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Fonts again


johnrh
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I realise that topic of font appearance has been mentioned several times already in 7 But it really is aweful and renders applications un-presentable.

Does anyone know anything that can be done to improve them. Also is is even slightly possible that Filemaker will issue a very quick update that will turn their anti-aliasing feature off and revert to the OS. There was nothing wrong with the fonts in ver.6. It needs as much pressure as possible to get this "feature" turned off. How did they "miss" in the testing?

Version: Developer v7

Platform: Windows XP

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I'm using Windows XP Pro with FMP 7.0v1 and have a terrible problem with text visibility. I tried installing on a different machine, turning "clear type" off and everything else I could think of. I use primarily Arial text. This is unacceptable...I can't believe how awful my solution looks ! I agree with the prior post...how could this have slipped by the QC team prior to release? I hope a fix is posted very soon...

Version: v7.x

Platform: Windows XP

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FileMaker 7 has its own built-in font and vector smoothing engine. Some Qs I'd like to know: does Windows' font smoothing interact with FM's? Does FM use Window's non-standard smoothing (see below)?

Microsoft smoothes fonts based on non-standard information stored in TrueType fonts (a GASP record). If the font does not have this info, Windows uses a default font size & "hints" to do smoothing. In Windows 2000, the default is 16pt. Some Arials and Trebuchet have the GASP record, they are smooth at smaller sizes.

Try Trebuchet just to see if Windows' smoothing is part of the problem.

For a fussy customer (my sister...), I made an FM6 font test (some db fields & labels in different fonts). I just converted it to FM7 under Windows XP. The fonts looked fine.

So, why do some folks with XP have issues & others don't? Perhaps we should exchange files to see if the problem can migrate.

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Thanks for the feedback...

I tried turning off "clear type" technology with no change. I then went into Advanced settings for the display and turned off "smooth screen fonts"...same thing, no change. Substituting Trebuchet (a neat font BTW) doesn't help either. I feel I can't release this solution at my hospital and I can't move forward with several installations of FM7 until this font issue is fixed. The thought of deploying the solution on FM6 is not appealing...the new functionality in 7 is great.

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I am using Verdana. It looks horrid. I tried many other fonts and different sizes. All awful to look at. This is on a flat panel 1280x1024 res. I am not sure I can stand to look at it long enough to learn it! My eyes will go buggy.

Version: Developer v7

Platform: Windows XP

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The plot thickens...

Attached are two items. First is a FM7 Font Test db, the other is a screen snapshot of the first on my XP PC. I think fonts smooth nicely in FM7 on both my PC and my Mac. FM7 on my PC has "Font smoothing style" set to "Dark". The Mac version of FM7 running in Panther does not have this setting.

Would folks with problems please run FM7 Font Test.fp7 and post a screenshot. Let's track this down & get it solved!!!

Version: v7.x

Platform: Mac OS X Panther

FM7 Font Test.zip

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Here's an example of the garbage I've been met with. Haven't changed a thing, just did a screen shot in dev5.0 and dev7.0. All Verdana.

Monitor set to 1280x1024, font smoothing=Dark, winxp. My customer runs xplatform, so this will be lots of fun trying to find an acceptable solution.

FontTest.zip

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bcooney, That is what I see too. I sent in a message through the official FM channel. They are probably busy today, so I will likely hear from them next week on what they are doing to correct it. Yeah, Right. tongue.gif

Version: Developer v7

Platform: Windows XP

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Roger's screenshot compared to mine shows a definite problem with font rendering. See the attached TIFF image, magnified to 200%. We're both running XP, I have FM7 Pro, Roger has Developer.

Both are rendering from the same base color of the font 113,0,0. My FM7 is rendering neighbor pixels brighter and more saturdated that Roger's is.

Some others with this problem have stated they're using Developer. Is anyone seeing this problem with Pro?

Version: v7.x

Platform: Mac OS X Panther

FM7-Fonts-Pro-Developer.zip

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Clarification to last post:

So far the font problem in FM7 seems to only be on Windows, and only in the Developer version.

So anyone seeing this in Pro (either platform) or Developer for Mac, please post a screenshot!

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OK this is embarassing...how do I do a screen shot to get the image of my font problem ?

I am using FM7 and have fuzzy fonts....but, when I open the "font test" attachment, the fonts look fine. I seem to have the problem whether I create a brand new file or convert a prior FM6 file. Strange...

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> OK this is embarassing...how do I do a screen shot to get the image of my font problem ?

Don't be... I forgot how to do it (again...), and screenshots are buried in Windows Help.

Press the Print Screen key to copy the current screen. Paste it into Paint (in Start Menu>Programs>Accessories).

Save the image as TIFF (best for cross-platform viewing). Don't save as jpg: we're looking for minute details and don't want any loss of image quality.

Also note that pressing alt and Print Screen copies just the active window to the clipboard.

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Attached are font test files from FM 7.0v1 and also FM 6.0v4. Both files were opened on the same computer running Windows XP Pro, displyed on an LCD panel at 1280 x 1024. In the case of the FM7 file, font rendering was set to "dark" although the other settings did not produce better results. The screenshot files were captured using as near the same settings as possible. I can see a BIG difference in the way the fonts are rendered...FM6 is much sharper (see the numeral "1" in the Arial test ! This was a great suggestion on the part of the forum, I hope it helps.

Version: v7.x

Platform: Windows XP

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Even though the difference is obvious and hopefully FMI will do something about it, is the 7 version of the fonts so dramatic as to prohibit rolling solutions out to customers? Maybe I have good glasses or something, but I think the fuzzyness ain't all that horrible...

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Attached is another comparison blowup pic, courtesy of shadowdoc's screenshots on Windows XP. Recall that FM7 uses its own font and graphic renderer and FM6 uses the OS's (Mac or Windows).

FM7's GDI+ rendering engine's anti-aliasing algorithm averages each pixel giving too much weight to its neighbors. So the base part of the font (what would be visible without anti-aliasing) is over-smoothed, making it more like the background than the font color (lighter for black text on white).

FM7's GDI+ rendering engine uses ordinary anti-aliasing. Ordinary anti-aliasing uses colors from the gradient between the font and the background colors. This works well for CRTs.

FM6, uses the OS's anti-aliasing, on Windows (set up for an LCD) this is ClearType. LCD anti-aliasing uses colors outside the gradient. The extra colors take advantage of the way the colors for each pixel are laid out on an LCD to trick the human eye into seeing greater smoothness. In the pic yolu can see reds to the left and blues to the right. <start of rant>Although M$ calls this technique "ClearType" and claims it was their idea, the technique has been well-known for years.</end of rant>

Version: v7.x

Platform: Mac OS X Panther

FM7vsFM6.zip

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Beside's the usual write to Filemaker, let's hope for two avenues of change:

1) FileMaker employees who design the app read this forum.

2) Our FSA partners bring this issue to FileMaker's attention.

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I had planned to deploy a solution using FM7 to at least 8-10 users. That will have to wait for a fix to be released. Our solutions are judged not only on functionality, but also on appearance. This is a real problem. This wreaks of the "corporate software" attitude of release it now and patch it later...

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For those who are using WIN XP, have you tried the Clear Type option? I have found that it makes the blurriness a little easier to read.

Right click on desktop-

Display Properties > Appearance > Effects [button] -

Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts.

It helps a little.

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Actually I already had this option set, and still I find the results extremely blurry.

Regardless of whether some special trick or OS setting will improve the font problem, FM7 should not force us and our users to change our current OS settings to accomodate this font problem. Who knows what other problems this might bring up in our other non FM applications, not to mention the support nightmare that this will produce as we try to upgrade the hundreds of users in some enterprise applications.

I am all for change when it brings improvement, but we had a perfectly good font system in FM6 and I fail to see how this new font rendering engine in FM7 has improved anything.

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http://www.microsoft.com/typography/cleartype/tuner/1.htm

This is the link to a clear type tuner. It may help a little more.

I would bet that because of all the attention this is getting, FileMaker is rushing for a fix of it. I personally love the program, and can get around this problem for the time being when considering that FileMaker based its 7 re-write on user input.

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Wow! The ClearType tuner is great! Kudos to Microsoft (something I very, very rarely say...).

To restate: FileMaker 7 has its own built in font rendering engine. It does not use Windows' built in engines. Setting smoothing in the Displays Control Panel tab to ClearType, Standard, or no smoothing will have NO effect on what you see on FileMaker 7 layouts.

To verify this, I set XP to all three, ran a FM7 database, took screenshots, and compared the text. The text was identical pixel for pixel.

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