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There're many free pixel-style fonts available, like FontsArena's W95FA and wixette's Dotted Chinese Pixel Fonts with Unicode support.

Dotted Chinese Pixel Fonts

However, when trying to use those pixel-style fonts into pixel art, they are not pixel-perfect and blurry, or have broken outlines.

Blurry W95FA

In Photoshop, anti-aliasing set to none, 7px high:

W95FA with broken outline

Is there any tool that could generate crispy text for a pixel art?

2 Answers 2

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I think the native pixel size of the font might be 13px, or maybe 26px I can't be 100% sure. Anyway, it won't display right in any software at 7px. There's not enough pixels to render it properly at that size.

The first example font displays at 13px and multiples of that size in GIMP with anti-aliasing switched off. I can't try the Chinese one as I know nothing about typing in Chinese. Sorry.

In GIMP, text anti-aliasing off

enter image description here

It doesn't seem to work for me in Photoshop at 13pxt, but it does at 26px. Not sure what's going on with PS to be honest. It just doesn't seem to like 13px.

Photoshop at 13px with text anti-aliasing set to none

enter image description here

Photoshop at 26px with text anti-aliasing set to none

enter image description here

Edit: 24px also seems even better in Photoshop, and identical in GIMP. Perhaps that's the native size? 12px doesn't work well in either PS or GIMP.

enter image description here

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  • Yikes! Could confirm GIMP does much better on pixelated text. And more importantly it supports bitmap font, meaning that I could directly use conhost's raster font, named Terminal. Apr 10, 2022 at 1:29
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    Good to know! Always good to know when PS falls short... photo.stackexchange.com/questions/2834/…
    – Stephen
    Apr 10, 2022 at 23:27
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Long story short: Use GIMP for pixel-style texts. Check Billy Kerr's answer.

Pixel font processing in GIMP

Compared with other tools, GIMP supports bitmap font, which is always pixel perfect.

Windows built-in raster fonts

For OpenType or TrueType fonts, you need to set hinting to full, as hinting gives useful information on how to display font clearly in a low resolution.

The original answer

In Windows, the ancient cmd.exe (conhost.exe for systems newer than Win 2000) still holds the ability to render bitmap font.[*] If there are not that many texts, simply press Win + R, type in conhost.exe, and then enter. Right click on the title bar, then select Properties.

conhost.exe

Select "Font" tab then rolling down till you see "Raster Fonts" (aka 点阵字体). Choose the expected size and do a screenshot, using Snipping Tool that comes with all the modern Windows releases from Win 7 or whatever you're comfortable with.

Properties settings for conhost

Delete the unnecessary black background. In the end you get crispy bitmap renders!

Crisp pixel-style text!

Final work:

enter image description here

* Special note for high-DPI monitor users: You need to set monitor scaling to 100% if you don't want to bother with scaling down later!

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