Apple Renders Fonts On Screen Better Than Microsoft

Many (most?) Windows users think Apple’s font rendering is “blurry”. Mac fans counter that Microsoft’s rendering is “jaggy”. There’s a bit of truth to both arguments. Still, even though one can get used to anything, a direct comparison may help…

The picture below is of Internet Explorer 8 and Safari running simultaneously on the same Windows XP box. Only someone used to it could prefer the text rendered on the left as opposed to the right, especially for hours at a time. (There’s a Safari “Windows Standard” preference that makes it as bad as the left.)

I spend hours on both machines daily. Of all the differences using a Mac after using Windows all day, better font rendering may be the one I appreciate most.


8 thoughts on “Apple Renders Fonts On Screen Better Than Microsoft

  1. Doug A,Nice link, and interesting reading. Thanks for sharing.

  2. @ Doug A. Thanks for posting the link to @ Tom B, thanks for your hint to use PDF. Shame though, that the sophisticated Keynote transitions (another thing where Powerpoint hopelessly fails) will get lost.

  3. I wouldn’t say it’s the thing I like best about Macs, but the difference is dramatic.@ RNKLN said…”The same is true when you compare font rendering in Keynote with rendering in Powerpoint.”Yea. Powerpoint is like something spewed out by the former USSR. When I’m on a roadshow, I work in keynote and save on a USB key to PDF. Everybody has a PDF reader, and Acrobat also renders fonts well, so I can give a good-looking presentation (sans transitions, of course) on any laptop.

  4. Allow me to explain this concept in much more detail……

  5. Interestingly, Windows’ rendering of the text is a bit more readable.Apple’s system is more WYSIWYG (and more beautiful), but it seems to suffer at conventional screen resolutions (blurriness and so).

  6. The same is true when you compare font rendering in Keynote with rendering in Powerpoint. I have to use the latter one professionally (on a PC), but i love to play with Keynote in my spare time.One this i do often is create text headings on two lines with different font sizes or lowercase vs. uppercase (i.e. ‘Consolidate’ and ‘SPREADSHEETS’) in order to make them equally long. When i do this in Keynote, the text looks the same in edit mode and slideshow mode. When i do the same in Powerpoint, there’s always a big difference between how texts look in edit mode and how they look in slideshow mode. It could be that in edit mode ‘Consolidate’ looks shorter than ‘SPREADSHEETS’, while in slideshow mode all at a sudden it looks longer.

  7. I believe part of the reason non-Mac users think Apple’s screens (MacBooks, iMacs, now iPads) are so awesome is because they’re seeing fonts rendered well for the first time. Apple does use high-quality screens, but I don’t think it’s the whole story.Anyway, shhhhh, that’s Apple’s little secret. 🙂

  8. Couldn’t agree more. It was one of the first things I noticed when I moved to Macs and appreciated.

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