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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

Help - all text is appearing with a "shadow" - how to smooth/sharpen it?


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nmr1279

 
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I just installed my new G5. I am noticing that all text, including menus at the top of the screen, text on the internet, text in my Office program etc., all seem to have white-ish shadows to their right. I played with my monitor settings as well as Display and Appearance settings on the Mac and can't get the shadows to go away. Basically it gives the text a blurry look which is really annoying. What can I do to fix this? My old Mac didn't have this problem, and my PC has such crisp text. Please help! My eyes are hurting!
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menace3054
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can you take a screen shot to show us? press shift+apple+4 and select an area.. if it does not show up on here it might be your graphics card
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nmr1279

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menace3054
can you take a screen shot to show us? press shift+apple+4 and select an area.. if it does not show up on here it might be your graphics card
I checked this file on my PC and didn't see the shadows, but when i open it on the Mac the shadows are there. Let me know what you see. This computer is brand new....think it could be the graphics card anyway?
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File Type: png Picture 2.png (781.4 KB, 35 views)
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Have you opened the Monitors System Pref and calibrated your screen?


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If you are using a TFT screen, it should have an auto-calibration feature. A few times I have noticed by Dell TFT having shadows and moire patterns, and a quick push of the auto-configure button fixes it.
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It could also be the VGA cable between the Mac and the monitor. Cheap cables, or extensions, will often result in this.


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I don't want to start a flame war here, because I am no fan of Microsoft, but they clearly have a huge lead over everyone else in the area of clean crisp fonts. I understand that this is a patent ownership issue. I went from Windows -> Linux -> Mac OS X over a period of several years and so I have seen a wide spectrum of font rendering. Windows beats everyone, hands down.

Font rendering tends to be downright horrible in Linux, with whole web sites dedicated to doing the best you can to crisp it up. Again patents are the issue, with Microsoft and Apple reputed to be the legal owners of the leading technologies. With lots and lots of work, and judicious selection of the fonts you use, you can make font rendering acceptable in Linux, but it never gets close to Windows.

When I first started test driving Macs, the first thing I noticed was the lower quality of the font rendering vs. Windows. It is better than Linux, but lesser than Windows. I took that into consideration as I decided on my next computer. In the long run, font rendering is "good enough" on Macs to be acceptable, but it still bothers me. A great many fonts simply aren't crisp like they are in Windows. I have been around, and I know all about the Preferences settings in this area, and TinkerTool's adjustments in this area, and yet I still can't get the clean rendering that I get in Windows.

This is not enough to make me go back to Window - as I said, fonts are "good enough" in Mac OS X, but it is something for the original poster to keep in mind. Font rendering is different here in Mac OS X. Get used to it.

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menace3054
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the text looks excellent on my laptop..
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your screen shot looks ok too me.

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It's the monitor, the connection or the calibration. I can see everything clearly. Try taking a picture with a camera.
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I'm going to agree with it being the VGA lead - thinking back I can think of several cases where replacing that apparently insignificant part had a *great* effect on picture quality. If it's not that, or if the lead isn't changeable, then it sounds like new monitor time
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Quote:
Originally Posted by menace3054
the text looks excellent on my laptop..
oh thank god i thought i was going crazy!!!!!!

triple check your cable connections, your cables, and monitor settings. what kind of monitor are you using?
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nmr1279

 
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I am using a flat screen monitor, and yesterday hooked up my boss's new flat screen and the appearance on his was the same. so, i do not believe it is the actual monitor, but it could be the cable. I took a photo and attached it here - the photo isn't too good, but if you zoom in, you can see the shadows to the right of the text that i mentioned. it isn't so much a matter of the text not being crisp, it is the shadows that give it the blurry-look.
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File Type: jpg screen.jpg (387.3 KB, 21 views)
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Wow, that is AWFUL!! I did not even have to zoom. It's very visible. Only time I have had that is using either a bad or very cheep cable or a cheep KVM Switch. Which G5 do you have and what Video Card is in it? You are hooking up VGA right and not DVI?

There is something wrong. No Mac I have every owned or used looks like that except during the above conditions.
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I agree. This is horrible. Not what I was referring to as "lesser font rendering" at all. Your total image is blurred. This looks almost like you are driving it with analog RGB not digital DVI.

This may be a wild hair, but I have a Viewsonic VP2130b flat panel monitor (i.e. NOT an Apple monitor). I find that it sometimes gets confused as to whether it is receiving DVI-Analog (didn't even know such a thing existed!) or DVI-Digital (the "normal" form of DVI). When it thinks it is getting DVI-Analog, there is a noticable loss of crispness across the whole displayed screen. To date, the only way I have found to resolve this is to restart (not shutdown, but restart) the Mac with the monitor up and running. When the restart occurs, 99% of the time the monitor realizes it is getting DVI-D and full sharpness returns.

Could this be your problem? Try restarting your machine while the monitor is powered up. Also, is there any way for you to get the monitor to tell you what it thinks it is receiving? Your display in general looks suspiciously like it is receiving an analog RGB rather than a digital DVI.

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