Fanning Software Consulting

Crisp Object Graphics Text

QUESTION: I am making PowerPoint slides from my object graphics display routines, but I'm frustrated by the fuzzy quality of the axis labels and text. I've even tried to use vector fonts rather than true-type fonts, but everything is still fuzzy. Is there a way to get crisp object graphics fonts?

ANSWER: The answer to this question on the IDL newsgroup came from Rick Towler.

You want to change the text objects RENDER_METHOD to 1 (triangles). The default method for IDLgrText from IDL 6.0 on has been to render text as a bitmap texture mapped on a polygon. This texture method allows for anti-aliasing of the font which is what is causing the “fuzziness.”

You may have some trouble doing this if you use iTools though, since they seem to rely on the FILL_BACKGROUND and FILL_COLOR properties of IDLgrText and these are only available when rendering as a texture. It may be the iTools are coded to handle both methods, but I don't know for sure.

This brings up a good point though. The anti-aliasing is pretty soft. Is there some consensus on this? Maybe there should be a feature request to add a property to IDLgrText which would control the anti-aliasing. Something along the lines of “none”, “crisp”, “strong”, and “soft ”similar to the way Photoshop handles this.

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