Text Rendering between InDesign and Illustrator

Recently I was reviewing a typeface and came to realize that problems I was finding in Illustrator (CS6) were not found in InDesign (CS6). Specifically some letters were overlapping too much in Illustrator but not in InDesign. Ideas? Articles already available on this topic?

(Couldn’t decide where this belongs. Correct me if it should be elsewhere.)


  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,427
    I have noticed rendering differences between Ai and InD.  It appears to be screen rendering differences.  Sometimes I get the impression that the 2 products deal with units in type differently.  The same UPM in both but somehow it looks like there are rounding differences between the two.  InD always looks better than Ai to me.  It looks better in InD when I  select Display performance>high quality Display.  I don't know what is going on.
  • kupferskupfers Posts: 259
    edited November 2015
    {hat sich erledigt}
  • Chris LozosChris Lozos Posts: 1,427
    How has it been dealt with, Indra?
  • There was a misunderstanding about the forum’s “announcement” feature. Cleared it up.
  • Tiffany, I think technically this is not a rendering issue, but a text layout issue. The reason this matters is that Illustrator and InDesign use the same rendering engine (CoolType), but different text layout engines.
  • Tiffany WardleTiffany Wardle Posts: 238
    edited November 2015
    @Thomas Phinney It seems I need a primer in this. Is there a novice entry point for understanding the two?
  • Igor PetrovicIgor Petrovic Posts: 178
    edited October 2022

    Bumping this old thread, with this screenshot. Not sure if the image shows the difference after upload, but the text looks smoother in InDesign than in Illustrator. Also, the same size at 100% zoom looks smaller in InDesign.

    Illustrator in general tends to show text a bit jaggy (yet export/print/outlined text is fine at the end). Also, Photoshop has a "smooth" anti-aliasing setting, Illustrator doesn't have it, while InDesign has no AA options for text at all. 

    1. Does a smoother view mean that InDesign is more suitable for checking hinting results?

    2. Are there anti-aliasing options for text in InDesign?

    3. Does this effect has to do with document setup (72dpi vs 300dpi, I tested Illustrator setting raster effects at 300dpi but it looks the same). Is an absolute smaller size also related to this or something else?

    Also another related effect in MS Word. Seems that the fake bold effect looks jaggy here and there on unhinted font, while it looks ok in hinted. Is it worth to autohint the font only to avoid this? I am asking this because otherwise, I am not sure do I like more unhinted or autohinted version and the typeface is display anyway.

  • @Igor Petrovic
    An issue with 100% size difference in Illustrator is located here:

  • In the meantime I found a recommendation (in this Glyphs article) to use InDesign for testing hinting results and an especially useful tip for zooming pixels.

    Zooming pixels can also be used on Windows. The feature is called Magnifier, smoothing can be turned off as well. More info on THIS link. 
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