Windows 10 Font Rendering Blues (and Reds and Greens)

Just upgraded to a new system, and while I’m mostly enjoying Win 10, its font rendering is horridiculous on my TV monitor. Stems that are most definitely the same width generally aren’t, even between different instantiations! A word like “running” has three different glyph renderings of /n, and none of them match the /u or the /i. Antialiasing only improves things from “inexhaustably execrable” to merely “really crappy.” What gives?

I’ve been through different resolutions (even hacking different resolutions into the video driver), tried the Win 8 DPI scaling fix, tried almost every one of the (5×3×5×5… 375‽) ClearType tuner combinations, tried both scaling options, tried GDI++ and even tried MacType. None of these actually work on my system, and they all suck, but MacType is the least objectionable by far (but it's still kinda like the difference between Trump and Dubya).


Interestingly enough, the screen grab isn’t as bad as the live screen; there’s probably a layer that warps it for the actual viewing. A few glyphs, such as /T and /e, are reasonably similar, but the overall inconsistencies are driving me crazy. (Not that it's a long trip for any type geek, but you know what I mean). PS-flavored outlines fare a bit better than TT, fwiw.

Heh, maybe Microsoft just wanted to incorporate true randomness into OpenType. Every font becomes Beowolf!

Comments

  • James PuckettJames Puckett Posts: 1,303
    You could spend a lot of time trying to figure this out. Or you could buy a nice new 4k TV and take it as a tax deduction.
  • What kind of TV do you have? And what kind of cable do you use to connect it to your PC?
  • You could spend a lot of time trying to figure this out. Or you could buy a nice new 4k TV and take it as a tax deduction.
    Awesome but impractical; I live in a garage sale/Xmas gift economy, alas.
  • What kind of TV do you have? And what kind of cable do you use to connect it to your PC?
    Some ancient Vizio thing... a VW32L HDTV20A that shows up as a generic PnP monitor, HDMI cable. Radeon R9 360. Resolution is currently 1920 × 1080 (as high as things will go), fwiw.

  • The monitor is not capable of 1920×1080. It only supports 1366×768. So if you send the bigger image, it will be downscaled and the will introduce all kind of distortion to your letters. You should select the correct resolution, bigger is not better in this case.
  • Hunh... I'll try to hack that resolution in, then; my video card doesn't have that resolution (goes from 1280 to 1770, nothing in the 1300 range). I hope to be thanking you in advance!
  • To test if the pixels fit the screen, make an image that has pixel pattern, with alternating white and black pixels. You should see even black and white lines. If you see some grey and some black, it does not fit.
  • Definitely better, but not satisfactory yet. Glyphs are markedly more consistent, but still aliasing. Oddly enough, I get a lot of red and blue pixel splash on some instantiations, making some letters markedly purple. (Maybe Hendrix and Prince are blessing me?)



    I hope that shows up in the post; it definitely does here. Still, now I've got it down to a sub-pixel rendering issue.
  • Seriously, I keep clicking on the purple letters, hoping for a link...
  • Mike DugganMike Duggan Posts: 124
    the font you show in the latest example, looks unhinted.
  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 187
    Different apps use different rendering techniques, so problems will vary between apps. Which apps do you care about? Having said that the problems do seem as if they probably relate to running your monitor at a non-native resolution, and any amount of "tuning" the rendering output won't fix that.  
  • Michael VokitsMichael Vokits Posts: 183
    edited January 5
    the font you show in the latest example, looks unhinted.
    I know, right! It's Linux Libertine, most definitely hinted. I get the same issue with all fonts, even the Windows core fonts – and nobody can fault their hinting! PS-flavored fonts are a little better. It's very frustrating.
  • SiDaniels said:
    Different apps use different rendering techniques, so problems will vary between apps. Which apps do you care about? Having said that the problems do seem as if they probably relate to running your monitor at a non-native resolution, and any amount of "tuning" the rendering output won't fix that.  
    I get the same results in every app, whether it be Winword 2003, LibreOffice, Waterfox, Chrome, several PDF readers, the XPS reader, [lua|Xe]LaTeX and its pdf viewer, FontForge, VLC media player, WinAmp (because I'm that archaic). Steam games that use DirectWrite are halfway decent, though. This all suggests a renderer issue.

    Another possibility is that it's an HDMI thing, since DW apps are only halfway decent. I'll try a DVI or VGA connection when I get home (I'm still snowed in here a bowshot from the Great White North).
  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 187
    I would disagree. If the rendering in Adobe Apps, older and newer Windows apps is equally bad - many of which use completely different rendering code, and some of which ignore hints - then the problem is probably hardware related - monitor, video card, drivers, non-native resolution or maybe even cables.
  • the font you show in the latest example, looks unhinted.
    I know, right! It's Linux Libertine, most definitely hinted. I get the same issue with all fonts, even the Windows core fonts – and nobody can fault their hinting! PS-flavored fonts are a little better. It's very frustrating.
    Oops, the second example. It's whatever TypeDrawers uses (all sans fonts look pretty much the same to me, alas).
  • SiDaniels said:
    I would disagree. If the rendering in Adobe Apps, older and newer Windows apps is equally bad - many of which use completely different rendering code, and some of which ignore hints - then the problem is probably hardware related - monitor, video card, drivers, non-native resolution or maybe even cables.
    Yep, I agree. (Even upvoted you.) I remember that my Win7 box looked horrible with HDMI, and switching to a VGA cable fixed it. My money's on that. Now if only the weather and roads would cooperate!
  • @Michael Vokits
    Do you have a photo?
  • @Michael Vokits
    Do you have a photo?
    Yep, but if you're sensible, you'll swipe left. :D

    *Ahem* These are the best I can do with a) an elderly, low-res camera and b) my complete ineptitude.





    Again, awfully crappy, but I think it's enough for a guesstimate.
  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 187
    I'm going to stick with my feeling that this is h/w related. Best of luck with the fix, and stay warm.
  • Maybe the display is BGR and not RGB?
  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 187
    Georg, that would only impact ClearType rendering and that's not used very much in Windows 10.

    Michael, which browser are you using?
  • SiDaniels said:
    Georg, that would only impact ClearType rendering and that's not used very much in Windows 10.

    Michael, which browser are you using?
    In the screenies, Waterfox 27 (and Word 2003), but I get the same results in Chrome, Internet Exploiter, and Edge. Since Edge uses a different rendering engine, I'm pretty sure you're right about it being a hardware issue. Now if I could just get color gradients in my title bars. Always something... lol
  • SiDanielsSiDaniels Posts: 187
    "Internet Exploiter" ... You know, I'm trying to help.
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