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Re: Stylings only possible with Tables

From: Daniel Beardsmore <public@telcontar.net>
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2007 21:49:52 +0100
Message-ID: <4686C1F0.2080808@telcontar.net>
To: www-style@w3.org

David Woolley wrote:
> James Elmore wrote:
> 
>> On a side note -- before computers were able to handle fonts, font 
>> experts had to be both mathematicians and designers and font sets sold 
> 
> That's even more true now that computers are used.  Before computers, 
> one could scale fonts by eye. With computers one has to add hinting 
> programs.

The ONLY reason this is true is because computer screens are such low 
resolution. Hinting is a special mark-up for fonts that alters the letters 
to best adjust to the pixel grid at low sizes. For larger sizes hinting is 
not needed. The alternative to hinting is to use bitmap faces at smaller 
sizes for screen work, which was particularly common on the Mac. (I don't 
think Windows supported this?)

Hinting is still only useful for 1-bit font rendering and classical 
anti-aliasing. Smooth anti-aliasing doesn't need it nor does print work. I 
have Photoshop 5 on my Mac and I can render smooth anti-aliased type in OS 
9, but Photoshop 5's anti-aliasing algorithm sucks rocks. It's not the Mac's 
fault though. Hinting plus classic anti-aliasing tends to be less pleasing 
aesthetically but far more readable.

I don't know what "scaling fonts by eye" means. Fonts can be *enlarged* to 
any size, but it's reducing them to small sizes that becomes very hard as 
the screen resolution gets in the way.


What any of this has to do with layout, goodness only knows.
Received on Saturday, 30 June 2007 20:51:03 GMT

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