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Disable anti-aliased fonts System
Caught this one over on the OS X Talk site. It seems "Dead Ed" has found a terminal command that disables anti-aliased text on a system-wide (per user) basis. A note on the OS X Talk site warns that text is actually harder to read on LCD displays, but that is does look sharper on CRTs.

To disable anti-aliased text, open a terminal and type:
defaults write CoreGraphics CGFontDisableAntialiasing YES
To re-enable the anti-aliasing, simply reverse the command:
defaults write CoreGraphics CGFontDisableAntialiasing NO
I tried the hack myself tonight, and it does work - you need to logout/login to see the changes. In a nutshell, I really didn't like it much. It looks like the fonts are missing bits - perhaps the hack just disables the gray pieces, leaving a somewhat chunky black font. When I turned it back on and tried to restart, my machine locked up when the Finder started. Even remote SSh was dead. After one more restart, all has been fine. Use at your own risk...
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Performance gain?
Authored by: babbage on Jun 05, '01 02:35:08PM

Is it me, or would this make things run *a lot* faster? Any word on how this change might
impact performance, either for the better or adversely? One of the early complaints was that
things like pervasive anti-aliasing were slowing down performance unacceptably; it would
be interesting to see how much faster things get (if at all) with anti-aliasing disabled.

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I tried it and it works but,
Authored by: sjonke on Jun 05, '01 03:47:44PM

it definitely looks worse on an LCD (in this case a 2000 iBook), and whether or not it is easier to read on a CRT is questionable. I like the anti-aliased text in OS X on my CRT and my iBook, so maybe I'm biased. though. Anyway, it doesn't hurt to try it. I encountered no problems and can't see why you would.

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No antialiasing on CRT
Authored by: friedmaj on Jun 05, '01 05:13:12PM

I tried this briefly on my Apple 17" CRT at 1152 x 870. I didn't explore any fonts besides Lucida Grande. It was very clearly worse without antialiasing.

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No antialiasing on CRT
Authored by: babbage on Jun 05, '01 06:20:28PM

Ok, so it's ugly, but how is performance? Surely it's gotta be better than X-Windows....

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No antialiasing on CRT
Authored by: sjonke on Jun 06, '01 11:07:40AM
As I said in my message, I could not detect any significant difference in performance, but I did not do a scientific comparison. I just tried it with anti-aliasing and without and I didn't notice much other than that it was uglier and at least in the case of my iBook, harder to read. I tend to think it was harder to read on my G4 with CRT display as well, but everyone seems to think differently about this. Perhaps if you got rid of anti-aliasing along with drop shadows, translucency, etc, etc, then you might see a performance gain, but is it worth it? Jobs has said that performance improvements are now a top priority for OS X as that is one of the most common complaints. OS X improves with every update and I see no reason not to expect that to continue.

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No antialiasing on CRT
Authored by: sjonke on Jun 06, '01 01:00:26PM

Uh... or maybe I didn't say that in my original message. :) Well, now you know, but I suggest you try it for yourself anyway and see what the results are for you.

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I tried it and it works but,
Authored by: Zemrec on Jun 07, '01 12:28:25PM

I'm using a new 2001 iBook, and text actually appears sharper for me. I was using Internet Explorer for web browsing versus Omniweb, simply because IE didn't antialias and Omniweb did. It was too anti aliased for me...text was blurry and hard to read. Now its very sharp.

There are a few caveats though, certain fonts do look jaggy, such as the bold application name in the menu bar and fonts that are displayed in "non-native" sizes, but thats easily amendable, just change the size.

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