text rendering after zoom

Does anyone else have this sort of trouble reading zoomed text?

Most of the DTP2 database entries I key myself are in Verdana 12 point (for a handful of reasons that I don’t need to go into here, but which are strong enough to make me want to persist). At “Actual Size” on screen, text rendering is adequate – though, even then, it happens to lack the sharpness I find so welcome in Mellel or Bean, for example.

On zoom, however, the kerning seems to go to hell, with the result that any legibility gains in on-screen size are largely offset by the significant visual distraction of very poor kerning. (Changing the actual point size in the document makes, as one would expect, for reasonably readable text.)

WriteRoom happens to be almost as bad in this regard, while Mellel and Bean are, once again, very sweet – and Bean is free! :smiley: Is there anything deep that prevents DT from being able to implement comparably clean and clear text rendering, regardless of zoom?

I would very much like to make better use of Full Screen mode, but, so far, this amounts to a significant drawback. (I’ve no qualms about having to punch Control-Command-Up/Down Arrow as much as may be needed; that feels pretty automatic).

I can’t say that I’ve ever really noticed a significant degradation in kerning using zoom. I don’t use Verdana much, preferring Optima, but it’s never been a problem. Doesn’t mean it isn’t one for you or others, of course, but it’s an interesting question.

Btw, I like Bean, but stopped using it because after a page or so of writing I would get type artifacts, i.e., lines under the letter as they’re typed. Drove me quite mad. Other than than that, I thought it a very well-done app.

Try rebuilding your font cache. That helped me when I got similar problems with Mail displaying HTML text.

I flush various caches from time to time via a maintenance utility whose inner workings I’ve not examined, but I’m not familiar with the idea of rebuilding a font cache. It certainly sounds worth trying. Where, exactly, would that be on my disk, and how do I rebuild it? Thanks. :slight_smile:

I always use one of the cache cleaning tools (Onyx or Cocktail) since I’m too lazy to figure out where the cache is. One of the disadvantages of OS X IMHO since it reeks of Windoze.

A timely MacWorld bit on how to clear font caches in Leopard:


Thanks for all the help, but it appears that flushing font caches makes no difference to the main problem as my eyes see it.

I mentioned that WriteRoom fares no better than DT in this regard, but I should also have mentioned Scrivener.

How is it that DT, Scrivener, and WriteRoom (cocoa applications all) should all render zoomed text so poorly, while Mellel and Bean could hardly be more satisfying? :confused:

Off the top of my head, Verdana. Consider the source. :slight_smile:

But why do the same font files on my hard-disk generate such poor zoomed text in one (cocoa) application and not in another? Were Verdana itself at fault, I’d expect the poor text rendering to be across the board.

Is Verdana some obscure, out-of-the-ark or even antedeluvian font choice that should have been changed years ago? It sure beats Helvetica as an on-screen font, it prints up very well at small point sizes, and has one of the most attractive and clear contrasts between regular and bold that I know.

I can’t stand Helvetica. That may be because I subjected myself to the entirety of the documentary of same name. But, I also prefer serif fonts, and the most attractive for me on screen and in small-ish point sizes on paper is Garamond. Preferably Adobe Garamond. I find it elegant, classic, and figure my inane prose comes off more intelligent because it just looks so d*mn good on the page. 8)

The move from typewriters to personal computers gave us proportional fonts, which was wonderful.

Even so, the state of the art of typography is relatively weak on personal computers. Compare a printout of a letter or article composed on your computer to a book printed by a competent printshop. Look closely at the ways the printshop has used choices of font, kerning and ligatures to make print more readable and attractive.

It can be interesting to select some text on your Mac and see how it renders in a variety of fonts. Some fonts are much better than others at minimizing gapping or crowding of certain letter pairs. That can make a difference in the experience of reading. For example, select some text containing “PDF” and watch the relative spacing of the letters in a variety of fonts. There’s a reason why Apple chose Lucida Grande for a lot of onscreen text.

Microsoft’s Ariel isn’t one of the beautiful fonts, but it’s generally more readable than Helvetica.

Take a look at the font manager on your Mac. There are a great many fonts available.

But remember, if you are creating PDFs or Web pages for others to view, that not all computers may have the fonts you have chosen, and in that case what they see may look very ugly. There’s another point to keep in mind: don’t mix in a lot of exotic fonts; keep it simple and easy to read.

Yes, it is – and Verdana is, to my eyes, an improvement in exactly the same direction. I switched to it from Ariel quite some time ago. (My preferred serif font – since a previous poster mentioned it – has for years been Garamond). Lucida Grande, of course, is very readable on-screen, but it lacks italic and its bold doesn’t contrast as well, for my purposes, as does Verdana’s. I also happen, for a long time now, to have been following Bill’s general advice of sticking to a relatively few fonts, tried and true for one’s main purposes.

The advice and tips are appreciated, but I still have little sense of why some applications – DT included – should make what is, to my eyes, such a hash of zoomed text (and not just Verdana) when other comparable applications don’t.

Is Bean, for example, a more heavy-weight application than I’m imagining? Mellel prides itself on its text rendering, since it so heavily emphasizes competence in non-Roman fonts, so I can imagine there might be plenty under the hood to let it do that. Bean, though, is a deliberately no-frills application, using the same in-built word-processor (with the ghastly UI) used by TextEdit, DT, and any number of other cocoa applications, yet also with this marvelous slider zoom that works on RTF files as well as the slider does on sample text in Font Book. Why couldn’t DT have one of those! :slight_smile: