Use DirectWrite for better font rendering on Win32
Submitted by Ryan Reamsbottom
Created attachment 281803 Showing the difference between DirectWrite and the current gtk+ font rendering implementation
In Google Chrome, there is a new flag on Win32:
Enable DirectWrite (Windows) Enables the use of experimental DirectWrite font rendering system. #enable-direct-write
Turning this flag on results in noticeably better font rendering. Comparing fonts rendered in Chrome with a gtk+ application like HexChat leads me to strongly prefer the fonts rendered with DirectWrite.
I'd love for programs like the aforementioned HexChat to have this better font rendering, so I was wondering if it was feasible to enable the use of DirectWrite on gtk+'s Win32 backend?
Some background on DirectWrite:
Today's applications must support high-quality text rendering, resolution-independent outline fonts, and full Unicode text and layout support. DirectWrite, a DirectX API, provides these features and more:
A device-independent text layout system that improves text readability in documents and in UI. High-quality, sub-pixel, ClearType text rendering that can use GDI, Direct2D, or application-specific rendering technology. Hardware-accelerated text, when used with Direct2D. Support for multi-format text. Support for the advanced typography features of OpenType fonts. Support for the layout and rendering of text in all supported languages. GDI-compatible layout and rendering.
I've tried to illustrate the difference in a screenshot. The brightly coloured text was all added in Photoshop.