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In the currently running thread ostensibly about 'New MS Type for 2006', but seemingly about grinding some rather ancient axes, a lot of stuff has been written about Microsoft's new ClearType Font Collection, almost all of if by people who have never used the fonts, have no access to tools that would allow them to test the fonts under the rendering system for which they were designed, and have apparently only seen screenshots on a third-party website.
In this thread, with the exception of this introductory text, I do not intend to write very much. Rather, I will post, as my schedule permits, images that will give a better idea of some of the CT fonts in use in the environment for which they were designed. I should stress that even these images give a poor idea of how well the fonts perform, unless you happen to have an identical monitor to mine and like your CT rendering tuned the way I like mine tuned. I suspect that most of you will have a lower resolution screen than mine, so the graphics will appear larger on your screens than on mine. This means, among other things, that the colour fringing of the CT rendering will be more obvious on your screen than mine, since the individual pixels are larger. I will include some absolute measurement, e.g. width of graphic in millimetres on my screen, in the caption of each graphic. [Note, the captions of graphics may be set in Photoshop, as in the first image, so will not themselves be examples of CT rendering.]
I will not take part in any thread to which Bill Troop contributes, so hopefully he won't kill this thread by voicing opinions here. If he wants to continue slagging fonts and the people who make them, he can do so in the other thread to his heart's content. Everyone else is encouraged to ask questions that I can try to answer visually. If there are particular kinds of settings you would like to see, particular type sizes, background colours, etc., please let me know. I hope the images will be helpful to making up your own mind about these fonts, but I maintain that the real time to judge these fonts will be when Longhorn ships and people actually start using them.
One final note, where I label an image as 'Longhorn CT rendering' this is actually output from a test app using the Longhorn APIs running under Windows XP. This test app does not, currently, employ the y-direction antialiasing of the Longhorn renderer, so I will limit such examples to typical text sizes. I can post some display size examples from another test application, but this will not show sub-pixel positioning.
PS. If nothing else, this thread might convince some people of the near impossibility of forming a valuable judgement of screen typography via screenshots. I just looked at the images below on a 96dpi screen, and they look worse than I feared. Live text on your own screen is the only way to judge these things at all well, and even then you are likely to learn as much about the limitations of your screen as you are about the qualities of the type.