WPF Blurry fonts issue- Solutions


Answers

.NET 4 finally has a solution to WPF's poor text rendering quality, but it is well-hidden. Set the following for every window:

TextOptions.TextFormattingMode="Display"

Default value is "Ideal" which is not at all what the name implies.

There are two other options in TextOptions, namely TextHintingMode and TextRenderingMode, but they both have sensible defaults.

Question

Problem is described and demonstrated on the following links:

Explanation: Text Clarity in WPF. This link has font comparison.

I would like to collect all possible solutions for this problem. Microsoft Expression Blend uses WPF but fonts look readable.

  • Dark background as in Microsoft Expression Blend
  • Increasing the font size and changing the font (Calibri ... ) [link]
  • Embed windows forms [link]
  • Use GDI+ and/or Windows Forms TextRenderer class to render text to a bitmap, and then render that bitmap as a WPF control. [link]

Are there any more solutions?

This is going to be fixed in VS2010 (and WPF4) beta 2

WPF 4.0 Text Stack Improvements

IT LOOKS LIKE IT HAS BEEN FINALLY SOLVED !

Scott Hanselman's ComputerZen.com: WPF and Text Blurriness, now with complete Clarity
WPF Text Blog: Additional WPF Text Clarity Improvements




From a developer's point, the only known "workaround" to date is to use GDI+ and/or Windows Forms TextRenderer class to render text to a bitmap, and then render that bitmap as a WPF control. Aside from obvious performance implications, this doesn't alleviate the problem for existing applications.

I have now created a Microsoft Connect ticket for this issue (to my surprise, despite all the negativity, there was no actual bug report in the designated tracker).

Since that is one of the official channels of communicating requests and questions to Microsoft, I would advise also going through it for a quicker answer. At least, if you wish for the issue to be addressed one way or another, voting for that ticket there and/or validating the issue will help to draw the attention of Microsoft PMs and engineers to this problem, and possibly raise its perceived priority.




They say "SnapToDevicePixels = true" works, but I've never seen any good results.

I combat the blurred text by switching to a different font.

Obviously this is not a solution to the problem, however this is how I've worked around it.




This is going to be fixed in VS2010 (and WPF4) beta 2:




Wow, I can't believe I finally got my WPF fonts readable. And I also can't believe there is no option dialog to make these changes easy while the default values are horrible on my display.

These registry settings (in decimal) worked for me and come closest to my regular cleartype font:

  • ClearTypeLevel: 10 (mostly greyscale aliasing)
  • GammaLevel: 1300 (higher gamma made the font too thin and I was seeing the colors in the aliasing)



Links