Web fonts will soon look better in Chrome


— 8:28 AM on July 18, 2014

For all of Google Chrome's advantages, its sub-par rendering of web fonts has always been a sore point. With the release of Chrome 37, however, that's about to change.

This post on the Chromium blog reveals that DirectWrite support is part of Chrome 37. DirectWrite is a DirectX application programming interface (API) that supports "high-quality text rendering, resolution-independent outline fonts, and full Unicode text and layout support," according to Microsoft's reference page. Previous versions of Chrome have used the older Graphics Device Interface API to display text, which resulted in inferior font rendering compared to Firefox and recent flavors of Internet Explorer. Sites using fancy web fonts will soon look as good in Chrome as they do in other browsers. You can see the difference below.


Image: Chromium Project

If you're a typography nerd like me and can't wait to try out this new feature, you can download the latest Chrome beta here. The only caveat is that you'll need to be running Windows Vista or later to take advantage of DirectWrite, but I doubt that will be a problem for most TR readers. If the beta goes smoothly, all Chrome users should benefit from the change when version 37 is released.

   
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