Still better font smoothing

Edit: Unfortunately, the images originally included in this post are gone, because of hosting problems in late 2009. My apologies.

I took a few minutes to experiment with more font smoothing and this seems to work better on my LCD. I had most of these settings already in my .fonts.conf file, but I edited it slightly and now things look … smoother. :P

< ?xml version="1.0"?>
< !DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
<fontconfig>

 <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>hintfull</const>
	</edit>
 </match>

 <match target="font" >
	<edit mode="assign" name="antialias">
	 <bool>true</bool>
	</edit>
 </match>

 <match target="pattern" >
	<edit mode="assign" name="autohint">
	 <bool>true</bool>
	</edit>
 </match>

 <dir>~/.fonts</dir>
</fontconfig>

Most of this was trimmed from the sample .fonts.conf file posted on the Arch Linux wiki. I don’t doubt for a second that it’ll work in Ubuntu too. ;)

Edit: I’m rather foolish, to post this like a note to myself, and not even think about a screenshot. :| Here’s before, on the left, and after, on the right.

The only difference was that I didn’t really have the rgba set for my LCD before, so the antialiasing is a little smeared. Or at least I think that’s why it looked so sorry.

P.S.: I should mention that my GTK2 fonts still didn’t look perfect after I set this configuration, but when I changed them to use a specific font, and not just the “Sans Serif” generic setting, they smoothed out nicely.

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19 Responses to “Still better font smoothing”


  1. 1 n2j3 2007/12/27 at 8:05 PM

    A screenshot or two wouldn’t hurt ;)

  2. 2 K.Mandla 2007/12/27 at 10:58 PM

    Ah … oh darn. How obvious was that, and I never even thought about a screenshot. :| Okay. Before and after, coming up. …

  3. 3 urukrama 2007/12/28 at 9:54 AM

    I should try this too. Bhutto is killed with no smooth fonts, but only wounded with smooth fonts! :p

  4. 4 K.Mandla 2007/12/28 at 9:56 AM

    BWAAHAHAHAHA! :lol: Omigosh, that’s the funniest comment EVER.

  5. 5 cyberbuff 2007/12/31 at 9:25 PM

    well said urukrama! :D

  6. 6 eric 2008/02/11 at 7:48 PM

    Remove the typos in your .fonts.conf file !

  7. 7 K.Mandla 2008/02/11 at 11:05 PM

    Can you be more specific please?

  8. 8 eric 2008/02/13 at 4:55 PM

    Remove the space after < in the first two lines !

  9. 10 eric 2008/02/13 at 6:04 PM

    Something went wrong ?

    What I add is the following :

    medium

    false

  10. 11 eric 2008/02/13 at 6:10 PM

    Ok copy and paste does not work :

    Try again :

    medium

    false

  11. 12 eric 2008/02/13 at 6:11 PM

    I give up ! Just follow the link.

  12. 13 K.Mandla 2008/02/13 at 6:25 PM

    Sorry, WordPress.com eats XML at times. It’s something that I have learned to suffer.

    I’ll double-check the XML against the wiki when I get home. I had originally left out the bold-to-medium effect because I didn’t like how my fonts in particular looked. But if someone wants to add that term, it’s always an option.

  13. 14 sector 2009/09/23 at 1:33 AM

    Reupload pics of you dont mind.

    • 15 mulenmar 2009/09/23 at 2:13 AM

      As nice as that would be, I seriously doubt that the original screenshots are still around after nearly two years. ;)

      Here’s hoping omploader doesn’t go belly-up as well… :(

      • 16 K.Mandla 2009/09/24 at 11:38 AM

        Unfortunately, that’s the problem. After two or three years it seems that almost any image host will erase the less popular stuff, so there’s little to be done. Sorry I can’t keep on top of the old posts too. :|

  14. 18 Will 2010/01/12 at 5:34 AM

    Thanks for this tip! Did this in OpenBox on Arch and it worked perfectly!


  1. 1 Arch’s -LCD font packages « Motho ke motho ka botho Trackback on 2009/12/17 at 9:02 PM

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