Considering dropping support for ClearType


Hey All,

I’m considering dropping support for sub-pixel font rendering (aka ClearType) in Cantabile but want to get some feedback. If you’re not familiar with what this is see here.

The problem with sub-pixel font rendering is that it’s a pain to deal with - primarily because the font rendering needs to know the colors of the underlying pixels in-order to mix the the fringe colors correctly. This means that any graphics composition involving text needs to be done on an oqaque background and complicates things more than you’d think.

Without an opaque background, using ClearType results in a mess like this:

So, here’s what I’m thinking. (Note you can only really compare these if you’re looking at this on an LCD panel running at the standard 96 dpi).


  1. Segoe UI 12 ClearType (Cantabile as it currently is)
  2. Segoe UI 12 No-ClearType (Notice it’s slightly blurry and slightly heavier in weight)
  3. Open Sans 13 No-ClearType (Slightly larger to compensate for the blurriness)

Here’s a bigger shot of how 3 will look:


The main downside is that text will take up more space horizontally but otherwise I quite like it (and it solves a bunch of technical issues).

What’s your preference - 1, 2 or 3?

Hint: “1” is the wrong answer :slight_smile:


I choose 2, thanks for asking. :smiley:



2 looked OK to me as well.


Also 2 (I like it compact)


My choice would be 2 as well because it’s more compact.


I choose 3 because everybody else chose 2 and I like to be different. (Trying to be thought of as an iconoclast.)

However, I actually am a bit torn between 2 and 3 - but I must say that the larger and bolder look of 3 is nice on the smaller monitor here…



If I’m not allowed to say 1, I’d go with 3. The only reason I prefer 1 is that it will allow more text on the screen without scrolling or resizing columns, and I often don’t have enough screen space for stuff as it is. A non-cleartype font that’s the same size as 1 would be ideal, if it was still legible.



1 and 2 are actually the same size - the only reason 2 is a little wider is due to different font kerning and pixel alignment.

It seems 2 is the popular choice so I guess I’ll go with that - or I might even make it a theme setting so you can change it if you really want.

I should also say - this is all only relevant on standard resolution devices. On hi-res devices dropping clear type has practically no discernible difference.


You are also forgetting the other important factor…

The proportion of young to old gits using Cantible… :wink:


My heart goes out to those dear old gits…



Thank you Terry :older_adult:


Neither 2 or 3 bother me particularly but I think I lean towards 2.


I am torn as well, I like 2,but my Glaucoma and Cataracts are screaming 3.


Thanks everyone.

PS: Don’t forget there will still be window scaling modes if you need bigger text. What I’m describing here is just the defaults.


2 please.
Still, Cantabile is the most amazing, and unique software for musicians, PERIOD! Thank you!


I’d actually be happy with either. Having them as theme options sounds like a good idea though.