Linux and fonts: the journey continues

I’ve been busy lately, hence the lack of posts. One of the things I have been keeping myself busy with, and which is really proving to be quite difficult, is getting fonts to render perfectly on my Toshiba laptop with Ubuntu 6.06.1 LTS. Let me explain what I mean.

My laptop has a 14.1″ screen, with 1024×768 pixels and a DPI value of 96. After years of mindlessly blinking at this screen, I have never failed to notice one thing: the fonts become blurred whenever I install Linux. So I used to moan: “Oh fiddles, how I wish I had a 12″ screen with twice the resolution!”
But since I had already blown all my milk-teeth on expanding my coin collection, I doubted very much if the tooth-fairy would also accept my mandible for a $2999,- laptop. Best not to take any risks. So I did the next best thing: I installed the Microsoft TrueType fonts!

I configured Xorg to use the new fonts, ran fc-cache, disabled antialiasing all over the place. All seemed well. And for many years, I was content. Or was I really? You see, I did notice some *still* didn’t look quite right. Larger fonts mainly, and bold fonts. As with most of my problems, I used to just look the other way or pretend I didn’t see it. But recently, I started tinkering with ~/.fonts.conf instead.

And that’s what I’m still doing right now. Almost everything is looking just as good as in Windows, and some things even look better! Except for one last problem. Some larger bold fonts are antialiased, such as in the titlebar of my firefox browser right now, the title of my blog, etc. But others are NOT, even though they should be. Example: the “Save” button I am about to click in this wordpress editor has perfectly antialiased bold fonts. But the words “File”, “Title” and “Description” in the “Upload” frame below this editor are non-antialiased! How is that possible? There is still something wrong with my fonts.conf file, unfortunately.

I’ll work on it some more, and when it is perfect (or as close to it as I can get with my simple mind), I will post my ~/.fonts.conf here.

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