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Chapter 17. Working with Text > Displaying Clear, Sharp Text

Displaying Clear, Sharp Text

Despite the variety and sophistication of Flash's text features, the seemingly simple and basic goal of having text appear clear and sharp can be difficult to achieve. The basis of this problem is the fact that computers display text in square pixels. This shape is especially unfortunate for displaying letters. Most letters are not blocky but are instead composed of graceful curves. But the only way computers can transmit the letterforms is to convert curves into pixels, and much is lost in that translation.

Anti-aliasing is an attempt to regain some of the subtlety of curves in a pixel environment. With anti-aliasing, transitional pixels that are intermediate in color and tone are added between the type and the background, which results in smoother, although potentially fuzzy, letterforms. Say you have black text on a white background. Anti-aliasing adds some gray pixels around curved areas in the black letters, as shown in Figure 17.1.


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