Anti aliased fonts in wine - minimum font size

Avery Pennarun apenwarr at
Thu Dec 3 19:41:41 CST 2009

On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 7:33 PM, Aric Stewart <aric at> wrote:
> Avery Pennarun wrote:
>> On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 5:37 PM, Austin English <austinenglish at>
>> wrote:
>>> On Thu, Dec 3, 2009 at 4:02 PM, Avery Pennarun <apenwarr at>
>>> wrote:
>>>> I'm using Microsoft Office 2002 under wine.  According to the
>>>> instructions here:
>>>> ...I've enabled font anti-aliasing, and it does work for fonts above a
>>>> particular point size.  However, it seems to turn itself off below a
>>>> certain size.  How can I configure the minimum font size at which to
>>>> allow anti-aliasing?
>>> Try changing the dpi in winecfg.
>> Heh.  Well, that seems to work, in that 10pt fonts are now
>> anti-aliased, except it happens because my 10pt fonts are much bigger
>> than before :)  That's not quite what I was looking for.
>> It seems like the anti-alias feature is disabled based on the *pixel*
>> size of the font?
> I am not sure if this is the case here,  but often the fonts themselves
> actually set a minimum size for anti-aliasing.  The font designer decides at
> what point the anti-aliasing would degrade the usability of the glyphs and
> turns it off.  I know this is the case with many Asian fonts.
> Have you tried with other fonts? Maybe you need to find a small character
> font designed for point sizes 10 and below.

Hmm... good point.  So I just tried Times New Roman (Italic) in Excel 2002.

Results in Windows XP:

- Smoothing:Standard - no anti-aliasing up to 15pt, anti-aliasing
starting at 16pt
- Smoothing:Cleartype - always anti-aliased (and looks great even on my CRT)

Results in Wine (regardless of FontSmoothing=1/2 or FontSmoothingType=1/2):

- no anti-aliasing up to 15pt; anti-aliasing starting at 16pt

So is the problem just that cleartype isn't kicking in at all sizes,
just because the font requests that anti-aliasing doesn't kick in?
What part of the system is responsible for making this decision?
Maybe it's not wine, which is why it's so hard to find it in the
source code :)



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