This is a little rant on something I keep noticing around the place in people’s work—especially when somebody is trying to sell a pre-made website template, be it already coded and ready to go or simply a sliced Photoshop image. The fonts are all jagged due to no font smoothing applied. This results in something which isn’t very pleasing to the eye. Here’s an example of one such instance (I’ve cropped just one little area of the template image):
You can see that the type in the words “FAQ’s” is all pixellated (unless you’re on an old CRT monitor). This is a Photoshop template file that the person wishes to sell—and yet for some reason they decide to disable a simple feature that can make things look much nicer—they disable font smoothing. This is the year 2007. It is practically impossible to purchase a computer today that will come with an operating system unable to perform basic font antialiasing, so disabling the feature in Photoshop or on your computer really has no advantages other than make the text look jagged.
I took this image and applied font smoothing in Photoshop. Here’s what it looks like now:
Much better? I think so. The only time you would want to disable font smoothing is when you’re working with ‘pixelfonts’. These are pixel perfect fonts designed for very very small sizes that portray a pixelated style and will not work when smoothed. Any other fonts, especially those that were designed for print and were made to look smooth, should look smooth. End of rant.