Smooth Fonts Under Classic On OS X Beta

Greg Landweber, interface design genius and creator of the wildly popular Kaleidoscope, has updated his system level antialiasing application, SmoothType. Version 2.2.1 fixes a startup crash and allows users of OS X to allow their Classic environment to share the same rounded text as is native under OS X. According to Mr. Landweber:

SmoothType is a shareware control panel that brings Mac OS X style font smoothing to machines running System 7 through Mac OS 9. SmoothType also works in the Classic environment under Mac OS X, giving Classic applications text that looks just as good as in Carbon and Cocoa applications.

SmoothType effectively doubles the resolution of text on the screen by blurring the edges of bitmap fonts with shades of gray, a technique called "anti-aliasing". Although Apple introduced a limited form of font smoothing in Mac OS 8.5, SmoothType offers greater flexibility and uses a more aggressive algorithm--similar to how Adobe Acrobat views PDF files--that produces much better results. Apple is now switching to such smoothed text in Mac OS X, but only for applications that use the Quartz graphics engine.

Version 2.2.1 averts a crash at startup on Power Macs running systems prior to Mac OS 9. It also fixes problems with inverted text and the font Courier. Version 2.2 adjusts the text smoothing algorithm to make text less blurry, and in particular, smoothed text now looks much better on LCD screens. This version also adds optimizations for PowerPC G3 and G4 processors, and it supports Multiple Users under Mac OS 9.

SmoothType pioneered the use of system-wide text anti-aliasing when it was first released as "Gregis Hack" at MacHack 1995.

SmoothType is available for US$10. You can find more information at Mr. Landweberis web site.