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Font rendering: Apple JDK 6 vs Oracle JDK 1.7.0_40

Category: Java
Sep 12, 2013
Konstantin Bulenkov

The Oracle JDK version 1.7.0_40 contains significant improvements in font rendering comparing to latest builds of Apple JDK 1.6

Apple JDK with Quartz

Oracle JDK 1.7.0_40

First screenshot was made with Apple JDK. Quartz Graphics Framework enabled by passing as a system property to render text and graphics. Anyway, fonts and colours under Apple JDK with Quartz look so different in java applications comparing to native ones. The good news is that fonts look natively with new Oracle JDK. It uses new approaches to render texts.

Also Apple JDK with Quartz modifies colours while rendering and makes them more soft. Look at the difference in backgrounds on the pictures. They have the same background colour… sort of…


  • This is only for retina? The second picture doesn’t seem to use subpixel AA, so there’s no real improvement for non-retina macbooks?

  • Any ideas on how to achieve the same font rendering on Windows? Make it a little bolder. Currently Oracle JDK renders very light/thin fonts.

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