IE9 Text Is Blurry.

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by peck1234, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. peck1234

    peck1234 MDL Member

    Jan 16, 2010
    IE9 RTM is out.

    Why is my text so blurry compared to chrome?

    Attached Files:

  2. thethingy

    thethingy MDL Senior Member

    Sep 7, 2010
    both pictures look the same..........................
  3. Vezella22

    Vezella22 MDL Novice

    Mar 15, 2011
    Maybe it is not so like you think in my opion. Remind me to never start an optimistic thread again.
  4. peck1234

    peck1234 MDL Member

    Jan 16, 2010
  5. dabits

    dabits Guest

    It's visible, look at the small blue text above the Sign Up.
    You could try to check/adjust this?

    Control Panel / Display / Adjust (ClearType) text.

    I don't use ClearType myself, so I don't select "Turn on ClearType" but just run the test.
  6. blackranger

    blackranger MDL Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stop hovering to collapse... Click to collapse... Hover to expand... Click to expand...
  7. 1H-9qsIyhd4kwkNeWuDmDuBxi

    Mar 14, 2011
    From the blown up images it is clear that both browsers are using ClearType already. They are probably using different default fonts for sans-serif (check your browsers options) or they are using different hinting for the font-rendering engine (nothing you can do about this).
  8. sjusjusju

    sjusjusju MDL Novice

    Jun 4, 2010
    I simply don't use Cleartype. I can tune it all day long, and it is still blurry in the end.

    If you want to see good subpixel rendering, use Linux. The "equivalent" to Cleartype really looks nice there (there are many options to fine-tune it).

    In Windows (7 or XP), I always read texts with Cleartype disabled, but wait, not without any smoothing at all!
    Instead, I have been using the so called standard font smoothing for many, many years (back in Windows 2000 even).

    I don't see why anyone would struggle with something like Cleartype - except maybe on very high dpi monitors.

  9. Shoonay

    Shoonay MDL Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    I love using ClearType since WinXP on high resolutions and it's a matter of fine-tuning because it can look almost identical, see my system:

    From the left: FF4RC, IE9RC, Opera11

    Zoomed in: IE9RC and Opera11

    There is a tiny bit of a difference here in the color of the outlined pixels, because both IE9 and FF4 use a slightly different font antialiasing by the GPU while Opera doesn't, but in every day use at 1280x1024 I just don't notice any.
  10. Enigma256

    Enigma256 MDL Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    #11 Enigma256, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
    *shakes head* And nobody thought to point the finger at IE9's major new feature? Here's a hint (no pun intended): the same problem affects Firefox 4 in GPU rendering mode.

    You must turn off GPU-accelerated rendering.

    The reason is that in GPU rendering mode, the text is no longer being drawn by the very old, mature, and well-developed GDI. Specifically, GDI takes great pains to make sure that the text is properly hinted. Hinting is the process by which fonts (which are described using continuous, real functions) are adapted for a screen with a discrete pixel grid. Microsoft traditionally has used very aggressive hinting, to force text neatly into the pixel grid and to make sure that text is rendered consistently regardless of its position in this pixel grid. This sacrifices the fidelity of the font in favor of readability and clarity on a pixel screen: shifting a curve a bit so that it falls within a pixel channel instead of straddling two pixel channels increases legibility vastly, but purists would cringe at such a shift. In contrast, the idiots at Apple do not hint aggressively, and their text has always looked blurrier (but it has more fidelity to what gets printed if you sent it to a laser printer--gee, I wonder what's more important for most computer users: printer fidelity and screen legibility). This use of hinting is what allows Microsoft to use thin fonts like Segoe UI while Apple's fonts have always been bolder and thicker to try to mask and compensate for their weak hinting.

    GPU rendering using something like DirectWrite, however, is a piece of crap. It ditches the finely-tuned and well-adjusted GDI renderer that had, for over two decades, made Windows text the most legible and beautiful of any operating system at small font sizes. Hinting like this, however, does not go well with GPU acceleration or with scalability (why WPF also looks just as s**tty), which is why GPU-rendered text does not look as good as GDI-rendered ClearType. The truest test of a text renderer isn't how it looks at font size 24 or higher (ever noticed how every WPF/DirectDraw demo uses large font sizes? hmm...), since at sizes that big, even a blind rasterization of the text would look good. The stuff that separates the rendering men from the rendering boys is how they do at size 10 or less, and nothing--nothing--can beat the old GDI renderer on Windows.

    Personally, I much rather prefer beautiful text over a performance gain in situations that I rarely encounter (and just how many websites you visit are like that fish tank demo?). If you care about legibility, turn off that GPU crap.
  11. BuonaDomenica

    BuonaDomenica MDL Senior Member

    Aug 27, 2009
    had the same problem after installing IE9 on Win7. It turns on clear type and there is no way to turn it off at all. I just uninstalled it and will not go back to it unless clear type font can be turned off in the browser. It makes changes to programs such as Windows Live Mail as well and text is hardly readable.

    I don't use IE anyways as Firefox is my default browser.

  12. Trinket

    Trinket MDL Senior Member

    Feb 20, 2010

    People who are THIS picky usually don't use IE.

    _The End_
  13. Enigma256

    Enigma256 MDL Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    #14 Enigma256, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
    You obviously did not read my post right above yours. The problem isn't ClearType. The problem is the GPU rendering. WLM, FeedDemon, and many other programs use the IE rendering engine, so they'll suffer from the same problem.

    If you have a DX10 GPU and are running Firefox 4 with GPU rendering (via DirectDraw) turned on (which is the default), you'll see the exact same thing. You'd know this if you took a minute to read before posting.

    If you have a DX10 GPU and are running Firefox 4 with GPU rendering (via DirectDraw) turned on (which is the default), you'll see the exact same thing. Wait, I thought I already said that? What is it with people who post without reading?

    CRA2YHAVOK MDL Senior Member

    Oct 23, 2009
    Yeah, it's GPU rendering.

    I use Chrome as my default browser though which works fine so I'm not really bothered about the blurry text issues present in IE9 or FF4, just shut off GPU rendering if it gets too bad to use, as alreasy said it should make it normal as in Chrome etc.
  15. Kikoo

    Kikoo MDL Junior Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    #16 Kikoo, Mar 16, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
    I love DirectWrite rendering. Finally nice kerning, even character spacing, no more letters dancing around, I wish that in the future DW becomes the standard for all font rendering on Windows.

    Though I feel pity for people with CRTs and LCDs with <= 86 DPI connected through a VGA cable.
  16. Enigma256

    Enigma256 MDL Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    Humbug. Since when had that ever been a problem w/ legacy GDI rendering?
  17. BDX

    BDX MDL Junior Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Excellent posts by Enigma256, again! Thank you.
  18. akf

    akf MDL Senior Member

    Aug 17, 2010

    Thank you for your very informative reply.

    I have some questions that sounds stupid, since I am a noob in this field. So, please bear with me. Is it possible to develop GDI-rendered ClearType that utilizes GPU acceleration? DirectWrite may have to be abandoned, since as you said, it does not work. However, very old, mature, and well-developed GDI may require a refresh, to keep in touch with the technology.

    Or, if GPU acceleration is not possible for GDI, is there a way to bring update to GDI, so that it becomes up-to-date, just like DirectWrite?

    Sorry for silly question. :eek:
  19. Enigma256

    Enigma256 MDL Senior Member

    Jan 17, 2011
    #20 Enigma256, Mar 17, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
    The root problem isn't GDI vs. new rendering. The root problem is that the new rendering mechanisms, while they do feature improvements like better scalability, better fidelity, better appearance if you rotate, twist or otherwise distort the layout, ligature support, etc., have much worse hinting (In part, I suspect, due to hinting being difficult--though not impossible--to reconcile with those aforementioned features). If they improve the hinting in DirectWrite, then I'd be happy (I don't think hinting and the new features are necessarily mutually exclusive). Otherwise, I don't like that we are gaining features that, frankly, I care little about like ligatures or 45-degree-rotated text, at the expense of pixel-grid-readability.

    Also, I would like to make a correction: I now understand what Kikoo meant when he said "dance around", which is what sometimes can happen if you resize a window slowly, pixel-by-pixel, and the text will sometimes "dance" as it re-snaps to the pixel grid. It's not something that happens when the text is static (which is normally the case), and frankly, I call it a feature: that snapping is the hinting ensuring that the text falls neatly on pixel boundaries so that it looks crisp, and last I checked, text on an unmoving field, by far, a much more common scenario than one where a window is being slowly horizontally resized.