Anti-Aliased TextAnti-aliasing is a method of drawing text or pictures which smooths edges, and avoids jagged edges ("jaggies").
In this article we'll discuss anti-aliasing as applied to drawing text.
Imagine that we wish to place a character glyph from an outline font on a bitmap. Looking at it closely (enlarging so that you can see the individual pixels), it might look something like this example:
There is an obvious problem, if you look closely at the above diagram. Namely, when we try to convert the glyph to a bitmap ("rasterise"), we can only have a single color for each individual pixel, but some of the cells in the pixel grid contain both red and white.
So how do we address this problem?
A simple solution (not anti-aliased) would be to look at each pixel cell:
That isn't bad, but as you can see, it does look a little bit jagged (see "Jaggies").
This problem can be addressed by modifying our method of rasterising the glyph. This new method (anti-aliasing) works:
This time, it doesn't look jagged, but it does (to some eyes at least), look a little blurred. This difference will become clearer when we compare the images at their final sizes.
Finally, here is a comparison, at actual size, of text which has been anti-aliased, and text which has not been. (I have also included a comparison between two blocks of black and white text - in this case, the anti-aliasing is done using shades of gray rather than red).
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