DirectWrite (DWrite)


Today's applications must support high-quality text rendering, resolution-independent outline fonts, and full Unicode text and layout support. DirectWrite, a DirectX API, provides these features and more.

  • A device-independent text layout system that improves text readability in documents and in UI.
  • High-quality, sub-pixel, Microsoft ClearType text rendering that can use GDI, Direct2D, or application-specific rendering technology.
  • Hardware-accelerated text, when used with Direct2D.
  • Support for multi-format text.
  • Support for the advanced typography features of OpenType fonts.
  • Support for the layout and rendering of text in all supported languages.
  • GDI-compatible layout and rendering.

The API supports measuring, drawing, and hit-testing of multi-format text. DirectWrite handles text in all supported languages for global and localized applications, building on the key language infrastructure found in Windows 7. DirectWrite also provides a low-level glyph rendering API for developers who want to perform their own layout and Unicode-to-glyph processing.


Windows App SDK introduces a new version of DirectWrite—called DWriteCore—that runs on versions of Windows down to Windows 8, and opens the door for you to use it cross-platform. For more details, see DWriteCore overview.

Run-time requirements

  • Windows 7 or Windows Vista with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Platform Update for Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 or Windows Server 2008 with Service Pack 2 (SP2) and Platform Update for Windows Server 2008

In this section

Topic Description
What's new in DirectWrite
Here are some of the new additions to DirectWrite.
Programming Guide
The following topics provide an overview of the DirectWrite API.
API Reference
Describes the DirectWrite API.
Sample Code
This section contains information about sample programs for DirectWrite.