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The price of smooth looks: Anti-aliased fonts hurt eyes and damage eyesight.

asked 2017-03-26 10:17:11 +0200

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On Windows builds at, with OpenGL rendering the horizontal scaling of glyphs has been moved from DirectWrite to GDI+ calls and so should match the rendering of Default.

But the price of smooth looks: Anti-aliased fonts hurt eyes and damage eyesight.

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answered 2017-03-26 12:18:19 +0200

JohnHa gravatar image

updated 2017-03-26 19:40:48 +0200

Anti-aliased fonts ... damage eyesight.

Are you an optician? A consultant at an eye hospital? Or someone with no medical qualifications who reposts ancient stuff they find on the web?

If you really believe that "Anti-aliased fonts ... damage eyesight" then please give us some proof other than the web page you posted. A paper from the peer-reviewed medical literature (eg The Lancet) will be fine.

The article is five years old and actually says

"Perhaps, antialiased fonts will look good on very high pixel density screens, one day, when such screens are widely used, because they would need to create less blur to render, but at the moment, on usual displays, it makes text look worse instead of better. Though, with very high pixel density, aliased rendering will also show very good results."

I think that we are well into "very high pixel density screens" these days.

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I am an optician. I get on average 8 people into my clinic per week complaining of severe eye strain. I advise them to disable ClearType (font smoothing) on their devices and to report back to me after 14 days. 100% strike rate they say their eye strain has significantly improved or has been completely alleviated. No matter how 'smooth' the fonts appear and no matter how high a resolution their devices are capable of, they are still seeing an optical illusion.

soulmatt2002 gravatar imagesoulmatt2002 ( 2018-02-03 00:22:46 +0200 )edit

answered 2017-03-26 16:30:11 +0200

Quikee gravatar image

That were also my thoughts when I read that article.

Perhaps, antialiased fonts will look good on very high pixel density screens

Actually, it is quite the opposite, there is less need for antialiasing with higher pixel density screens.

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I agree there is far less need for anti-aliasing on higher pixel density screens and text is excellent. If you do do it - and Windows does it automatically with ClearType - the text is even better.

JohnHa gravatar imageJohnHa ( 2017-03-27 00:01:31 +0200 )edit

And where is your proof. I can assure you as an optician that no matter how advanced the resolution of monitors or smart phones get, the smoothing of fonts is a brain illusion. You think you see a smoother font but in reality your brain-eye-brain connection sees a blurred 'image' of a font and adjusts to this, artificially. You will suffer from eye strain.

soulmatt2002 gravatar imagesoulmatt2002 ( 2018-02-03 00:27:18 +0200 )edit
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Asked: 2017-03-26 10:17:11 +0200

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Last updated: Mar 26 '17