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 first shipped with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, as well as Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (with Platform Update installed).[1] DirectWrite is hardware-accelerated (using the GPU) when running on top of Direct2D, but can also use the CPU to render on any target, including a GDI bitmap.[2][3]


In Windows 8.1, DirectWrite gained support for color fonts.[5][6]


DWriteCore is the Windows App SDK (Project Reunion) implementation of DirectWrite that runs on versions of Windows down to Windows 10, version 1809 (10.0; Build 17763), and opens the door for cross-platform usage.[7]


The XPS viewer in Windows 7 uses DirectWrite, but it renders the output on a GDI+ surface.[8]

Internet Explorer 9 and later versions use DirectWrite layered over Direct2D for improved visual quality and performance.[9][10][11] Firefox 4 also added DirectWrite support, but rendering in the DirectWrite specific style was made non-default for some fonts in Firefox 7 due to user complaints about the rendering quality.[12]

Microsoft Office 2013 supports either Direct2D/DirectWrite or GDI/Uniscribe for display rendering and typography.[13]

Google Chrome in Windows supports DirectWrite starting from version 37.[14]

Telegram's desktop client uses DirectWrite to render color emojis on Windows.

Steam has the option to enable DirectWrite for improved font smoothing and kerning on its desktop client

See also


  1. ^ "The Platform Update for Windows Vista". DirectX Developer Blog. 10 September 2009. Archived from the original on 8 April 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  2. ^ "Introducing DirectWrite". Microsoft Developer Network. Microsoft.
  3. ^ Windows 7: Introducing Direct2D and DirectWrite – PDC 2008 video 15:00-16:00 and 27:00-28:00
  4. ^ "Windows 7: Introducing Direct2D and DirectWrite – pdc2008". Channel 9. Microsoft. 29 October 2008.
  5. ^ "What's new in DirectWrite". Microsoft Developer Network. Microsoft.
  6. ^ Dan McLachlan (26 June 2013). "Innovations in High Performance 2D Graphics with DirectX – Build 2013". Channel 9. Microsoft.
  7. ^ "DWriteCore overview". DirectWrite. Microsoft Docs. Retrieved 2021-10-19.
  8. ^ Worachai Chaoweeraprasit (13 February 2009). "Advances in typography and text rendering in Windows 7". Microsoft Developer Network. Microsoft.
  9. ^ Tim Anderson (11 August 2010). "Firefox 4 as Psychedelic as IE9 with Direct2D enabled". Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  10. ^ Shankland, Stephen (25 March 2014). "Firefox 4 beta 4 adds hardware acceleration". CNET. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  11. ^ "Mozilla chucks Roc at Microsoft's new hardness". The Register. 13 September 2010.
  12. ^ "DirectWrite Text Rendering in Firefox 6". 11 August 2011. Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 9 August 2014.
  13. ^ Murray Sargent. "Office Adopts New Windows Display Technology". Microsoft Developer Network. Microsoft.
  14. ^ Brandon Chester (26 August 2014). "Google Updates Chrome To Version 37 With DirectWrite Support". AnandTech. Retrieved 27 August 2014.