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Font Rendering Technology

There can be no doubt that the NEXT BIG THING
to happen to personal computing color LCD displays will
be their adoption of sub-pixel font rendering technology.

It is my hope that the pages on this little web site will help to speed the application of this technology for the benefit of the entire personal computing industry.


The Genesis of these pages was Microsoft's Comdex announcement of their new breakthrough font rendering technology, dubbed "ClearType". This announcement gave the industry a much needed wake-up call. Although Microsoft mistakenly believed that they had discovered something new, they certainly deserve the credit for helping to bring years of prior display system research and development into the forefront of personal computing practice.

The following pages discuss various aspects of sub-pixel graphics:

How Sub-Pixel Font Rendering Works
Once you understand that pixels on LCD display panels are really made up of three separate red, green and blue "sub-pixels" the rest is pretty simple!

Turning Theory into Practice
This page continues from where we left off on the previous page, taking the technically interested reader through the final steps required to create commercial grade sub-pixel rendered text.

'Free & Clear' — A Sub-Pixel Demo
Since you really need to see it to believe it (and it's fun to play with), I whipped up a small (35k) FREEWARE sub-pixel demonstration program for any 32-bit MS Windows environment (and for the Mac with Virtual PC).

The Origins of Sub-Pixel Font Rendering
Sub-pixel graphics (also known as pixel splitting) dates back at least twenty-two years when it was employed as standard practice on the early Apple II home computer. Since then it has been the subject of intensive research by companies such as IBM, Xerox PARC, and Honeywell. Thus, even though this technology is very cool, it's actually not very new. In order to be fair to the people who originated these ideas I've done some research and assembled their work here, in one place, for the industry's review.

Sub-Pixel Technology Q & A
Readers often bring up terrific points that I've forgotten to mention or haven't explained very well. So here is some interesting and illuminating dialog I've enjoyed with many of our readers.

Other Sub-Pixel Web Resources
On the Internet, no web site is an island. So I've collected a number of useful links and resources relating to sub-pixel rendering technology.


If you have found these pages interesting and/or useful, you might also enjoy reading my research into the causes of failure in Iomega Zip and Jaz drives due to the 'Click of Death'

. . . and you might wish to consider subscribing to GRC's Corporate News Blog to learn of my future research projects and free software developments.


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Last Edit: May 28, 2010 at 13:39 (1,425.78 days ago)Viewed 119 times per day