The Cocoa view class NSOpenGLView, which automates all the initialisation required to provide an OpenGL context for drawing, is very useful indeed. It would also seem that aglUseFont is a nice simple way to load up a font to draw some text in your view. So long as it isn’t the aforementioned NSOpenGLView, that is.

I found out the hard way that the way NSOpenGLView initialises the OpenGL context is not compatible with the AGL API. So you can handle all the pixel formats and so on yourself but have easy fonts, or the other way round. The glut text call does actually work, albeit in a rather less flexible manner.

I guess this explains why there’s a bunch of font/text utility libraries for OpenGL - it’s non-trivial. But if all you want is a quick and dirty text-drawing function, go for glut.

One day I’ll figure out how to properly render accelerated Quartz text into an OpenGL context, and write an article about it.