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SmoothType 2.3.1

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Year released:
[www].se [ftp].se [mirror].us
smoothtype_2.3.1.sit (79.83 KB)
MD5: 4668f6429db1aefbff09e0be093bcbc8
For System 7.0 - 7.6 - Mac OS 9
Guides on emulating older applications

SmoothType brings Mac OS X style font smoothing to machines running Mac OS 7 through 9.2. It makes your screen look more like the printed page. Using a technique called anti-aliasing, SmoothType blurs the jagged edges of bitmap fonts with shades of gray, effectively doubling the screen resolution.

This is why text on a television screen, such as the credits for a TV program, can look so crisp from your couch, even though the resolution is so low. This is also similar to the technique used by some laser printers of varying the size of the dots to improve the printed image quality. With SmoothType, your fonts look on the screen just like they will when you print them, so you no longer need to look at large point sizes to get an idea of what the font really looks like. The effect can be quite striking, particularly when browsing web pages.

SmoothType also offers subpixel smoothing optimized for LCD (flat panel) screens, which separately manipulates the red, green, and blue parts of each pixel, effectively tripling the resolution!

To register, option-click on the large SmoothType Logo.

Architecture: 68k PPC

This is a FAT application. It works on PPC and 68k Macs as well. (68040 cpu recommended)


SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2020, January 29 - 10:52pm

The 2nd screenshot (not mine it was here already) shows what I'm talking about. The right hand side has gotten the whitespace squeezed out from between every letter. Measure with a ruler the text widths on the left hand side vs the other. Classic Mac OS 8-9 combines squish when it's applying its own font smoothing, and, it avoids squishing fonts not smoothed when they're below the point threshold. If the photographer hadn't switched off the OS Appearance font smoothing then, at least in my test of OS 9.2.2 it would look on the left equally squished i.e. harder to read, the topic at hand.

Will there or won't there be app incompatibility caused by displaying variable widths of lines of text? Depending on the threshold set for smoothing, it can be varying widths of some lines not others. Seems messy on the programming level, like any 'lazy' programmer might hardcode their app to handle printing but the one way their own system is/was configured.

SkyCapt's picture
by SkyCapt - 2020, January 29 - 1:59pm

I've been noticing how bad I needed this, with my 22" 1920x1200. I think the 4-bit option looks best on my LCD and not the subpixel, but anyway. You gotta know that Apple Mac OS 9.2 has its own font smoothing built in, but it doesn't kick in until 12pt in the least, and *theirs squeezes a lot of whitespace out from between characters, making things look too crowded.

Apple's built in smoothing continues to squish whitespace and waste cpu until you deactivate it. When using this SmoothType control panel, it has better smoothing than what's built in and doesn't crowd out whitespace.

I test that Mac OS built in smoothing must ALWAYS become deactivated in Control Panels/Appearance > Fonts when combined with this better program, unless you like tightly crowded text and cpu waste.

Don't forget to make a note on how to register this to avoid the nag screen that appears on every bootup after two weeks of trial.

santoscork's picture
by santoscork - 2020, January 28 - 11:41am

This makes everything on the screen look way better. Having type that is smooth and legible is wonderful. In my humble opinion, setting the "Views Font" under the Appearance>Fonts - Control Panel to Trebuchet MS (font) at 11pt makes for a very readable listing in Finder windows.

MikeTomTom's picture
by MikeTomTom - 2010, December 30 - 10:03am

This sounds like a useful utility. Have downloaded it. Just wondering; Does this play nicely with Adobe's ATM control panel? ATM also has screen font smoothing and is common on classic Mac OS's.

[Edit] never mind, I've read the "Read Me" that comes with this. Yes there are conflicts with ATM to be wary of. But as with many an Extension/Control Panel conflict of the era, those conflicts can possibly be avoided by renaming the Extension/CP file's name. From the Read Me:

TrueType or PostScript fonts. SmoothType uses these outline fonts to decide which shades of gray to use. If you want SmoothType to anti-alias PostScript Type 1 fonts, you need Adobe Type Manager, and you must force SmoothType to load after ATM by renaming it "~SmoothType".

That is, rename this Control Panel "~SmoothType" (without the quotes) and it will behave nicely with Adobe's ATM Control Panel. Which is good to know, as I depend on ATM for other things. There are other issues in the "notes" section of the "Read Me" file, none too serious.

Will install and try this one out now, so thanks for posting it up.

themacmeister's picture
by themacmeister - 2010, December 29 - 10:06am

Using it now - many thanx!

Bolkonskij's picture
by Bolkonskij - 2010, December 29 - 8:36am

Very helpful utility from the Kaleidoscope creator Greg Landweber. Especially if you read a lot of text on your older Mac!