WPF Text Clarity Doc

I have posted a doc about: problems inherent to rendering small text, how WPF tackles these problems, and workarounds that can be employed to mitigate some rendering problems until these issues are resolved. You can find it on WindowsClient.net here, check it out.

Comments (7)

  1. MichaelGG says:

    I’d love to see some actual data on how many people are running above 96dpi. I tried running at 120 (laptop screen is around 144), but too many things (even from Windows) don’t render properly so I gave up. (Although, when it does work, it looks great.) Where’s the money for OEMs to boost DPI?

    Meanwhile, years later, WPF still can’t display text well — even at 11pt, Word will correctly align text. And all we get from MS is a continual "oh yea, it’s really important we’ll fix it some day". (Search the MSDN forums, you can see this from years ago.)

    It just boggles my mind how MS can ignore* such a major issue.

    *Yes, I know it’s not "ignored", but there’s been zero support to customers since WPF came out. Now .NET 3.5 SP1 has come and gone, no updates…

  2. small_mountain says:

    Thanks for the ideas for improving text quality until Microsoft fixes the problems.

    FYI:  The sentence "The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" is not the one that contains all letters of the alphabet.  That sentence is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog".  No "s" in the first sentence.



  3. rconde01 says:

    Please explain the situation to me with the snapping of font rendering when scrolling. Personally I find that much more disturbing to my eyes then general blurry text.

  4. text says:

    (assuming that you are talking about scrolling text via a scroll bar or mouse wheel and not animated text moving across the screen)

    We thought that snapped text was more visually appealing than non snapped text. At the end of the day, this comes down to personal preference.

  5. int19h says:

    The end users couldn’t care less about explanations. They just come to us after using our WPF apps and say that they get headache from all the blurry text. This is particularly bad in XP, as blurred Tahoma is just nasty, but Segoe UI in Vista isn’t much better.

    The only workaround we’ve come up with so far is to avoid system UI fonts (and any small fonts in general), and override the font size so that it is larger and the stems in the glyphs are thicker (once they’re above 1px thick, the difference is much less noticable). However, this is still a hack – an application should use system fonts by default, and it should look good with them. We certainly aren’t even considering that hack for applications that aren’t just for internal use, but are sold to third-parties (which is why they’re still all WinForms).

    Please enable opt-in fallback to system font renderer in WPF, similar to pixel-snapping. We couldn’t care less about correct typography text metrics in our LOB applications – we just want clean, readable text, just like it always was in Windows ever since ClearType first appeared in XP!

  6. Hades32 says:

    I think Windows has the best font rendering among all modern OS and has been a major reason to not use any other OS.

    Just as the other commenteers I’m convinced this is a big problem of WPF.

    Now to my point:

    I recently got my hands on a copy of the PDC build of Windows7, and I’m mostly certain: something has changed. WPF apps seem to look much nicer and on the other hand, the font e.g. in the window title bars seem to be a little more "wpf-like".

    Is this pure imagination, or do you have some nice surprises for us WPF users in Win7?

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