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?
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.
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.
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
- 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
- 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.
- Your explorer will say it stopped working, there is nothing wrong. It’s simply just taking affect on the system.
- 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.