Steve on Image Processing and MATLAB

Concepts, algorithms & MATLAB

Anti-aliased text in color

Over the past few years I've been fascinated to see the progress in making text look better on the screen. (I should confess right away that I know nothing about typography, and almost nothing about text anti-aliasing.) I recall reading some time ago that the Microsoft ClearType technology made use of color pixels, even when displaying "black" or gray text text. I thought to myself, "I wonder how that works," and then I promptly forgot all about it.

A couple of weeks ago I was preparing to give a presentation at Yale, and I was tinkering with a screen magnifier program (ZoomIt; highly recommended) to use during my presentation. When I cranked the zoom factor all the way up, I was startled to see the colors everywhere in my text.

Here's a screen shot of a portion of my browser display:

Now here's a highly enlarged view of the word "Each":

Well! That's pretty cool. Human visual perception is a strange and wondrous thing.

Added note: Blog reader Alessandro suggests looking at the Wikipedia article on subpixel rendering for more information.

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