IDEA renders fonts differently than other applications in Windows

Have you noticed that IDEA (or rather Java, per IDEA's support team) rendered fonts differently than native WIndows applications?
Take Consolas font as an example. If you switch to Consolas in IDEA which looks beautiful for development (or any other font) and compare it side by side with the same size text in Wordpad, you'll notice that the font in IDEA looks awful and different.
Does anyone has a suggestion on how to improve text render quality in IDEA or rather make IDEA show fonts correctly?

11 comments

Do you have an LCD screen? If so this may well be down to sub-pixel
rendering being used in native apps (a.k.a. Cleartype on Windows). Java
does not support sub-pixel rendering as standard, but you can enable it
for the Sun JVM - you need to download the AAHack plugin via the Plugin
manager.
Also make sure "Use antialiased font in editor" is selected in the IDE
Settings|Appearance section, otherwise you won't see any effect.

Cheers,
N.

Ali Bolourian wrote:

Have you noticed that IDEA (or rather Java, per IDEA's support team) rendered fonts differently than native WIndows applications?
Take Consolas font as an example. If you switch to Consolas in IDEA which looks beautiful for development (or any other font) and compare it side by side with the same size text in Wordpad, you'll notice that the font in IDEA looks awful and different.
Does anyone has a suggestion on how to improve text render quality in IDEA or rather make IDEA show fonts correctly?

1

Nathan,

... Java does not support sub-pixel rendering as standard, but you
can enable it for the Sun JVM - you need to download the AAHack
plugin via the Plugin manager.
...


Is there a counterpart to this for Linux users? Does the same plug-in work there?


Randall Schulz

0

According to this :
http://java.sun.com/products/java-media/2D/reference/faqs/#Q_How_can_I_specify_the_text_ant
it is in principle supported in Linux.

Looks to be just a simple command line switch actually... not sure if
the plugin is doing anything special other than setting this system
property (and giving a nice UI to configure it of course).

Hth,
N.

Randall Schulz wrote:

Nathan,

>> ... Java does not support sub-pixel rendering as standard, but you
>> can enable it for the Sun JVM - you need to download the AAHack
>> plugin via the Plugin manager.
>> ...


Is there a counterpart to this for Linux users? Does the same plug-in work there?


Randall Schulz

0

Java does not support sub-pixel rendering as standard


Really? I thought sub-pixel antialiasing is used by default with JRE 1.6.

Tom

0

When I say 'standard', I meant that a JVM does not have to support it
(although it is supported in the Sun JVM via a system property flag),
and from the Java2D faq I quote: "There's no programmatic way to do it
in Java SE 6"

N.

Tom wrote:
>> Java does not support sub-pixel rendering as standard


Really? I thought sub-pixel antialiasing is used by default with JRE 1.6.

Tom

0

You mean, the default AA which is available in Java 1.6 is not the sub-pixel AA?

Tom

0

Nathan,
Thanks for the hint. I'm using a laptop LCD. Just using Antialias option in Appearance window gave the look of the text a boost. I installed AAHack and I saw almost some better effect. Does this hack apply to Java 5 too?

0

Not unless you specifically turn on sub-pixel AA as far as I know -
Sub-pixel AA is only applicable to LCD monitors, and Java has no way to
know if you're using one of those in your system.

N.

Tom wrote:

You mean, the default AA which is available in Java 1.6 is not the
sub-pixel AA?

Tom

0

Ali Bolourian wrote:

Nathan, Thanks for the hint. I'm using a laptop LCD. Just using
Antialias option in Appearance window gave the look of the text a
boost. I installed AAHack and I saw almost some better effect. Does
this hack apply to Java 5 too?


Not as far as I know.

N.

0

When I'm running my application with JRE 1.6, it shows antialiasing be
default. The different used colors look to me like sub-pixel-antialiasing.

Tom



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