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WildBill

SmoothText 1.1.8

502 posts in this topic

Uploaded version 1.1.0 tonight. Some small improvements and fixes...

Have started using using ver. 1.1.0

Very happy with the results especially in Firefox.

I have a 24" 1920X1080 LCD monitor on which the native win2K text was very hard on the eyes. SmoothText has made a huge improvement. Well done WildBill.

p.s. for those using the same 1080p format, I found the following configuration setting worked best:

Width bias full scale wide

Energy distribution 5

Thanks again. Great work.

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Thanks for the compliments! I find that I can't live without it when I'm surfing the web. There's still a lot of room for improvement, so any feedback is greatly appreciated.

I've posted a new version that (for me, at least) has a major improvement. Now Courier New should look a lot better, which makes SmoothText finally usable when coding.

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Version 1.1.2 is now up, with a few refinements...

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Hi Wildbill

I've started developing a SmoothText theme, with the Uber theme as a starting point, but I've ran into some problems:

* There are white lines on the window borders. Parts of them are also missing.

* The taskbar is always double sized.

* System tray icons are below the clock, and can only be accessed with a 3x taskbar height.

* Resizing the taskbar sometimes makes the system crash.

This is how it looks like:

smoothtextbug1.jpg

The theme can be downloaded http://i719.photobucket.com/albums/ww193/Svenne_the_Blockhead/smoothtextbug1.jpg"]here. I'd really appreciate if you could tell me what I did wrong.

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Sure. Can you post a link?

One thing to check is the TaskbarHeight setting. For example, this is in the Uber skin:

[METRICS]

ClockWidth=80

ClockHeight=0

ClockSizeUnits=Pixels

TaskbarHeight=40

StartButtonXOfs=0

StartButtonYOfs=1

MultilineTaskText=1

CaptionMinLeftInset=7

CaptionMinRightInset=7

CaptionIconInset=6

CaptionIconLinked=1

The taskbar image height in Uber is 46 pixels, so in this example we want 46 pixels visible. The taskbar window itself is 48 pixels wide: the bottom 2 pixels are offscreen, but we don't want to waste the image on anything that isn't visible. However, assuming a standard 4-pixel border thickness, if we exclude the top and bottom borders from the taskbar, that gives 48-8=40 pixels. So in the Uber case, TaskbarHeight=40 means that we want the client portion of the taskbar to be 40 pixels wide. This probably sounds strange that the setting is for the client thickness instead of the overall window thickness, but the setting also determines how much the taskbar grows by when you drag the border to have multiple rows. In this case, it grows 40 pixels at a time, so the Uber taskbar thickness is always 40*rows+8, where the extra 8 pixels are from the top and bottom borders. Remember, though, that the bottom 2 pixels are always offscreen, so your image should not cover those pixels.

Let's try another example. If your taskbar image is, say, 31 pixels high, then it corresponds to a taskbar window that is really 33 pixels high (the bottom two pixels are offscreen). Take 8 off that to remove the top and bottom borders and you get 25. So in this case the setting should be TaskbarHeight=25 to cause the taskbar to grow 25 pixels at a time. Basically, the setting is the image height minus 6 pixels. (forget all this...I'm having a brain-dead moment. The setting is the total visual thickness...so if you want to see 20 pixels, set it to 20).

Now that the skinning engine is getting pretty powerful, SmoothText is really hurting for some comprehensive documentation. Does anyone want to volunteer to write some? ;)

I'd probably need a link to your theme to try to figure out what's wrong with the window borders.

As a status update, the next version will have improved support for alpha-blended window borders. I can't promise perfection, but in the last couple of days I've really improved its behavior.

Edited by WildBill
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Forget everything I said about the taskbar thickness setting. It should reflect the desired visual thickness, not the client thickness. In your case, it should be set to 20. (sheesh...I wrote it and I got it wrong).

The other problems you were seeing were the results of either bugs or aspects that weren't supported (such as thinner-than-normal taskbars). I've posted version 1.1.3 which should give you much better results.

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Thanks a lot!

I've been working on my own theme for a while now, but I still have some problems:

  • The start button is oddly deformed, even though it has the same height as the taskbar.
    smoothtextbug2.png
  • 2nd level drop down menu skinning doesn't work.
    smoothtextbug1-1.png
  • The Quicklaunch icons doesn't resize to fit the taskbar.
    smoothtextbug4.png
  • I want to add a space between the edge of the system tray and the first icon. I tried using ContentRect, but instead got a black square where the space should've been.
  • Transparent icon captions doesn't work unless font smoothing is turned on.
    smoothtextbug3.png

Download: http://www.mediafire.com/?9ahojub4bzypcrj

Edited by Svenne
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2nd-level dropdown menu skinning should work, but the Explorer shell's New... submenu is owner-drawn. That's why it looks different. For example, the Arrange Icons... submenu paints correctly.

I saw the start button issue too with your skin, I think it has to do with the narrowness of the taskbar. I'll have to play with it some more to see what's going on.

For the Quicklaunch icons, try adding these settings to the [METRICS] section to see if they help:

TaskbarIconWidth=16

TaskbarIconHeight=16

To get extra system tray space, you have to assign an image to the tray:

[COMPONENT_SYSTEMTRAY]

Type=Image

Component=SystemTray

Image= <-- Need to assign an image and set the image's ContentRectLeft setting

State=Normal

StartingFrame=0

EndingFrame=0

TextColor=White

Font=Arial_10px_Normal

Transparent icon text works through the font smoothing engine, so yes, it won't work with font smoothing disabled.

Thanks a lot!

I've been working on my own theme for a while now, but I still have some problems:

  • The start button is oddly deformed, even though it has the same height as the taskbar.
    smoothtextbug2.png
  • 2nd level drop down menu skinning doesn't work.
    smoothtextbug1-1.png
  • The Quicklaunch icons doesn't resize to fit the taskbar.
    smoothtextbug4.png
  • I want to add a space between the edge of the system tray and the first icon. I tried using ContentRect, but instead got a black square where the space should've been.
  • Transparent icon captions doesn't work unless font smoothing is turned on.
    smoothtextbug3.png

Download: http://www.mediafire.com/?9ahojub4bzypcrj

Edited by WildBill
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Version 1.1.4 is now up, with a couple of fixes.

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2nd-level dropdown menu skinning should work, but the Explorer shell's New... submenu is owner-drawn. That's why it looks different. For example, the Arrange Icons... submenu paints correctly.

I saw the start button issue too with your skin, I think it has to do with the narrowness of the taskbar. I'll have to play with it some more to see what's going on.

Thank you. I studied the problem a bit more carefully, and it seems like the four top/bottom pixels gets shifted two pixels to the left.

For the Quicklaunch icons, try adding these settings to the [METRICS] section to see if they help:

TaskbarIconWidth=16

TaskbarIconHeight=16

Already have, and it doesn't work. Thanks anyway.

To get extra system tray space, you have to assign an image to the tray:

[COMPONENT_SYSTEMTRAY]

Type=Image

Component=SystemTray

Image= <-- Need to assign an image and set the image's ContentRectLeft setting

State=Normal

StartingFrame=0

EndingFrame=0

TextColor=White

Font=Arial_10px_Normal

I have an image assigned, and I set contentrectleft to 4, and it works! I think your 1.1.4 update fixed it.

Transparent icon text works through the font smoothing engine, so yes, it won't work with font smoothing disabled.

Oh. Any chance you can fix it in the future?

Another flaw I've noticed is the CPU usage. Explorer.exe uses around 30% on it's own. Is there any optimization I can do? Will using RLE-compressed TGA bitmaps decrease performance?

Edited by Svenne
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No, the bitmap format won't have any effect since everything is stored in memory uncompressed. I've actually been making a lot of speed optimizations for version 1.1.5, as I've been gradually improving support for alpha-blended window borders on Windows 2000 and performance was suffering. Let me see if it's good enough to release as-is.

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I think there might be something wrong with my theme. After updating to SmoothText 1.1.5, explorer.exe's CPU usage increased by 33-50% (from 20-30% to 30-40%).

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OK, I downloaded version 1.1.5 and ...

Can't find any mention of installation procedures in the archive or this thread.

Unfortunately I'm neither psychic nor clairvoyant so I'm going to need some help here.

If someone would divulge this little secret, I promise I won't tell a soul.

TIA

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There isn't any special installation procedure, just unzip everything to a folder and run SmoothText.exe.

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Neat, I had to try this.

I have ViewSonic VP181b IPS display with BGR screen instead of the usual RGB. With SmoothText 1.1.5 set to BGR all text looks highlighted with a yellow marker. The color looks like the inverse of the system background color.

I haven't rebooted yet, is a reboot necessary? I just started SmoothText.exe

Thanks !

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No, a reboot isn't necessary. Can you post a screenshot?

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No, a reboot isn't necessary. Can you post a screenshot?

Text color also changes to dark blue from default black. And smoothtext works even if text smoothing is turned off in windows display properties. Your BGR setting definitely works and is much sharper than RGB on my display.

http://bellsouthpwp2.net/z/w/zw42vcqx9a/win2k/smoothtext.bmp

ps: I'm getting error msg "You are not allowed to use that image extension on this board."

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I haven't updated this in a while, but if I can ever get my head above water with respect to the Win2k patches I'd like to do some more work on this. Anyway, I thought I'd post a desktop screenshot to show what it can do. I'm curious: has anyone tried building any SmoothText skins?

ie2vko.png

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Version 1.1.6 of SmoothText is now available. The only change is speed optimizations for the skinning engine. Performance isn't yet where I'd like it to be, but it's noticeably faster. Both the NT4 and W2k versions will see a speed boost when the skinning engine is active, though the W2k version will see a greater improvement since it supports SSE2 whereas NT4 only supports MMX.

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I took the night off from Windows patches and made some more improvements to SmoothText. This version fixes some bugs in the last version and adds further speed improvements for newer CPU's that support SSE4.1 instructions (many dual-core and quad-core CPU's support them). These optimizations only affect the W2k version, but I also improved the internal bitmap code to pre-align images along 16-byte boundaries. This was important to realize the full benefit on the W2k version but also has the potential to result in a modest speed improvement for the NT4 version. Version 1.1.7 is now available with the changes.

Edited by WildBill
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SmoothText 1.1.8 is now available; it includes a small fix for Firefox 4 compatibility.

Enjoy, :hello:

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I'm trying to run SmoothText on an old computer with a Pentium III 866MHz processor.

It's incredibly slow. The CPU usage jumps up to 50% just by running SmoothText and becomes almost unusable :(

Is there any way to speed it up?

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Really bad rendering problem with text editors using Scintilla control. The control is used in Notepad++, Scite, Notepad2, and a whole lot more tools.

The problem is inserted strings of spaces, particularly when font characteristics change within a line.

The problem will be easy for you to spot, just load some source code into Notepad++ and you'll see it.

At least the source code for Scintilla is available.

Hope you can find a solution because the problem really is a deal breaker.

--

Bill

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