build 327.0 text rendering

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yossizahn
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build 327.0 text rendering

Post by yossizahn » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:38 am

Hi,
Has there been a change to the text rendering in build 327.0?
I see nothing about it in the version history, but I much prefer the old rendering...

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:46 am

Hello yossizahn,

No significant changes have been done to the rendering engine, but some specific fonts might be handled differently now.
Can you share a sample file and tell us what is now rendered worse in it than in the older version?

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Stefan

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by yossizahn » Tue Oct 02, 2018 10:52 am

I think I found now the culprit
It seems that "Preference->Page Display->Rendering...->Text Hinting" when set to "Auto" now defaults to hinting "enabled" while I am pretty sure that in the past I didn't have hinting enabled. I don't recall changing the settings manually.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Tue Oct 02, 2018 11:06 am

Hello yossizahn,

Glad to hear you found out which setting needs to be changed. As for the Auto options for most of our settings - the way they behave might indeed change - e.g. because we've changed the algorithms behind them determining how this Auto setting should behave for a given scenario, and we will of course try to make the Auto option work best for most scenarios, but in your case it would seem like you need to set that manually!

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random11
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by random11 » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:23 pm

I've experienced the same issue in some pdfs, see the attached screens. First is how the page looked in 326.1, second was made right after the upgrade to 327, not touching any settings. Disabling hinting did the trick, but perhaps you should consider reverting the default setting in your next release.
Attachments
326.1.PNG
327.PNG
settings.PNG

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TrackerSupp-Daniel
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by TrackerSupp-Daniel » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:29 pm

Hi random11,

Could we ask for a copy of that document to test with?
Thanks!
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Timur Born » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:52 pm

I just did a quick comparison, but from that I would judge activated text hinting as beneficial. Not only does it bring Editor's rendering a bit closer to Acrobat's rendering (reference), but it also makes small text more legible (especially "e" type characters).

Unfortunately Editor still is not able to use Cleartype anti-aliasing on any page that features even a hint of transparencies, which forces it to use much less attractive gray-scale font smoothing and thus somewhat counters the readability benefit of hinting on screen.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by TrackerSupp-Daniel » Tue Oct 02, 2018 7:18 pm

Indeed Timur, in most cases it certainly is beneficial.
Of course we do still want to come up with a solution where nearly (if not) all cases benefit.

In light of that, having this sample document, so that we can take a look at the font in question, we might be able to find something about its handling that can be improved.
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Arnold » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:31 pm

The text hinting pretty much straightens out the problem with the font I posted about previously. However, it is a little different when viewing a pdf created from an Excel spreadsheet. The font used there was Arial 12 point. The e's do look cleaner, but the a's do not. They are darker and somewhat blobby. The a's look cleaner with hinting turned off, at least at regular viewing magnifications.

This is on my old Dell XP laptop that has some years on it. Have not had a chance to compare with my "new!" Windows 7 laptop that has a nice 17" screen yet. Isn't a lot of this dependent on the hardware? My personal reference is not Acrobat, but the Viewer. The Editor with the rendering and printing of the Viewer would be great for me. I imagine other users with new equipment and high dpi monitors might see it differently.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by yossizahn » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:17 pm

Timur Born wrote:Not only does it bring Editor's rendering a bit closer to Acrobat's rendering (reference)
I don't think the PDF spec enforces any specific rendering implementation and whether hinting should be used or not, therefore I don't think that being closer to Acrobat's rendering is an objective gain. Personally I much prefer the unhinted (and more accurate) version, especially since good hinting is an art and many fonts don't contain good hinting instructions.
Timur Born wrote:Unfortunately Editor still is not able to use Cleartype anti-aliasing on any page that features even a hint of transparencies, which forces it to use much less attractive gray-scale font smoothing and thus somewhat counters the readability benefit of hinting on screen.
Perhaps you can enlighten me more about that. What does Cleartype anti-aliasing have to do with hinting? As far as I understand they are 2 different technologies that can be used in tandem but don't necessarily depend on each other. Anti-aliasing is actually more important when hinting is not used since important features are not snapped to a pixel grid.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Timur Born » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:50 pm

Adobe's rendering is the reference, independent of whether we like one rendering more or less than the other.

Cleartype aka sub-pixel rendering considerably increases the horizontal text rendering resolution. The "grid" is a lot less coarse and higher resolution means better representation. Furthermore the addition of gray pixel anti-aliasing means that pixels are used for gray that otherwise might have been available for real font information. Have a look at small font "o" or "e" characters, for example. And even something as clear as "T"s get easily blurred when the gray mishmash is applied to them.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Arnold » Wed Oct 03, 2018 12:45 pm

I received a few surveys from a consultant yesterday who uses Arial for body text. I have Text Hinting set to Auto. I read through a lot of their surveys so I am very familiar with how they look. I was struck by how big the type looked and how "stuffed" paragraphs look at Fit Page magnification in 327. It seems to be because the height of the characters is rendered taller than in previous versions.

Arial is one of the most used fonts in surveys that come my way. A previous post stated that hinting is an art form. Is this just because of interaction with my hardware? Is the hinting for Arial considered good?

Thanks.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Timur Born » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:29 pm

Even before 327 Editor had a tendency to render some fonts larger than Acrobat Reader. Maybe that tendency is further emphasized by the new implementation of hinting?

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Ivan - Tracker Software » Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:51 pm

I created sample pdf printing your last post using Arial, 11. You can find my file in attachments.
I compared rendering by the Editor (pxce_ files) and Acrobat (adbe_ files) on two zoom levels 100% and 125%.
I cannot say they equal pixel by pixel, but taking into account absolutely different code for rendering and fonts processing, I would say we are pretty the same.

If you have an issue, please send me PDFs together with screenshots - that's will help me to improve our rendering where it is possible.

P.S., if your in PDF files non-common fonts are used, please embed them. The easiest way to that is to Save As your PDF to PDF/A format.
Attachments
pxce_125.png
pxce_100.png
adbe_125.png
adbe_100.png
31551.pdf
(5.28 KiB) Downloaded 27 times
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random11
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by random11 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:48 pm

Couldn't figure out how to PM. I'll leave the file here, but only for a limited time, for obvious reasons.
Edit: apparently it's too big, here's a dropbox link instead LINK REDACTED
Last edited by random11 on Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by TrackerSupp-Daniel » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:51 pm

Hi random11,
If the files are confidential, you can also email them to Support@tracker-software.com, we can handle it from there.
Please also include a link to this forum post for reference.
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random11
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by random11 » Wed Oct 03, 2018 10:54 pm

Not confidential, but probably not in the public domain, unfortunately.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by TrackerSupp-Daniel » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:03 pm

Thank you Random11,
Ivan and Myself have both downloaded a copy of the document for testing and investigation, and will delete it once we are done. I will edit your post to remove the link for you.
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Arnold » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:43 pm

I did not make screenshots or even note which files I was looking at as I normally do. I was overwhelmed with work when they came in. I will keep Hinting on, as I have to go back through those files to complete the bids. Thanks for checking it out.

I think I prefer how Arial looks with no hinting, but maybe I just need to use 327 with hinting some more.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by TrackerSupp-Daniel » Wed Oct 03, 2018 11:54 pm

That's alright Arnold, Random11 has already provided files for us to test with, so it should all be sorted out, but if you do find them, feel free to attach them here :)
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Peter 123
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Peter 123 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:46 am

I just updated to build 327.0 of version 7.0 and I also notice that the display of the letters in the PDF-files has changed - and unfortunately not to the better: the letters look thinner / "weaker" now.

I see it especially in the PDF-files I have created from Word documents (using an online service). The font is (and was always) Arial (font size usually 12), that means nothing unusual or special. Maybe that the change has happened in other PDF-files too but until now it is at least not so clearly visible as in the converted versions of the Word documents. (I attach an extract of such a file .)
random11 wrote:Disabling hinting did the trick, but perhaps you should consider reverting the default setting in your next release.
I fear that in my case this did not help: either "Text Hinting" is "Auto", "Enabled" or "Disabled", the appearance of the letters does not change. :(
Attachments
424-426.pdf
(264.91 KiB) Downloaded 25 times
Last edited by Peter 123 on Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:38 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Dimitar - Tracker Supp
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Dimitar - Tracker Supp » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:16 am

Hello Peter 123,

Could you please send us a screenshot of what you see at your end?
To be honest, for me is very difficult to find a difference how your document looks in different PDF viewers.
For me, the text looks ok in every program that I have tried.

Please zoom the document to 200% or 300% when you make the screenshot.

EDIT: This is what I see at my end:
XChangeVSAdobe.png
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Peter 123 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 7:43 am

Hello Dimitar,

I attach 2 screenshots:

- The one you have asked for with zoom 200% (and the editor window fully opened).

- The second one approximately in the way I usually use the Editor: in the right part of the screen (covering about the half of the screen) and a document size of about 68% (in case of this PDF-file).
Dimitar - Tracker Supp wrote: To be honest, for me is very difficult to find a difference how your document looks in different PDF viewers.
For me, the text looks ok in every program that I have tried.
Yes, I mean it is o.k. now too, but formerly it was better.* The difference is not enormous but it is visible - at least for the way I use the editor (as described above). I would have to reinstall the former version and to take a screenshot of the same page with the same settings so that there is a possibility for direct comparison between old and new look. If it is necessary or useful I will do it. But as it is quite a lot of work I would prefer to avoid it. :wink:

*) PS:
I refer to the XChange-Editor Build 326.1 (and older versions). Maybe that now there is no big difference to Adobe. But not Adobe but XChange-Editor "old" had to my mind the best display. :wink:
Attachments
SC-200%.jpg
SC-68%.jpg

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Peter 123 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:02 am

PS: Here an image that you see how I usually use the Editor:

The Editor in the right part of the screen (the search pane is always open too). In the left part e.g. the opened browser (with your homepage):
Attachments
Editor-Window.jpg

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Peter 123 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 9:11 am

And another addition:

As I realize now, screenshots do not help a lot to describe the problem because in the screenshots (at least in mine) the appearance of the letters is clearly better than "in reality" (= on the screen).

But the following comparison can illustrate approximately the difference:

- Open my file in version 327.0 with "Fit Visible" (and with the Editor in the position described above: right part of the screen, open search pane). That's about 77%. (Or you can also choose "Fit Width" = about 68%.)

- Then open the file (in the same position of the Editor) with "Actual Size" (= 100%).

With older versions of the Editor (build 326 etc.) I had with 77% or 68% approximately the look for which I would need now 100% (but then the page does not fit into the window). And as you will see, the difference is considerable.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Dimitar - Tracker Supp » Thu Oct 04, 2018 1:04 pm

Hello Peter 123,

Thanks for preferring our product :-)

I have tried to reproduce your situation based on the instructions you gave me and this is the result:
326.1_fit_visual.png
327_fit_visual.png
326.1_Actual_Size.JPG
327_Actual_Size.JPG

I still can't see what you see but I think the difference in the monitors maybe is the issue here.
Also, the different monitor resolution is affecting the end result.



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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Peter 123 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 3:49 pm

Thanks, Dimitar, for your screenshots. They show much better the "real situation" on the screen than my attempts did.
Dimitar - Tracker Supp wrote: I still can't see what you see
I think we see the relevant differences now. :D

E.g. when you compare your 3rd and your 4th image:

- The page with "Actual Size" (= 100% / 1:1) with version 326.1:
There are clear, strong letters. (Surely that's no professional description, but I think you know what I mean. :wink: )

- The same page, again "Actual Size", this time with version 327:
The letters are thinner, weaker. (No enormous difference, but visible.)

And as I rarely (or never?) use "Actual Size" for viewing these files, in reality I have now (= with build 327) results that resemble very much with your 1st or your 2nd image (depending on chosing "Fit Width" or "Visible With" or something between). And this is an appearance I did not have in the past. (I am aware that your 1st image is from version 326.1 but obviously I could always find a size to avoid such an appearance.) In the past it always looked more closely to your 3rd image. And this is something that I cannot achieve any longer because it would require to use now 88% (or something bigger) and then the page will not fit into the window.
Dimitar - Tracker Supp wrote: I think the difference in the monitors maybe is the issue here.
Also, the different monitor resolution is affecting the end result.
If you refer to the differences in the produced screenshots (by you and by me), obviously yes. But the differences in the appearance on the monitor itself must have to do with some change in version 327 of the Editor. Moreover it cannot be a coincidence that just now other users in this topic report similar differences.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Arnold » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:43 pm

A follow up to my previous post dated 10/03. Based on what I have seen today the stuffed look of some paragraphs has nothing to do with hinting being on or off.

The files I was looking at had both portrait and landscape pages. When the horizontal scroll bar is visible it changes the spacing between some lines in each paragraph of the portrait pages. I don't see a pattern of which sentences shift in each paragraph. I think this may be what I was seeing the other day that I thought had to do with rendering.

Fit Width on my XP laptop is 150.18%. If I set the zoom level on the mixed page file to 150%, the portrait views for both files are practically the same size. When the horizontal scroll bar is visible in Test Page 2 on page 1, switching back and forth between the 2 files shows the differences.

I have not tried this with any other files. Same thing happens in Windows 7, just different sentences in the paragraphs seem to shift. On my windows 7 machine, Fit Width is 167.83%, so I used 168% for the mixed page file. Having hinting on or off has no effect.
Attachments
Test Page 2.pdf
(66.88 KiB) Downloaded 26 times
Test Page.pdf
(66.76 KiB) Downloaded 25 times

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Peter 123 » Sat Oct 06, 2018 4:22 am

I am happy! After a lot of more tests and comparisons at least for me the problem is solved. :D

And it was so easy. Finally the solution was exactly what yossizahn had written already in his second posting (!):
yossizahn wrote:I think I found now the culprit
It seems that "Preference->Page Display->Rendering...->Text Hinting" when set to "Auto" now defaults to hinting "enabled" while I am pretty sure that in the past I didn't have hinting enabled.
Confirmed by random11:
random11 wrote:Disabling hinting did the trick
I really have no idea why at the beginning it did not work for me (or at least I had this impression) - obviously I made something wrong (or I did not look carefully enough at my monitor). :oops:

Anyway, now for me all is o.k. again (= letters with build 327.0 look exactly like they did with build 326 and older).

To describe once more how it worked (using the classic toolbars):

1. Go to Edit --> Preferences --> Page Display --> Rendering
(or in the German version: Bearbeiten --> Einstellungen --> Seitenanzeige --> Darstellung)

2. In the opening window change the entry for "Text Hinting" from "Auto" to "Disabled":
(German version: Den Eintrag für "Text-Hinting" umstellen: von "Auto" auf "Ausgeschaltet".)
03.jpg
Sorry for the confusion I caused and many thanks especially to yossizahn for presenting the solution and to Dimitar from the Tracker Support for all his efforts and his patience. :D

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by David.P » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:44 pm

Ivan - Tracker Software wrote:I created sample pdf printing your last post using Arial, 11. You can find my file in attachments.
I compared rendering by the Editor (pxce_ files) and Acrobat (adbe_ files) on two zoom levels 100% and 125%.
I cannot say they equal pixel by pixel, but taking into account absolutely different code for rendering and fonts processing, I would say we are pretty the same.
Take a closer look (particularly, at the "e's" and the "w's"):

Image
Image
8)
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Timur Born » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:03 pm

To be fair, small "e" characters is something that not only Editor, but also Foxit and Nitro struggle with. No idea why their interpretation of the "-" height within the "e" is so different (and obviously worse) than Acrobat's. XChange Viewer does a bit better and is closer to Acrobat's rendering. I would very much appreciate a fix/improvement in this area.

Also take a look at the differences in the "s" in your example.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Tracker Supp-Stefan » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:18 pm

Hello Timur, David

Thanks for the samples.
Today is a statutory holiday in Canada where our lead devs are, but I have passed this and the other text rendering topic to them to review - and we will post further information in both topics as soon as it is available.

Regards,
Stefan

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Ivan - Tracker Software » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:27 pm

What is 'funny', Acrobat renders e absolutely the same as the Editor does. Do we have different Arial font?
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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Timur Born » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:32 pm

I am confused, Ivan. What do you mean by "renders e absolutely the same"? It's very obvious in David's example (and my Cleartype examples in a different thread) that "e" characters are rendered very different in Acrobat, with the "-" line being placed lower (and being anti-aliased in David's example) in Acrobat and thus more readable. There also is a clear difference in the angle/roundness between Editor and Acrobat in David's example.

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Re: build 327.0 text rendering

Post by Ivan - Tracker Software » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:22 pm

Here is what I have (Windows 10, 96 dpi, 100% zoom, Editor v.327.0)
Attachments
pxce_327.png
adbe.png
2018-10-09_09-20-23.gif
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