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#1 2013-02-11 13:46:29

eruditorum
Member
Registered: 2012-11-12
Posts: 130

[FIXED] Some problems with fonts

Hello, everyone. I want to mention the problem among only ones which put me off GNU/Linux.
And this is how fonts look.

On windows for example, fonts usually look good at all sizes, especially monospace ones.
But here on GNU/Linux their default look is inacceptable! So, I'm trying to fight the problem in order to switch to so called "Free Desktop".

Brief description of the issues could be given as follows:
1) Fonts look blurry on the edges
2) Monospace fonts look bad at half of all available sizes. What I mean by this: for example, font "Dejavu Sans Mono" (the only one monospace font usable on my system) is usable only at size 9 (I use this in terminal) but it looks too wide at sizes >9 and even becomes bold from size 13.
I tried inconsolata, but it is blurry at small sizes (< 17pt), even such a nice font as Freemono (the font similar to the one from K&R's book code listings) looks too wide sad
3) Bold Monospace fonts look too wide on at least half of all available sizes. The above mentioned "Dejavu Mono" also falls into this category.

I'd be infinitely happy if fonts look somewhat comparing to Win/OS X. And I start coding with great pleasure and without hurting eyes.

Thanks in advance for all great people that help!

P.S.: Here is my /etc/fonts/local.conf:

<?xml version='1.0'?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM 'fonts.dtd'>
<fontconfig>
 <match target="font">
  <edit mode="assign" name="rgba"><const>rgb</const></edit>
  <edit mode="assign" name="hinting"><bool>true</bool></edit>
  <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle"><const>hintfull</const></edit>
  <edit mode="assign" name="lcdfilter"><const>lcddefault</const></edit>
 </match>
</fontconfig>

Last edited by eruditorum (2013-04-11 14:41:15)

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#2 2013-02-11 13:54:52

brebs
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Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,401

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

You're supposed to do a bit of investigation first wink

Set up Infinality's rendering.

Fonts often need tweaking (e.g. too blurry, appearing compressed) - that's what fontconfig rules are for.

Last edited by brebs (2013-02-11 13:57:06)

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#3 2013-02-11 13:58:06

drcouzelis
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From: Connecticut, USA
Registered: 2009-11-09
Posts: 3,399
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Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

You can install the fonts from Windows 7 and use the Infinality patch. You can literally tell it it to use the "Windows 7" font configuration.

I tried it not too long ago. It's pretty simple to use. I liked seeing the font settings for "Windows 3.1". It was way nostalgic. smile

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#4 2013-02-11 14:56:17

eruditorum
Member
Registered: 2012-11-12
Posts: 130

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

No, I don't want fonts from Windows or Mac. I just want native Linux fonts rendered properly on my system.

Ok, I will now try your fontconfig patches and tell the results.

Last edited by eruditorum (2013-02-11 14:59:18)

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#5 2013-02-12 05:18:12

jukkan
Member
Registered: 2010-09-08
Posts: 39

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

I assure you, once you get the hang of it, fonts on Linux can look much better than on Windows, or even OSX.

I recommend to install fontconfig-infinality and try out some of the various presets that it offers.

Perhaps use the linux preset for fontconfig (/etc/fonts/infinality/styles.conf.avail)

$ cd /etc/fonts/infinality
$ rm conf.d
$ ln -s styles.conf.avail/linux conf.d

Then maybe fiddle with different presets in /etc/profile.d/infinality-settings.sh by setting the USE_STYLE variable (on line 712). Above it there's a list of available styles.

You'll also need some high quality fonts -- DejaVu family is pretty good but I have to mention, Consolas is awesome for coding.

Furthermore, I would like to point out that some infinality fontconfig presets have BCI hinting enabled. I like to avoid BCI hinting and use autohint (@hintslight) instead, since I feel it gives the best and the most consistent results. The linux-preset seems to not have BCI hinting enabled though.

If you want, you can force autohint for fontconfig in infinality.conf (force_autohint true). For apps that use xft font settings instead, xft settings be overridden from infinality-settings.sh (SET_XFT_SETTINGS). This is what I have there:

SET_XFT_SETTINGS=true

XFT_SETTINGS="
Xft.antialias:  1
Xft.autohint:   1
Xft.dpi:        96
Xft.hinting:    1
Xft.hintstyle:  hintslight
Xft.lcdfilter:  lcddefault
Xft.rgba:       rgb
"

Here's how my Helvetica Neue and Consolas look like: http://i.imgur.com/A5aEmkQ.png
(Consolas might actually be not hinted at all (hintnone), not sure though)

I'm not saying use this or that, try stuff out yourself. You'll settle on something eventually.

Last edited by jukkan (2013-02-12 05:37:12)

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#6 2013-02-12 06:37:43

Treeki
Member
Registered: 2013-02-12
Posts: 2

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

Do give Infinality a shot, it is awesome. The default fontconfig/freetype settings on Arch are extremely uncomfortable to read for me, but Infinality does an even better job than Windows IMO. And it's got a decent amount of presets - I just use the "infinality" one and I'm quite happy with it.

I personally like the Droid Sans family for UI fonts (ttf-droid from [community]), I find it to be a bit tacky in the Android 2.x UI but I've always had a soft spot for it on the desktop. Pretty much everything looks good to me with these settings though!

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#7 2013-02-12 07:07:03

headkase
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From: Canada
Registered: 2011-12-06
Posts: 1,402
Website

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

I use Infinality with Windows 7 fonts borrowed from my other machine.  In my desktop environment, KDE, I use Liberation for the fonts for that and I use my Windows 7 fonts for web-pages that expect them.  Infinality is the bomb, it makes fonts look really nice - as others have already attested to.


We all make choices, but in the end, our choices make us.

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#8 2013-02-12 07:35:13

bohoomil
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Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

Just in case you would like to experiment a bit more, check my Infinality settings (to be found in my signature, AUR package included).


:: Registered Linux User No. 223384

:: github
:: infinality-bundle+fonts: good looking fonts made easy

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#9 2013-02-12 07:53:14

eruditorum
Member
Registered: 2012-11-12
Posts: 130

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

Fonts are rendered just a bit better, but now they are BLURRY everywhere (especially in terminal).
Fonts which were sharp without infinality now are blurry.
Inconsolata however appear to be better now.

Oh, it is much pain to configure fonts with infinality. I'll try some basic presets and if I don't like it I'll delete these "patches" completely.

Last edited by eruditorum (2013-02-12 07:53:32)

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#10 2013-02-12 07:57:26

bohoomil
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Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
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Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

Just a question: did you disable generic fontconfig rules in /etc/fonts/conf.d? If you are going to use Infinality patched freetype effectively, you should take care of both runtime settings (/etc/profile.d/infinality-settings.sh) and fontconfig rules written for Infinality. From what I can see, you have a pretty mess in your config files...


:: Registered Linux User No. 223384

:: github
:: infinality-bundle+fonts: good looking fonts made easy

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#11 2013-02-12 08:04:18

eruditorum
Member
Registered: 2012-11-12
Posts: 130

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

No, I didn't! Everything except "52-infinality.conf" should be deleted?

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#12 2013-02-12 08:16:05

bohoomil
Member
Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

Not really. You can leave the 'access' files (like 49-sansserif.conf, 50-user.conf, 51-local.conf, 09-texlive-fonts.conf) as those won't overwrite rendering settings. Others, like entire 10-*.conf and 11-*.conf, should be removed as their job is going to be done by Ifinality rules. And, last but not least, check the runtime file in /etc/profile.d/infinality-settings.sh, if you aren't using two different versions simultaneously. Check also what's happening in your home directory (/etc/fontconfig, ~/.fonts.conf will alter the system wide settings). Xresources / Xdefaults can mess a lot, too, so take a look at those files (/etc/profile.d/infinality-settings.sh should already provide necessary values).


:: Registered Linux User No. 223384

:: github
:: infinality-bundle+fonts: good looking fonts made easy

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#13 2013-02-12 18:56:23

jukkan
Member
Registered: 2010-09-08
Posts: 39

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

eruditorum wrote:

Oh, it is much pain to configure fonts with infinality. I'll try some basic presets and if I don't like it I'll delete these "patches" completely.

Way I see it, Infinality is a shortcut to a good font setup. The presets should give a nice base to start off. Arch ships with minimal configurations (which are ugly); the users are given the freedom of doing the configurations themselves. If you really want acceptable fonts straight ouf-of-the-box, this is not the right distro. Instead, if you are willing (and since you are already an Arch user, I presume you are) to spend some time and dig a little into this stuff yourself, you should be okay. Even with all the advice and hand-holding in the world, we can't give you configurations that you can be pleased with.

Also, can you provide actual screenshots of fonts that you consider bad-looking. Do you find the fonts blurry in the picture that I posted? Can you give an example of what you consider good-looking fonts (pictures, please).

E: Toolkits also have their own settings for font rendering styles, check those.

Last edited by jukkan (2013-02-12 19:00:08)

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#14 2013-02-13 00:05:20

eruditorum
Member
Registered: 2012-11-12
Posts: 130

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

Yes, yours are blurry (in Leafpad). As for toolkits, I've removed xft-related lines from gtkrc file.
Now removed everything in /etc/fonts/conf.d except 52-infinality.conf. Font look didn't change.

Now I'll do some screenshots to compare look with and without infinality.

Last edited by eruditorum (2013-02-13 00:20:41)

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#15 2013-02-13 01:18:19

bohoomil
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Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

2013-02-13-@02-10-03-scrot.png


:: Registered Linux User No. 223384

:: github
:: infinality-bundle+fonts: good looking fonts made easy

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#16 2013-02-13 10:18:11

eruditorum
Member
Registered: 2012-11-12
Posts: 130

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

Exactly what I've got without Infinality!

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#17 2013-02-13 11:00:03

mariusmeyer
Member
From: Norway
Registered: 2009-04-25
Posts: 244

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

eruditorum wrote:

Exactly what I've got without Infinality!

You don't think this looks nice...? hmm

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#18 2013-02-13 11:04:38

eruditorum
Member
Registered: 2012-11-12
Posts: 130

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

nope.

Inconsolata does look better with infinality, but other fonts don't.
So, why keep this font and this patch on the system?

Last edited by eruditorum (2013-02-13 11:30:00)

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#19 2013-02-13 14:12:08

mariusmeyer
Member
From: Norway
Registered: 2009-04-25
Posts: 244

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

And did you try to change the rendering styles in /etc/fonts/infinality or the settings in /etc/profile.d/infinality-settings.sh? In the latter you will find some filter settings that can make fonts look sharper.

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#20 2013-02-13 18:15:58

bohoomil
Member
Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

eruditorum wrote:

nope.

It is just as I feared:  phenomenology should precede aesthetics. Always. I wrongly assumed that the physical environment we are sharing is for both of us basically the same...

Before you get rid of Linux, however, double check if the config files your are using can be found in their correct locations:

P.S.: Here is my /etc/fonts/local.conf.

This guy won't do its job if you keep it in this exact directory.

Good luck!


:: Registered Linux User No. 223384

:: github
:: infinality-bundle+fonts: good looking fonts made easy

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#21 2013-02-13 18:26:24

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,401

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

eruditorum wrote:

why keep this

Because Infinality is the best font rendering available, and the most tweakable. It's not perfect, fonts are never perfect. And it can't work magic by creating 600 dots-per-inch when monitors only have about 90-ish.

So read its config files, and tweak it to your liking.

Alternatively, try Ubuntu's rendering.

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#22 2013-02-13 20:32:56

jukkan
Member
Registered: 2010-09-08
Posts: 39

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

/etc/fonts/local.conf has been deprecated for a while AFAIK.

I advice you to remove ~/.fonts.conf and /etc/fonts/local.conf, to backup /etc/fonts (rename the folder to something else), reboot, and then install fontconfig-infinality and start from scratch.

Then maybe figure out what each file does and why and not blindly copy others' settings.

Last edited by jukkan (2013-02-13 20:40:27)

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#23 2013-02-13 20:46:12

brebs
Member
Registered: 2007-04-03
Posts: 3,401

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

jukkan wrote:

/etc/fonts/local.conf has been deprecated

No it hasn't.

In fontconfig's /etc/fonts/fonts.conf:

LOCAL CHANGES BELONG IN 'local.conf'.

Last edited by brebs (2013-02-13 20:48:53)

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#24 2013-02-13 20:56:29

bohoomil
Member
Registered: 2010-09-04
Posts: 2,376
Website

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

/etc/fonts.conf wrote:

<!--
  Load local system customization file
-->
    <include ignore_missing="yes">/etc/fonts/conf.d</include>


:: Registered Linux User No. 223384

:: github
:: infinality-bundle+fonts: good looking fonts made easy

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#25 2013-02-14 06:11:51

jukkan
Member
Registered: 2010-09-08
Posts: 39

Re: [FIXED] Some problems with fonts

The file says it references 'local.conf' but it actually doesn't. Seems that the info in the header is outdated.

Last edited by jukkan (2013-02-14 06:14:40)

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