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DirectWrite is a text layout and glyph rendering API by Microsoft. It was designed to replace GDI/GDI+ and Uniscribe for screen-oriented rendering and was shipped with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, as well as Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (with Platform Update installed).[1]

Microsoft Office 2013 supports either Direct2D/DirectWrite or GDI/Uniscribe for display rendering and typography.[2]


  • Comprehensive support for Unicode, with over 20 scripts providing layout and rendering of every language supported in Windows. DirectWrite supports measuring, drawing, and hit-testing of multi-format text. Supported Unicode features include BIDI, line breaking, surrogates, UVS, language-guided script itemization, number substitution, and glyph shaping.
  • Sub-pixel ClearType text rendering with bi-directional antialiasing which can interoperate with GDI/GDI+, Direct2D/Direct3D and any application-specific technology. When using with Direct2D, text rendering can be hardware-accelerated or can use WARP software rasterizer when hardware acceleration is not available.
  • Supports advanced typographic features of OpenType, such as stylistic alternates and swashes, which were never supported in GDI and WinForms.
  • Provides a low-level glyph rendering API for those who employ proprietary text layout and Unicode-to-glyph processing.

See also

  • Pango a cross platform library for rendering text in high quality, emphasising support for multilingual text
  • Cairo a vector-based cross platform graphics library that can render text


External links