Default font size in gnome

Felix Miata mrmazda at
Fri Feb 27 01:09:42 UTC 2009

On 2009/02/26 17:33 (GMT-0600) Ryan Hayle composed:

> It seems to me like there might possibly be another issue here.  At 
> high DPI, it seems as if the font rendering engine makes larger fonts 
> (by that I mean 10pt) appear more "bold" than they should (in my 
> opinion).  Is this the intended behaviour?  I really know nothing about 
> this or typography in general, I just wanted to raise the idea.  I often 
> choose smaller fonts simply to get rid of this "bold" look

Many small type lovers raise exactly that same objection, but it's an
inherent property of screen fonts, which are rendered with an extremely
limited amount of pixels available in small sizes in the traditional display
DPI range. As DPI is increased, any given physical size has more px available
in each character box to work with. The main problem is it takes a lot more
than what's available with two-digit DPIs to get a gradual increase in stroke
weight proportional to increase in size.

The typical break point between a nominal 1px stem and a 2px wide stem is
between 15px and 20px, most commonly 17px or 18px, but not unusually smaller.
The last size or two before break point, and the first size or two from break
point, just can't have as good a stroke weight to size ratio as sizes more
distant from the break point. With a high enough DPI, the break point can be
as low as 9pt/10pt -> 10pt at 144 DPI is 20px.

The actual font family, LCD vs. CRT, bytecode (or lack thereof), hinting,
anti-aliasing and subpixel components of font rendering also play a role in
this, so it can take some experimenting for many sensitive to the issue to
achieve or rid the intrusion of the break point. This all plays a part in any
individual's perception of bigness or smallness. Bolder usually seems larger,
and the converse. can be used to find the
stem size break point of DejaVu Sans on your systems. It has a link to an
index to other common fonts so you can see how the ones you use differ, or not.
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your
mouths, but only what is helpful for building
others up."			Ephesians 4:29 NIV

 Team OS/2 ** Reg. Linux User #211409

Felix Miata  ***

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