Text hinting causes ugly output

• Oct 3, 2015 - 09:27
Reported version
S4 - Minor

With small font size (e.g. 7pt), I have kerning issues. Most visible with Gentium Basic, but I think FreeSerif is affected as well. Problem is present with all variants.


GIT commit: f51dc11

Attachment Size
Font_metric_issue.mscz 3.11 KB
Font_metric_issue.png 9.22 KB


What OS are you on? I don't see any issues with any of the text fonts we ship - FreeSerif, FreeSans, or MuseJazz - using a size of 7 point on Ubuntu 14.04.

If the fonts with that problem are not part of MuseScore, while those that are part of MuseScore don't have that problem, how are the MuseScore developers supposed to fix them?
Linux Libertine, Gentium Basic and Time New Roman are definitly not part of MuseScore. FreeSerif, FreeSans, or MuseJazz are, but don't have the problem.

For font rendering issues it doesn't matter at all what fonts are shipped with MuseScore (they are not part of MuseScore anyway). (If you would have read my bug report you could have seen that the problem appears with FreeSerif as well, so the situation is that MuseScore renders its bundled font bad).
I guess this is a FreeType or QT issue and/or the way MuseScore uses them.

For the record, you originally said you *thought* Free Serif was affected, and since I couldn't reproduce, a natural assumption was that you were perhaps simply mistaken about that.

Anyhow, what is very possible is that there is a bug in FreeType or in Qt that is causing these specific fonts to not kern well at small sizes. However, it is also possible there is a bug in these fonts that cause some rendering engines to have problems with them. I'm not enough of a font expert to be able to say.

This also shows that rendering will be (still) different on different platforms even with the same bundled font (also it is no so clearly visible, only when printing but larger font sizes are affected as well).

I used the Hello QML plugin to display text with Gentium Italic 7pt. I realised, that Qt draws that perfectly well and more beautiful than what is displayed on the MuseScore canvas (perhaps related to subpixel antialiasing). So I think this issue is a more generic problem about text rendering on Windows.