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I've noticed that with some fonts show some fringing (that is coloured usually red/bluey lines) surrounding the text.

Here's one example.

fringed fonts

A portion of my job is design and I'm finding it very hard to use native tools when the system can't antialias some fonts. It's also double-ugly for me.

Anybody else experiencing this? Found a fix?

I'm using subpixel smoothing, full hinting and the RGB subpixel order.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Coloured fringes are the result of sub-pixel AA. You should check if you use the correct subpixel AA for your display (orientation & order of colours) as using the wrong type will make it really bad.

Or you could just disable it (as I do). ;)

I did have a closer look at your image, and it seems like it uses two subpixels at both sides of all vertical lines, which maybe explains why it's more visible (usually at most 1 subpixel is used, I think).

It's very well possible that the hinting in open fonts prevents this, or that somehow there are fontconfig rules to prevent this for open fonts (you might be able to create a fontconfig rule that disables subpixel AA for the fonts that have these heavy colour fringes). Or maybe this is a bug in the subpixel algorithm that gets triggered only by some fonts.

In any case, I'm probably a bad judge of how common it is for this to happen, because I see coloured fringes on all fonts when I enable subpixel AA, so I always disable it.

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Sorry for the delay. I do have AA on but my point is this is specifically a closed-source font problem. Perhaps just TTF. I don't see this on any of the default or repo fonts. – Oli Nov 10 '10 at 23:10
I suppose "closed source" also means "non-distributable"? – JanC Nov 11 '10 at 3:19
The font in the example is Nevis. Isn't "free" but doesn't cost anything to download for personal use. – Oli Nov 11 '10 at 9:25
Actually, gratis for commercial use too, but not re-distributable (except when using it as a web font). It seems like all fonts from that site have this issue... – JanC Nov 11 '10 at 11:26

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