 06:27 PM
Thanks for the response. I thought about that with fonts. Even though it is Arial on both platforms, it may have some variation.

All 5 PCs I checked have NVIDIA cards. One of the 5 was a laptop with a GeForce Go card. One of the desktops has a CRT monitor, and the rest have various brands of LCDs. Only the laptop exhibited a smoother looking font.

In my PC, I have the most up to date drivers and it made no difference on the rendering. It is not a huge issue really since there probably isn't much that can be done about it, but I am mostly curious to find out what other people experience. I am going to go home and check my Vista machine tonight, I imagine font rendering has been improved on it.

Thanks again and I am curious to know how your PC at home renders the fonts.

06-07-2007, 10:18 PM
Same fonts may look quite different on different browsers on the same computer, as well. As I've been building a site lately and testing it on Firefox, Opera and IE, they all display the same fonts in different ways. IE makes any font look like I have my LCD screen set to a non-native resolution (making the font all blurry) while Firefox and Opera display it in a better looking way, but still different from each other.