Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dvalley

Fuzzy display on Mac

Recommended Posts

We are developing a solution to run in a mixed platform environment. The primary development is being done on Windows boxes running FMP 8.5 advanced. Layouts designed on these machines using Helvetica (9pt) plain font look fine on the PC, but are not as clear on the Mac (mostly Mini Macs with non Apple displays). They also look gray rather than the black text color selected. We have tried an Apple display and it looks better, but not as crisp as the PC. Note: the same layout (with same font, etc.)in FMP 6 looks fine on the Mac. Any suggestions?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think there's much you can do. Anti-aliasing (font smoothing) is part of FM7/8, and text won't space correctly without it. You might see if different fonts look better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If that is so, how will Mac users stand it? Eye strain is a serious possibility and could be a make or break for FileMaker. (or make them move to the PC)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Helvetica 9 is kind of small, even for PCs. I'm not an expert, especially about the future,* but as far as I know Macs have a display resolution of 72 pixels per sq in, whereas PCs use 96. So text on Macs is smaller. I would suggest you use Verdana 9 at the very least (still small, but readable), or better 10.

*I have heard the OS's of the future (perhaps Vista has it now, Mac 10.5, Leopard will also) will have more resolution indenpendence. You'll be able to change the display size of your LCD monitor without blurring your fonts at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My solutions are designed on Mac for PC's and Terminal Solutions, whcih are notorious for color and font deviations between all 3!

When I run into unsatisfactory issues like you mention I create a layout for each one with a script to control the jump using:

Abs ( Get ( SystemPlatform ) ) = 1 for Mac layout

else

PC layout

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Although that is good for printing issues (where page sizes differ), my problem is that the new FileMaker and the new Macs don't play well with each other. Due to anti-aliasing, small fonts don't work on a Mac display and are blurred even if they are created on a Mac.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...small fonts don't work on a Mac display...

Check that Text Smoothing is on for the smallest font size you're using. This is set in System Preferences->Appearance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

smoothing is on for the smallest font size you're using. This is set in System Preferences->Appearance.

Thank you!

I just moved a big DB from .fp5 over to .fp7 and couldn't figure out why all of a sudden my smaller fonts were impossible to work with on mac. I thought it was a Filemaker issue and was even considering changing fonts (I use Verdana which had always been reliable). I'm glad I checked here first.

I went into Prefs on my mac, changed the settings and all is well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Others have mentioned it before, but it may have gone un-noticed...

Fonts look smaller on Macs than on PCs. Text in 9 point type might be fine on a PC screen, but it will appear too small on a Mac. IMHO, designers seem to be getting younger each year, and with their good eyesight they tend to favor small fonts. On the other hand, users seem to be getting older each year and those same fonts seem to get smaller and smaller!

Standard x-plat practice is to use *minimum* 11 point in a cross-platform font like Arial, Verdana or Tahoma (which are all Microsoft fonts, originally standard on Windows) though I personally use 12 pt minimum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So does that mean you're getting younger Vaughan? Wish I could pull that off. :

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Font smoothing preferences seem to be quasi religious ;) http://www.joelonsoftware.com/items/2007/06/12.html

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.