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textorize: for a more beautiful web

Official homepage:

textorize produces beautifully subpixel antialiased text graphics on OS X, through a Rubycocoa Ruby script.

Output format is always PNG.

Learn more

Visit and view the presentation on why this is awesome and how it compares to other “web typography” solutions and techniques.


Grab the textorize gem, and you're done:

$ gem install textorize

This will install the textorize Ruby Gem, and the textorize command line tool.

textorize used gemcutter, so if you haven't installed it yet, do:

$ gem install gemcutter

If you're not using the default ruby environment on OS X, you'll need to install RubyCocoa.

Here's how:

Usage (command line tool)

Usage: textorize [options] string
    -f, --font=[FONT]                Font name
    -s, --size=[SIZE]                Font size in point
    -l, --lineheight=[HEIGHT]        Line height in point
    -t, --ligatures=[TYPE]           Ligatures usage: all, standard or off
        --list-fonts                 List available fonts
    -k, --kerning=[VALUE]            Kerning adjustment
    -p, --padding=[VALUE]            Padding in px
    -o, --output=[FILENAME]          Specify filename for saving
    -b, --obliqueness=[ANGLE]        Slant angle
    -c, --color=[COLOR]              Render text in specific color (CSS color value)
    -g, --background=[COLOR]         Render background in specific color (CSS color value)
    -a, --smoothing=[VALUE]          Font smoothing: 0=no subpixel AA, 1=light, 2=normal, 3=strong
    -h, --help                       Display this message and exit

The color parameters take any CSS color, in #abc, #aabbcc, rgb(1,2,3) or rgba(1,2,3,0.5) format.


textorize -f"Gotham" -s200 Hello

textorize -fLucida\ Grande -s150 --color=rgba\(12,56,99,0.5\) --background=#ff8080 foo\ bar


Contributions in the form of bug fixes, features and documentation are always welcome!

textorize is released under the MIT license. © 2009 Thomas Fuchs <>.

NSColor extensions taken from LimeChat, LimeChat is copyrighted free software by Satoshi Nakagawa <>.