Jowaco wrote:I do not know how this applies to TFT flat-screen displays but I am quite happy with a high-resolution CRT display and font smoothing. I do realise that some people wish to have hinting for display purposes . . .
As I now understand it, this hinting was supposed to be one of the important features of TT fonts, as it was for Adobe fonts. But apparently it was considered a difficult job to successfully hint these. And default/auto hinting is considered generally poor when compared with such manual hinting.
I could be wrong. But as I understand it, hinting involves writing various computers programs for each glyph. An older TTI Comp program with its TTViewer gives some idea of what is involved. And it looks too involved for me.
The disadvantage of not having hinting is not just that the small sizes, about 10pt and under start to look 'funky' on screen, but that it seems a few font sizes larger, even, are a bit greyer than the sharp black of hinted fonts. So there does seem to be a genuine advantage, if a way were present so that it didn't become a difficult chore to hint each glyph.
I see that manual hinting has been suggested in the new features section. I would think a panel could be presented so one could actually type in or cut n paste code. But I would think some visual tool to help hide the programming, to some extent, would be preferable. Since the whole point of hinting is just to move points, slightly, perhaps the visual aid would simply be to render the font in a small 'bitmap' window (with zoom) and allow one to interactively move the points around. A program could then be generated from that, perhaps?
But to be fair to the grayscale option - it does solve a host of these problems. The fonts I created show even better than in the grayscale example just above. They don't look to be 'wrong', even at 7-8 point, even WITHOUT hinting. That's by simply Inserting both Grayscale options and clicking Okay to set the maximum, in Font Creator - and that alone does seem sufficient. Still, it would be nice to have manual hinting and visual design of same, even some preset XML, guidelines, etc for typical functions and characters for 'custom' work (which I knew more about it). Given the generally good appearance of adding greyscale, however, I do understand why something as complex, and perhaps copyright protected by Apple, like hinting, might be relatively low on the list of new features. I still recommend macro/api programming, but preferably not by the declarative Python route of Fontlab and assorted other diverse programs.