font smoothing

toyfactory toyfactory at
Fri May 6 11:06:22 UTC 2005

king20878 wrote:

>> I had similar problems to this with Korean fonts not long ago.  Some
>> were so fuzzy that short vertical bars would virtually disappear.
>> Although many people recommended it, running dpkg-reconfigure on
>> fontconfig didn't help.

I've tried this and I think it didn't work (I might try again to check),
but it did have the same side effect as below.

>> I would try opening /etc/fonts/local.conf and uncomment the last
>> section about autohinting.  Restart X and things should be much
>> sharper.  You may need to tweak the gnome font settings to get things
>> just the way you want them.

That's done the trick!  Well, Japanese text is considerably more
legible, however it has messed up the Roman text slightly.  What used to
 be slightly bold (for example unread messages in Thunderbird) is now
_painfully_ bold.

I think this is to do with's or Gnome's default fonts, Sans and
Serif.  Changing them in Gnome font preferences doesn't have any effect
on Thunderbird's display.  I can't find (although I haven't looked very
hard) any real fonts called Sans or Serif so I guess they are simply
references to other fonts on the system (looks like Bitstream Vera
Sans/Serif).  I'd like to set up FreeSans and FreeSerif instead as the
system defaults (their bold isn't quite so heavy).  How can I change
these fonts?

Well, I think I found the answer before I even post my question.
/etc/fonts/fonts.conf lists aliases for standard names; I guess I'll
fiddle to see if I can get everything looking nice.  One thing, the file
says DO NOT EDIT THIS FILE in big scary letters.  Damn, I thought Linux
was supposed to be configurable using text files, certainly there
appears to no other way to make these changes.  Should I go ahead and
edit it or is there some way I can make the changes in
etc/fonts/local.conf instead?

Edit: changing the order of the aliases in /etc/fonts/fonts.conf didn't
do anything.

Hmm, oh well.


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