Disabling Font Smoothing

To disable font smoothing altogether here are a few things you may want to know.


Edit the file ~/.fonts.conf and add the following content:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE fontconfig SYSTEM "fonts.dtd">
        <match target="font" >
                <edit mode="assign" name="antialias">

Because most Linux systems comes with ugly font when `antialias' is disabled, you can download some Microsoft fonts such as Arial, Trebuchet, Verdana, Courrier New, .... On an ubuntu system, one only has to do the following:

sudo apt-get install msttcorefonts

If you really like Tahoma, you can install it by following the instructions located on the Ubuntu forums.

Mac OS

You can increase the default size at which Mac OS will not smooth fonts whose size is lower than the specified size. To read the current setting:

defaults read -g AppleAntiAliasingThreshold

To set the size to N points, do the following:

sudo defaults write -g AppleAntiAliasingThreshold N

However, you will see that, like on Windows Vista, most of the Macintosh controls do not respect this setting, making it very ugly (especially when you use menus and lists which are always using smooth fonts).

Look what people are forced to do to disable smoothing by following this link.

Windows XP

Open the Display control panel, go to Appearance and then choose Effects... and unselect Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts:.

Windows Vista

You can simply do like Windows XP, but many applications do not respect the setting and therefore Vista will be very ugly because of the mixture of smoothed and non-smoothed font.

Windows 7

You can simply do like Windows XP, and unlike Vista it seems to work. The other solution is to go in the system control panel (whatever is the new name in windows 7) and choose `advanced' and choose `performance'. Then disable all the effects and your smooth font will be gone forever. Yeah!