View Full Version : Please inform on Optimal Font settings
Oct 23rd 2005, 09:15 PM
I am just wondering if someone could give me their recommendation for Optimal Windows font settings with KDE.
I have all of the windows fonts installed but I am wondering what anti-aliasing DPI and hitting, and antialias-omition settings will make Windows fonts look identical in kubuntu to the way they look under windows.
Nov 8th 2005, 03:40 PM
I don't know much about hinting and antialiasing but I can tell you what I did to have the best settings on my system.
AFAIK the key point is dpi and unfortunately that is something 99.9% distros don't give a ****.
First of all you should know your hardware, install the adequate drivers and modify your xorg.conf file.
In my case, I got :
Monitor : LCD LG L1915S
GFX card : GeForce 4200
My desktop resolution : 1280x1024x24bits@75Hz
I installed nvidia drivers. Modified xorg.conf according to
Remove the line:
* * * Driver "nv"
* (or Driver "vesa")
* (or Driver "fbdev")
and replace it with the line:
* * Driver "nvidia"
Remove the following lines:
* * Load "dri"
* * Load "GLCore"
In the "Module" section of the file, add the line (if it does not already
* * Load "glx"
Restarting X, the nvidia logo told me everything was ok.
By the way, surprisingly, I was not asked any details about my monitor during install (vertical and horizontal refresh) and the values in the monitor section are all wrong but apparently it has absolutely no effect, at least on my system but if you feel something's wrong here just replace with the good values.
Now, if you check on MSWin you should see screen resolution is 96 dpi. Checking on the KInfoCenter/X-Server, you can see what's your current resolution. All the users I have seen installing linux distros (whatever distro it was) get anything but 96 dpi. So 100% of the people I've seen starting Linux get mad with their fonts.
Bottom line is you don't have 96x96 you're screwed.
So if you want fonts rendering looking the same than your MSWin, you must have same resolution.
The dpi resolution is based on the ratio horizontal x vertical display zone of your monitor. Some say you must enter those data using what you got from your monitor's manufacturer or doc or whatever. That would make sense using your hardware data to set up things. I did that : didn't get 96 dpi and my fonts looked ugly and wrong (size, boldness, etc.).
Then I read this :
Since I wanted to use 1280x1024, I modified my xorg.conf and added to the Monitor
DisplaySize* * * *338* * *270
Restarted X (CTRL+ALT+BACKSPACE), checked KInfoCenter/X-Server and everything was ok. I haven't modified nothing about antialiasing (which is ON) and hinting is Medium. Since everything looks fine to me I don't see any reason to mess with those.
Now, I wonder why no linux distro does care about that particular problem. The net is full of screenshots with tons of nice good looking desktops. But 99% (or is it 100%) of the beginners installing linux looking at their fresh desktop for the very first time will think what the hell is going on with my fonts... First impressions are quite important. Apparently that is not obvious for distro makers and spending time to carefully pick up win deco, color scheme, style, background and splash screens is much more important lol
Anyway, hope it helps ;-)
Nov 8th 2005, 04:29 PM
Good post paralis! I've been struggling with fonts on Kubuntu since I first installed it (about 5 months now). There's another thread going here related to fonts:
Basically, I've got Firefox working the way I like it with antialiasing turned off. The rest of the OS (menus and such) aren't quite as good but I can live with it. I might revisit your post and go through everything once more to see if I can get the best of both worlds.
Now if we could just OpenOffice looking better. It's atrocious when it comes to fonts!!!
Nov 9th 2005, 06:55 AM
Glad you liked it ;-)
Will post screenshots of my desktop soon.
About Firefox, I'm sorry but I do not use it. Konqueror is good enough for me ;-)
About OpenOffice, the fonts in documents look okay (I mean totally identical to a document on MSWin) but for some reason and despite gtk-qt stuff in System settings/Appearance, it does not use my system settings for the interface. I think the font is okay but the size is wrong (bigger).
However I'm not sure to understand why kubuntu got OpenOffice and not Koffice preinstalled. Probably some subtile decision made by some kubuntu guys. Anyway no big deal.
Nov 10th 2005, 05:32 AM
That did it.
Now I can't tell the difference between my windows and linux fonts.
This tweak needs to be added to the default install.
Nov 10th 2005, 12:28 PM
Screenshots I promised :
1. Desktop showing konqueror as file manager, konqueror as web browser (osnews.com), the fonts settings.
2. OpenOffice Writer with a document using Times New Roman and Arial in various sizes. Oo options showing clearly it 'should' use the system font for interface. Obviously, comparing the interface to konqueror window on the left, it does not use the system font.
3. Fonts problems with Krita and Adept. Krita's palettes use apparently a size proportionnal to the system font : looks awful and barely readable. Adept, same problem here for the package info text, except the scale used is differrent so the text is lil bit bigger but still looks wrong in my opinion (too small).
Nov 10th 2005, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the screenshots. Gives me something to shoot for. But I'm not sure I really want to go as far as having all my fonts look like Windows. After all, this is Linux. ;)
I noticed that your OO Writer font, the Times New Roman at 12 points does screwy things to the 2. It's partially missing!!! I was struggling with this awhile back in Firefox. It's one of the reasons I don't use anti-aliased fonts!!! When I turn them on, my 2s get screwy at some of my favorite web sites. But I have to live with a less than adequate desktop font! They're thin and a little fuzzy when not anti-aliased. I've learned to live with the fact that I can't have it both ways ... or can I?
I'm still searching for the 'holy grail' of fonts. Just haven't found it yet. But your posts have reinspired me so I shall continue the quest! I'm just glad to see I'm not alone in this. :)
Nov 10th 2005, 05:58 PM
I have "Sans serif" for all fonts and "Monospace" for fixed width.
Nov 10th 2005, 09:56 PM
maybe I'm wrong about this, but arn't you supposed to exclude fonts from anti-aliasing if they are smaller than 7pt or 8pt -- I think this is what MS windows does. I mean isn't the exclude range their because this overcomes the weakness of anti-aliasing: the fact that it over blurs super small fonts?
The only reason it matters to me that I get 1 to 1 match with my fonts in windows and Linux is because I share documents with windows users. I hate it when I send them something thinking it will look one way then they open it and they say "wow your fonts are set to big or to small" or "why is this bold?" or whatever.
by the way, I have attached the optimal settings for Firefox 1.5 to get fonts to be 1 to 1 with windows.
Nov 10th 2005, 10:00 PM
After posting that I realized that they scruntched the the pic I posted-- be sure to right click on the pick above and view image to see it correctly.
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