Windows® 7 ClearType Fonts
A question may arise in your mind that what is the experience like in Windows 7 Language when bi-level or hybrid font smoothing is selected as the default.
In Windows 7 Language all applications will not choose to render with the default settings. Internet Explorer 8 and Microsoft Office in Windows 7 will default in some cases to using ClearType rendering. Some applications that do not use bi-level rendering and use fonts tuned for ClearType may choose ClearType rendering to maintain the benefits of the font designs. Some applications would reflow if they were changed to bi-level or grayscale rendering as they need higher precision glyph widths like ’sub-pixel positioning’ or ‘natural width ClearType’. Some of the applications like Adobe Reader have their own inbuilt text rendering engine and thus these type of applications are independent of the Windows graphics platforms. Java on Windows 7 also uses its own rendering techniques.
ClearType rendering will remain on with the Windows 7 Internet Explorer so that Segoe UI will keep its optimal design and it could be problematic, leading to issues like reflowing dialog box entries, missing text due to wrapping, unlabeled buttons if you change the system font to any other font from Segoe UI font. We know many would value global changes to the fonts used by Windows, we cannot have total flexibility on the system font settings at this time because the reliability across resolutions, DPI and languages to name a few issues should be maintained properly.
Where ClearType is not available, there are a few appeasements in the fonts to handle some scenarios. An unusual technique was used to attempt to improve the quality of the font rendering in the ClearType font Calibri. Also, the Calibri font had some bitmap fonts embedded in the outline file at a few key sizes. When bi-level rendering is requested then these bitmaps kick in.
Going forward, much of the researches is in finding ways to make the supreme quality text rendering more accessible to everyone. As we know that each visual system has its own characteristics. So, it would also be nice to tune for visual system characteristics as the ClearType tuner allows us to tune the algorithm for display characteristics.
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