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Font Variations

I wish I knew how to fix fonts in Fedora. Nothing I do in preferences that I can find seems to have any effect on things like the fonts used in the firefox bookmarks, yet every fedora release seems to get worse and worse. No doubt the answer is something like defining a new theme, but the learning curve to even discover if that really is the answer is much too extreme.

It isn't just firefox, mind you, but firefox is one app I'm using a lot so I notice it a lot.

Here's some examples of what I'm talking about. First is a bit of sidebar bookmark and google search results from fedora 15 beta firefox:

Next, the same example from fedora 14:

Finally, a similar example from ubuntu 11.04:

It is hard for me to believe that anyone would think either of the two fedora example are better looking than the ubuntu example, but fedora 15 fonts have gotten so thin and spindly they are almost unreadable (to me).

If anyone has step by step instructions for transplanting the ubuntu fonts and font rendering to fedora, please tell me. Better yet, please send patches in to fedora :-).

On the other hand, God help me if I ever find myself forced to use the ubuntu unity interface. Please, DO NOT send fedora any patches to implement that abomination (and I thought GNOME 3 was bad).

To show that firefox isn't the only problem, here's a sample of an icon from the Gnome 3 Applications menu:

The icon is blowed up to giant fuzzy dimensions you have to back away from the screen to see, but the label font is so tiny, you need a magnifying glass.

Important News!

Ubuntu still looks better to me, but one tip that really works is this:

cd /etc/fonts/conf.d/
ln -s ../conf.avail/10-autohint.conf .

That sets newer fedoras back to using auto hinting rather than the bytecode that font designers use to control hinting details. Apparently font designers all have 200DPI screens :-).

Page last modified Wed Oct 5 18:29:31 2011