Sunday, June 8, 2008

Fixing Font Resolution In Epiphany

After recently scheduling a large client upgrade from Ubuntu 6.06 to Ubuntu 8.04, a number of people started complaining that fonts looked bad on the web browsers (Epiphany).

Although they all had video cards (nVidia) and monitors (Samsung SyncMaster's) in common -- a bit of Googling indicated an underlying software issue.

Fortunately, this is easy to fix.

If you open a web browser and type about:config into the location bar, which should take you to the configuration screen -- consisting of a filter box and a larger portion containing all of the relevant tweakable parameters.

In the filter textbox type: layout.css.dpi it should be a Default, Integer value (that is not bold) that looks like the screen below:

Now, if you right-click the bold text and select modify you should get a textbox appear in the center of the screen, simply use the keyboard or mouse to select and remove the -1 and enter either 70 (if you have a resolution lower than 1024x768) or 92 (resolutions of 1024x768 or higher) instead -- and press OK to return to the configuration menu.

At this point, the screen should look like the one below:

Now you can close the browser, the next time you restart it -- your fonts should look smoother and more readable.

edit: If you find that you can't edit the text-box on an OpenSUSE 11.0RC1 or Ubuntu Hardy 8.04 installation, try forcefully closing Epiphany by typing the following command in a terminal window:

killall -9 epiphany-browser && rm ~/.gnome2/epiphany/mozilla/epiphany/!lock

and then try to modify it again.

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