The Curious Case of Font Smoothing in Pages

Pages — both versions 1.0 and the new 2.0 — always displays type on screen using the system’s “Standard” anti-aliasing (a.k.a. font smoothing) algorithm, which is optimized for CRT displays. Most applications obey the preferred anti-aliasing algorithm specified in the Appearance panel in System Prefs. The result is that if you use Pages with an LCD display, you can’t get it to render type using the Light, Medium, or Strong algorithm, which were all designed to look good on LCD displays.

Pierre Igot thinks this is due to incompetence. Michael Tsai, on the other hand, speculates that it might be more complicated than it seems. Whatever the explanation, it does strike me as curious.

Monday, 6 February 2006