[Image-SIG] Spotting PIL text rendering differences for TrueType fonts

Edward Cannon edward at unicornschool.org
Sat Aug 4 21:20:39 CEST 2012

I don't have much experience with this topic, but you could try
looking at the selftest.py script that comes with PIL (you probably
ran it during your install) as I recall it prints some useful
information out, so it must be able to determine information about the

On Fri, Aug 3, 2012 at 10:11 AM, Dinu Gherman
<gherman at darwin.in-berlin.de> wrote:
> Hi,
> I'm trying to generate bitmap files dynamically using Python, PIL and
> TrueType fonts. When deploying my code on a WebFaction.com box with
> a preinstalled PIL I observe nasty differences (most visible in the
> string widths) in the text being rendered compared to my development
> box, a MacBook with OS X 10.6 with my own Python/PIL installation
> (both with Python 2.7.3 and PIL 1.1.7).
> I've contacted the WebFaction support team, speculating about differ-
> ences in the JPEG, PNG and/or Freetype libraries used. It's not solved,
> but now I think Freetype might be the best guess since the output makes
> no difference between PNG and JPEG. WebFaction told me to install a
> custom PIL following their recipes here, but that didn't help (in fact
> the differences compared with my Mac even increased):
>   http://community.webfaction.com/questions/7340/how-to-install-pil-with-truetype-support
> In order to test this I've written a simple script and put it on Gist
> here (with two small PNG files attached for an Arial TTF), so people
> can tweak it if they like:
>   https://gist.github.com/3248606
> While I haven't given up hope on the WebFaction support I have two
> questions for this list:
> 1. I wonder if I can expect the exact same rendering on different
>    platforms with PIL and TrueType at all?
> 2. Is there some way to tell quickly (ideally at run time) which li-
>    braries (and versions) went into building PIL and, maybe, where
>    they reside in the system?
> Any help is highly appreciated.
> Regards,
> Dinu
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