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make fonts to render "nice" with antialiasing


I'm interested in any hints on how to make good looking small sized text as GIF in Photoshop.

Using the different kinds of antialiasing is OK, but often the result on small fonts are not very good. I even tryed to use double layers with a copy of the text above... the the text get a bit more "saturation" but still often sort of jigged. Changing the transparency on the top layer gives a bit better result, but i'm still not really satisfyed.

I have seen sites where the GIF-Text is extremely sharp and still very_very small.

Any hints, any links to fonts that are especially good for this purpose? I have the Adobe webTypes - but would be glad to find something "new"!

Kind regards
Joergen Astroem
1 Solution
The smallest you can get text and still have it readable 5 point. That allows for enough vertical pixels to describe "E". If you add anti-aliasing to that, it will be fuzzy and probably unreadable. The usual solution is to turn anti-aliasing off since its irrelevant for such a small size anyway.
Ditto to what Weed said, plus you may want to check out the Sevenet font, which was designed for this purpose.

Try http://www.fountain.nu/, go to "Free Fonts" in the drop down menu, then Sevenet from the next menu.  They give you tips too.
Somehow the comma got caught in the above link, sorry.  This should work below:


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try using the save for web command in the file menu. Use your regular antialiasing method goto save for web and make the background the same as your webpage backgroung color. I've done it a few times and it works really good. Don't forget to save the photoshoop file so you can change the backdrop easily
jastroemAuthor Commented:

Thank you for all hints!

What i'm looking for is not the fonts like seven net or other similar fonts - like silk screen or roto  - that are done for use without anti aliasing, they look good and can be used very small. Also, the save for web is off course something that I always use in this case.

What I hope to find is any font that renders e s p e c i a l l y good using small sizes in combination with anti aliasing. Or any "trick" to get the textImages more "saturated".

=> weed
You're right about the min. 5pix, but what if I'd like to use someting like any of the standard adobe fonts in PS with a size like 10, 11 or so pix - they look terrible...

/ joergen

For a size of 10 pts or so with anti-aliasing on a GIF, my biggest hint for you is a very simple one.  Use a sans-sarif font (such as arial or helvetica) and don't be afraid to make it bold.

A lot of places where one would never even consider using bold text for a print product are, on a GIF for the Web, simply more legible when bold text is used.  

Here's an example.  Compare the legibility of the small text on this GIF map which uses an anti-aliased bold sans-serif font:

with the anti-aliased regular, serifed font used on this map:

Hope this was helpful,
Normal fonts at 10 or 11 should render fine with anti-aliasing on but make sure you have the render method set appropriately. PS allows several methods for anti-aliasing text and can be found in the Info bar.
Göran AnderssonCommented:
Fonts I have found renders quite well in small sizes are Verdana, Lucida Console, Tahoma.

You could also try to work at double size, then use Layer->Flatten Image and Image->Image Size, or Save For Web - Image Size, to half the image when you save it. Using "strong" anti-aliasing with this produces readable text even down to 4 pixels high.
No comment has been added to this question in more than 21 days, so it is now classified as abandoned.

I will leave the following recommendation for this question in the Cleanup topic area:
Accept - Weed

Any objections should be posted here in the next 4 days. After that time, the question will be closed.

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