The latest alpha build of Paint.NET v3.5 now uses DirectWrite instead of GDI for the Text tool if you are running Windows 7. DirectWrite is a new font and text rendering system that comes with Windows 7.
- Faster text rendering. This is currently due to important architectural differences from GDI. With DirectWrite, I can render using multiple threads (performance scaling), while also not blocking the UI thread from drawing (mutexing). GDI can only render text on 1 thread at a time, and that also includes the thread responsible for the UI. DirectWrite can also benefit from GPU acceleration when things are set up correctly with Direct2D (Paint.NET only uses the software rasterization capabilities right now, but in the future who knows!).
- Better quality text rendering. DirectWrite implements what is called “y-direction antialiasing”. The short story is that GDI apparently only does antialiasing on the horizontal axis. It can also position characters with sub-pixel accuracy . . . in other words, GDI uses integers and DirectWrite uses floating point.
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