The Xft library provides anti-aliased fonts for X11 which greatly enhances the look of Tk and other programs on X11. It also supports rotated text (only used from Tk 8.6 onwards, and only in the canvas) though Tk does contain (slow) code to do rotation using classic X11 fonts.
See [L1 ] for details of Xft.
Xft support can be enabled for newer Tk versions by passing --enable-xft to configure when building Tk.
[add info about Xft , which I presume is a library interface to FreeType font handling.]
AMG: --enable-xft is on by default for Tk. I always have to remember to pass --disable-xft because I don't like it. :^( I prefer the appearance of the bitmapped fonts over the antialiased fonts. Can I access the bitmapped fonts with Xft support enabled?