Anti-aliased text on Windows

I’ve been going a bit back and forth customizing my Sublime Text editor for my needs. This being: colors, padding, packages and the biggest of them all: Font choice.

What I tried doing (which might seem a bit humorous) is to make my editor look a bit Mac like, I got a good friend of mine named Arnan de Gans which is also a coder and I asked him for what font he was using. To this he replied his editor (Coda) was using Monaco with a font-size of 11. I remembered this font from blog posts I’ve read about it being a good font, which I never seemed to understand because every time I used it, it looked so thin and pixel-like.

This caused me to turn to a forum I browse almost everyday, where I asked how come all the images of the fonts looks so promising but never turns out good at my end. To this I got one particular reply:

i only like how monaco looks with gdipp, have you tried that?
- Kwaq

So what is this gdipp? Basically it changes the text rendering on Windows to be Mac/Linux like, so it will be anti-aliased. Text rendering has sucked on Windows the last 15 years, as stated by Arnan. ;)

I decided to give it a go, since I agreed that the text rendering on Windows always looked a bit weird and pixel-like. Unless you’re using some specific kind of fonts with some specific kind of sizes. However even though using this, those rules still apply. This will not magically make anything look good, but it’s certainly a lot better.

Screenshots

Here’s a few examples, in case you don’t use gdipp, you can really see a difference if your a Windows user like me, if you can’t go ahead and compare it to your system. :)

gdipp-screenshot gdipp-screenshot

 

 

 

 

How to get it

So how do you get gdpp? Well of course, it’s 100% free. So why not go ahead and just get it to get your fonts anti-aliased and pretty!

You can download different versions of it over at http://code.google.com/p/gdipp/

How to install and use

  1. Download the version you’ll be using, I recommend using the stable version that suits your system. In my case it’s 64bit, don’t know what you’re running? Go to: My Computer → Right Click → Properties
  2. Run the installer, when you get to a certain point during the installation you’ll be prompted with 3 choices. Either you can choose to install as a service, registry or a third option (which I unfortunately can’t remember right now.) – I choose it as a service, this means it runs in the background of Windows and will affect anything that’s open currently. You can terminate it by going to your services and end the process.
  3. Your explorer will say it stopped working, there is nothing wrong. It’s simply just taking affect on the system.
  4. Once the explorer has restarted, try opening some programs and see how everything looks. It might look a bit weird to begin with, to me it all seemed a bit blurry. But after 15 minutes it made sense to get the text anti-aliased.

You’re done! Your text is anti-aliased. :)

An alternative? Microsoft has ClearType on your System (Windows XP and up), you can go to your Control Panel and modify it to your own needs. Perfect for LCD monitors.
There’s also MacType (which I am currently using for testing) – it’s an updated version of gdipp that stopped development in 2012. :)

 

WordPress 3.8

WordPress just released version 3.8 today, I will try and give some thoughts and feelings that I got on first glance after update.

First Glance

On first glance my whole dashboard changed from backgrounds with borders separating everything into one colour so everything looked like it was connected, it “shocked” me at first because this change was really massive on the eye. However I started reading the updates on the presentation page as usual and after a small amount of scrolling I saw they added more colour choices, this was brilliant considering the older version had 2 colours, and one of them just looked hideous to me.

Wordpress 3.8 Colour Scheme For Dashboard

The image above displays the different colour choices, I personally use the midnight one because it’s a mixture between a soft gray and soft red, really smooth and works like a charm. It doesn’t sore the eye or gets in the way either, appealing!

The front page for the dashboard changed a bit as well, it looks better now and more customization not filling up too much with the default settings, so it’s a great improvement in version 3.8.

New Wordprss 3.8 Dashboard

A new theme!

WordPress 3.8 of course comes with the next theme in line for us, the amazing 2014 them to strike they new year once again, I haven’t had the change to test this yet sadly. I removed my local WordPress installation to test this however it seems like it fits with the new Dashboard UI pretty well! :) – However I am not a big fan of the default theme choice for WordPress, I like to find one and customize it for my needs!

Is it for the better?

WordPress 3.8 definitely looks like a break through, it keeps updated with today’s web design and follows it pretty nicely without changing too much. All features are the same accept for new features that we all like. So don’t worry if you think this update will break anything for you. Also I would highly recommend getting this update because of:

  • Better UI.
  • Smoother and more customization features.
  • New 2014 theme included.
  • And of course improvement in the code as always.

I’m surprised with this update, I can’t wait to see what 3.9 will bring us. I have a feeling not much will happen for a while since a UI change is a big deal! :)