Some time ago Tim van Damme blogged about -webkit-font-smoothing and suggested to use
-webkit-font-smoothing: antialiased to improve font rendering in Safari on Mac. At this time Safari 4 was around and it seems like the new Safari 5 has improved on standard font rendering.
To look closer at this (or to look into a louse’s butt, as we say in Germany ;-), I compared Tim’s Safari 4 screenshots he used in his afore mentioned article with a new Safari 5 screenshot from the Mac:
(1) shows the old standard rendering in Safari 4, (2) shows the new standard rendering in Safari 5 and (3) shows the
antialiased rendering (that didn’t change from Safari 4 to 5).
I created a test page where you can compare this. I think that now the standard
subpixel-antialiased method has some advantages over the
antialiased method when it comes to diagonal lines, especially in italic texts or characters like the uppercase M.
So do we still need to change the font-smoothing method to make text look good?
Yes, there is a case where
-webkit-font-smoothing:antialiased makes sense, when it comes to light text on dark background.
If you have italic text on dark background, it depends which version is better. Some fonts will render to thin and get unreadable when
antialiased is applied. Again, see the test page for this.
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