Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

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Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby Peridot » 2009-11-03 10:38

Hey there,

I've been distro hopping, well mainly debian based and I can't help but notice how poor the font rendering is compared to XP.
Fonts in sidux 2009.3 and Lenny 5.03 is as if it came from an ancient typewriter. Ubuntu 9.10 manages better, but doesn't still quite match the fonts from XP.
Fonts look particularly bad on Iceweasel.

Things I've done
1) Tried playing with hinting/dpi combinations - no luck
2) dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config
3) installed msttcorefonts
4) Changed iceweasel font settings , minimum font size etc.
5) Changed to slight/medium hinting
6) Every other "fix" that I found when googling debian's ugly fonts

I'm not sure if the threads on fonts get deleted regularly but I've found some topics dating back to 2007 and no one seem to have an answer for it. Anything else or commands that I can use to configure fonts in debian?
Now it could be that I'm used to the window's fonts so many of you linux purists would probably have used the same "ugly" fonts since the beginning and are therefore accustomed to it, hence do not see it as an issue.

Here are some screenshots to compare Sidux and Ubuntu fonts. Sidux and Lenny fonts look similar to each other so I only posted screenie from sidux. Both sidux and ubuntu are using the same Sans size 10 font with similar hinting/antialias settings.

sidux.png
sidux.png (193.77 KiB) Viewed 21240 times
ubuntu.png
ubuntu.png (204.04 KiB) Viewed 21240 times
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby shadowking » 2009-11-03 11:02

It will never be fixed because society today will shove this anti alias crap down our throat like it or not. Other reason is patents.

http://modeemi.fi/~tuomov/b/2006/the_ca ... red_fonts/
http://www.modeemi.cs.tut.fi/~tuomov/b/ ... ts_review/

To get Xp fonts:

enable non-free & apt-get install msttcorefonts

Then create .fonts.conf in your home folder as per below:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM 'fonts.dtd'>
<fontconfig>
<selectfont>
<rejectfont>
<glob>*bitstream*</glob>
<glob>*deja*</glob>
<glob>*free*</glob>
<glob>*.pcf*</glob>
<glob>*.pfb*</glob>
<glob>*aenigma*</glob>
</rejectfont>
</selectfont>
<alias>
<family>sans-serif</family>
<prefer>
<family>Arial</family>
</prefer>
</alias>
<alias>
<family>serif</family>
<prefer>
<family>Times New Roman</family>
</prefer>
</alias>
<alias>
<family>monospace</family>
<prefer>
<family>Courier New</family>
</prefer>
</alias>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="rgba" >
<const>rgb</const>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="hinting" >
<bool>true</bool>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle" >
<const>hintslight</const>
</edit>
</match>
<match target="font" >
<edit mode="assign" name="antialias" >
<bool>false</bool>
</edit>
</match>
</fontconfig>
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby roseway » 2009-11-03 12:53

It hasn't been my experience that Debian font rendering is so bad as the screenshot at the top. With a small amount of tinkering, my fonts look much like the Ubuntu example, but without the colour fringing which is caused by subpixel rendering.

I've installed Debian numerous times, always with KDE as the desktop, and I always use nVidia graphics. I always do the same things after installation:

- install the nVidia driver and modify xorg.conf to force the screen DPI to 96x96
- Using the KDE system settings (previously Control Centre) enable anti-aliasing and set hinting to 'slight'. Don't use subpixel rendering.

If you want your fonts to be anti-aliased system wide, create a file /etc/fonts/conf.avail/10-antialias.conf with the following contents:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>
<!-- Use anti-aliasing -->
<match target="font">
<edit name="antialias" mode="assign"><bool>true</bool></edit>
</match>
</fontconfig>

Then link it to /etc/fonts/conf.d/ and everything is fine.
Eric
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby Peridot » 2009-11-05 00:37

Hi again,

Thanks for posting the fixes, neither helped much unfortunately. I played around with the settings a bit more without much success. In the end I switched the font settings in iceweasel to exactly what is on firefox on my XP box. That sort of helped and it looks like how roseway described his/her fonts. Somewhat like the ubuntu screenshot without the fringing.

I'll try copying the ubuntu's fonts.conf to see if that makes any difference. I remember fixing ubuntu's font with the instructions from this site
http://martin.ankerl.com/2009/01/22/bea ... buntu-810/

Fingers crossed !
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby julian67 » 2009-11-05 03:32

Whatever you do under no circumstances search the forum. It can often lead to disappointment when the same subject has been raised, discussed and resolved before.
Wisdom from my inbox: "do not mock at your pottenocy"
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby emariz » 2009-11-05 06:19

Use DejaVu Sans and set slight hinting.
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby Peridot » 2009-11-05 09:19

julian67 wrote:Whatever you do under no circumstances search the forum. It can often lead to disappointment when the same subject has been raised, discussed and resolved before.


Oh searched I have, and by "resolved" you meant accepting the fact that debian fonts will never be as sharp as other OSes. :roll:

em4r1z wrote:Use DejaVu Sans and set slight hinting.

Thanks, will give that a go.
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby hameau » 2009-11-05 13:46

Peridot wrote:... and by "resolved" you meant accepting the fact that debian fonts will never be as sharp as other OSes.

It's all down to individual perception. I find Windows fonts less easy to read than in Debian (with nothing changed beyond what's available in GUI utilities – nothing added from outside the repositories).

To answer your original question, I have no need for anything to be fixed. :shrug:
Nick.
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby eric1959 » 2009-12-07 00:46

Last edited by eric1959 on 2011-02-10 10:07, edited 1 time in total.
Debian Bits And Snips
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby neddie » 2009-12-08 17:41

In my opinion the worst thing about that ubuntu grab is the colour fringing, but that's something I never see in this vanilla Lenny install. Here an example of that web page in Iceweasel (first at normal size, then zoomed with Ctrl-+). And this is without any tweaking, no msttcorefonts, just out-of-the-box Lenny.
font-rendering-lenny.png
font-rendering-lenny.png (7.19 KiB) Viewed 20773 times

Maybe that's still too blurry for you but it looks fine to me here (on a 1600x1200 screen), very readable and no colour fringing. Nothing to fix!
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby kce » 2009-12-09 02:36

This has always worked well for me:

1) Install pretty fonts (you'll need non-free for mscorefonts): apt-get install ttf-dejavu ttf-liberation ttf-mscorefonts-installer xfonts-terminus
2) dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config, select Autohinter, Automatic and No
3) dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig
4) Restart Xorg
5) Gnome-specific (these are largely personal preferences): System -> Preferences -> Appearances -> Fonts: Enable 'Best Shapes', Details -> Dots per Inch: 110, Smoothing -> Grayscale

I prefer the MS's Trebuchet (gasp!) and/or the DejaVu fonts
More paranoid than AMLJ!
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby xXZeroXx » 2009-12-11 04:10

kce wrote:This has always worked well for me:

1) Install pretty fonts (you'll need non-free for mscorefonts): apt-get install ttf-dejavu ttf-liberation ttf-mscorefonts-installer xfonts-terminus
2) dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig-config, select Autohinter, Automatic and No
3) dpkg-reconfigure fontconfig
4) Restart Xorg
5) Gnome-specific (these are largely personal preferences): System -> Preferences -> Appearances -> Fonts: Enable 'Best Shapes', Details -> Dots per Inch: 110, Smoothing -> Grayscale

I prefer the MS's Trebuchet (gasp!) and/or the DejaVu fonts


That worked great!! :D

Thanks for the tip.
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby Mr B » 2009-12-12 08:06

eric1959 wrote:Have a look at my blog : http://debian-bits-and-snips.blogspot.com/


I've been using the candara font for few days now and quite like it. Thanks for the tip.
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Re: Ugly font rendering. Will it ever be fixed??

Postby refracta » 2009-12-12 15:06

UPDATE....ugly fonts fixed....since the debian etch release.... W000000T!
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