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Text appears jagged, unless zoomed into 100 percent.

Apr 4, 2012 7:29 AM

  Latest reply: John Hawkinson, Apr 13, 2012 5:38 PM
Branched from an earlier discussion.
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 6, 2012 11:15 AM   in reply to pdgmtf

    Try http://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/store/html/index.cfm?store=OLS-US&even t=displayFontPackage&code=1339

     

    or http://store1.adobe.com/cfusion/store/html/index.cfm?store=OLS-US&even t=displayFontPackage&code=1414 which is very similar to Baskerville.

     

    Many of the fonts supplied with your OS (and I think Baskerville is probably one of them) seem to be stripped down "cheapie" versions that have poor hinting.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Jun 25, 2009
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    Apr 6, 2012 10:14 PM   in reply to [Jongware]

    I am fairly unimpressed here with the responses from the experts! Sorry guys, but you can do better!

    Jongware writes:

    There is no problem, as far as I can see.

     

    The text looks weird when displayed at a very small size. That's not a surprise; in fact, thinking about it, it's surprising that a 7 pixel capital 'R' can still be recognized as "Baskerville"!

    Of course there's a problem! It looks bad on the screen. That is a problem.

    It is not a super-dooper critical stop the presses problem, but it is a problem nonetheless.

     

    There's more to the problem, too. InDesign is doing much worse than it should be doing. Here is InDesign side-by-side with TextEdit, they don't use quite the same font specifications, so it's a bit tough to compare, but I tried a wide range of font sizes in TextEdit and none exhibit this failure. In this case, this is 14pt Baskerville in TextEdit, and 12pt Baskerville in InDesign at 125%, in CS5 (Edit: this image was scalled up 200% in Photoshop with Nearest Neighbor):

    fontskew.png

    Yes, it still looks fine with the annoying spelling underlining turned off. Yes, it still looks fine at fractional point sizes in TextEdit. (14.2,14.5,14.7).

     

    Something is wrong here, and it may be Apple's bug and it may be Adobe's bug, but I would put my money on Adobe at this point.

     

    It also seems to be Lion-related. I don't see it on a 10.6.8 machine, though that has Baskerville 6.1d5e1.

     

    While the problem might be related to hinting, we certainly lack sufficient information to conclude that the font has bad hinting, especially when the OS can render it just fine. Perhaps it has bad hinting only in Carbon applications? Perhaps Carbon font-hinting is catastrophically broken? But I think we can expect InDesign renders screen fonts in a fairly customized way compared to most other applications.

     

    So let's try some other combinations:

     

    • Reverting to Baskerville 6.1d5e1, from the OS X 10.6.8 machine, fixes the problem. Something about the font/ID combination. Curious.
    • Baskerville 7.0.d4e2 under OS X 10.6.8 demonstates the problem under ID CS5. Pointing again to the font/ID combination.
    • Adobe's ITC New Baskerville Std Roman (Version 2.025;PS 002.000;hotconv 1.0.51;makeotf.lib2.0.18671) works fine under 10.7.2.
    • Adobe's Baskerville Cyrillic LT Std Upright (Version 2.025;PS 002.000;hotconv 1.0.51;makeotf.lib2.0.18671) works fine under 10.7.2

     

    So, now it is fingerpointing between Apple and Adobe I suppose.

     

    Anyhow, while I'm here:

     

    Its not about rounding, its about optical alignment and the text representing how the file is set up, not representing some other file with alternating baselines. If it is not visible - then it is not important. PLain and simple. This is noticeable and very much so.

    In this context, by rounding we mean whether a decimal of 1.6 turns into 1 pixel or 2 pixels. Not whether square edges become smooth looking. I'm not 100% sure that was clear to everyone and that we were using the same definitions.

     

    Gone are bitmap fonts that had a better correlation on-screen for the OS they were designed for. Instead, modern fonts, even badly designed ones, are little run-time applications. Use a better designed version of Baskerville

    This is fair as far it goes, but this Baskerville is indeed modern. In fact, a modern revision to it broke its use in InDesign. It may well end up that the font is at fault, but it is not at fault because it is not modern.

     

    Doesn't mean that's the same font as the OP, and you left out the foundry. I hate to tell you how many fonts there are out there named Baskerville...

    Yeah, but we're talking about identical symptoms, so it's probably OK to not worry too much about which it is. And it's a system front that Apple ships with OS X, so that is the likely choice anyhow. Yes, Peter, I didn't specify the Foundry...I'm not sure how much it matters, it's an Apple-distributed font. But since you ask, it is Monotype.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 7, 2012 12:11 PM   in reply to pdgmtf

    Apogies for using so many exclamation points in my previous post...

     

    My point was -- and still is -- that there is not something intrinsic "wrong" with the font. You are only *seeing* the baseline jump up and down because there is no "good" way to display any font *at that size*. There is nothing wrong with the baseline itself, as you can see for yourself when zooming in or printing that page out.

     

    The only thing is that at certain (small!) sizes the display cannot exactly represent the font characters -- but, as I said, the same is true for the overall form, shape, and color of the characters! Sure, it's annoying that you *think* something is wrong when viewing the text at a small size, but zooming in *does* reveal the baseline is okay. (And also that these characters are *not* composed out of very small gray colored blocks, which is a totally similar misconception you might get from just looking at that screenshot.)

     

    InDesign does not use the native OS way of drawing its texts; Adobe programmed their own. Usually it's better than the one supplied by the native OS, but I must admit that apparently in this particular case it seems to make a few bad choices... It might be worth the trouble of officially filing a Bug Report for this, so their engineers can take a look at it.

     

    If this screen-only behavior is so annoying that you really cannot work with it, you only have the choice of using a different font.

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 7, 2012 9:01 PM   in reply to pdgmtf

    Thank you Peter for the link to new Font files. I wonder if anyone can confirm buying Adobe's font will fix this problem?

     

    Yes. As I said above:

     

    • Adobe's ITC New Baskerville Std Roman (Version 2.025;PS 002.000;hotconv 1.0.51;makeotf.lib2.0.18671) works fine under 10.7.2.
    • Adobe's Baskerville Cyrillic LT Std Upright (Version 2.025;PS 002.000;hotconv 1.0.51;makeotf.lib2.0.18671) works fine under 10.7.2

     

    But probably your easiest solution is to copy the Baskerville from an OS X 10.6 system.

     

    Jongware:

    It might be worth the trouble of officially filing a Bug Report for this, so their engineers can take a look at it.

    Didn't I say that? Huh. I guess I only hinted at it.

    I'll probably get around to doing that this weekend, I've spent enough time on this, what's a smidgen more?

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 7, 2012 10:55 PM   in reply to pdgmtf

    Please reread post #42, esp. the bulleted list.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 5:06 AM   in reply to pdgmtf

    I'm going to bring up the system font thing again....

     

    Over the years I've learned to avoid using system fonts in my layouts. I have no real evidence other than experience, but in cases where the OS supplied font has some sort of problem, a "real" purchased version generally does not, and my conclusion is that the versions Apple and Microsoft are giving away are not as complete or robust in some way as the ones the foundries release to the general public. Considering how inexpensive an OS license is, and how many fonts you receive along with it, you can imagine that the font foundry is receiving only pennies for each sale in royalties so we may well be getting "lite" versions that leave out some things like the hinting that would help baskerville align at small sizes (if, indeed, hinting is the problem).

     

    Does this mean the font is not usable in a layout? Not at all if you are printing. But the screen view is annoying, isn't it?

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 8, 2012 5:51 AM   in reply to Peter Spier

    In principle I agree with Peter that it's better to buy professional versions of fonts that you use on a regular basis, but for a different reason.

    There are other attributes of fonts that tend to work better in such fonts, including OpenType Features, more sub-faces, and a wider glyph complement.

     

    But it's also not as great as one might hope. For instance, we use Utopia quite a bit, from Adobe's Font Folio 11. But its glyph coverage is not as wide as one would hope for. There are times when I end up pulling obscure glyphs from Apple's Times (typically unexpected foreign accents) which makes me feel grotty, but it's the easiest solution. Glyph coverage is going to be better with, say, Adobe's "Pro" variants, but there are only handful (ok, let us say a "double handful") of those.

     

    Does this mean the font is not usable in a layout? Not at all if you are printing. But the screen view is annoying, isn't it?

     

    Of course that's why we need to get the bug fixed!

    If the OS's native apps get the small-size rendering correct, there is no reason that Adobe's apps cannot do so as well.

    (Has anyone tested this with non-InDesign Adobe apps?)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 7:35 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    John Hawkinson wrote:

    (Has anyone tested this with non-InDesign Adobe apps?)

     

    Here you go, using Illustrator CS4 on the Mac. My Baskerville shows the same problem the OP notices in ID, so it's worth a shot.

    I realize I've made claims that "all Adobe programs use the same text rendering", but that was more a Hunch than a substantiated Fact. Voila, it turns out to be a Fact:

     

    Screen Shot 2012-04-08 at 4.33.03 PM.png

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Jun 25, 2009
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    Apr 13, 2012 5:36 PM   in reply to [Jongware]

    Ha, ha! Nice try, Jongware, but you can't please me!!

     

    I realize I've made claims that "all Adobe programs use the same text rendering", but that was more a Hunch than a substantiated Fact. Voila, it turns out to be a Fact:

    Because measuring two data points guarantees that it is true for all? Not so!

     

    As I understand it, Illustrator uses an earlier version of ID's text engine, but that Photoshop does not. And of couse, it's very different for stuff like Fireworks, Acrobat, not to mention Premiere Pro or Dreamweaver...

     

    But then, you said "renderer." Maybe that's different too, e.g. CoolType? I suppose I have no idea. Back to filing my bug, which triggered 3 additional other bugs along the way (I hate it when that happens!)...

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Apr 8, 2012 8:05 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    Back to filing my bug, which triggered 3 additional other bugs along the way (I hate it when that happens!)...

    OK, done.

    This is #3160367: "Very bad screen rendering of small Truetype glyphs (sometimes; Baskerville7)."

    WIth any luck, it will be fixed by CS9!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 8:28 AM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    As I don't have an issue with the font in question for the thread within ID--I have a different version anyway--I just loaded a document in PagePlus and a couple other apps. No difference in appearance. But, as it is a different font anyway, it probably doesn't matter.

     

    Take care, Mike

     
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  • John Hawkinson
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    Jun 25, 2009
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    Apr 13, 2012 5:38 PM   in reply to John Hawkinson

    I wrote, on Sunday last:

    As I understand it, Illustrator uses an earlier version of ID's text engine, but that Photoshop does not. And of couse, it's very different for stuff like Fireworks, Acrobat, not to mention Premiere Pro or Dreamweaver...

    I retract the struckthrough text, if I may. I now believe it to be false.

     
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