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optimizing font for small size on a mac?


I'm trying to optimize my font for small, set sizes on-screen (9pt, 11pt, 13pt) specifically for osx. i don't know very much about font-exporting and the rasterization process, but i'm told that i font-hinting doesn't work on osx because quartz doesn't listen to the hints. is there any other method of optimizing fonts for small sizes on macs? the only other solution i can think of is to make separate font files for each size… and that just seems downright sloppy.

sorry this is a bit of a novice question, but my usual solution of scouring the internet for an answer hasn't been pointing me in any helpful directions.

thanks in advance!

@font-face rendering


I made this just as a general info for those uniformed.

It is simplified, but generally speaking these are main possible paths with default settings.

X axis is market share (with some guessing).

I know a small examples of renderings could be included for better understanding, and I will post this & other refinements later.

A few things not mentioned:
Linux with FreeType rendering, but I have no idea how many people use subpixel rendering or other settings. Each setting has probably less than 1% of users.
Quartz rendering does also other types than subpixel AA, but I would say they are in minority (I really don't know).
There is also an old version of Safari, with Quartz rendering on Windows with default setting.