Ugly fonts in Mozilla and Xchat- Howto

Ugly fonts in Mozilla and Xchat- Howto

Post by nick » Sat, 04 Jan 2003 06:49:01



After a friend struggled to get mozilla and xchat looking OK after
moving from Debian Woody to Sarge.

I have written a mini howto with screenshots showing the differences:

http://www.promptweb.co.uk/fonts/

nick [at] nickhill [dot] co [dot] uk

 
 
 

Ugly fonts in Mozilla and Xchat- Howto

Post by faeychil » Sat, 04 Jan 2003 11:39:20



> After a friend struggled to get mozilla and xchat looking OK after
> moving from Debian Woody to Sarge.

> I have written a mini howto with screenshots showing the differences:

> http://www.promptweb.co.uk/fonts/

> nick [at] nickhill [dot] co [dot] uk

You may also like to try this

Fabulous fonts in Linux
By Thomas C Greene in Washington
Posted: 25/10/2002 at 11:35 GMT

One of the more common disappointments reported about the Linux GUI is
clunky fonts under X. While it's true that they can look pretty rough out
of the box, it's also true that sharpening them up is easy and well worth
the effort, thanks to MS TrueType fonts and the open-source FreeType
project which makes them useable on Linux. What follows is an explanation
of how to tweak them, assuming KDE is your desktop manager. (I imagine this
may work on other desktops, but KDE is the only one I'm well acquainted
with.)

The first step is to download and install the MS TrueType core fonts. These
used to be available from MS but are no longer, though they can be had now
courtesy of SourceForge here, along with detailed instructions for
downloading and installing them. You'll have to download a source RPM and
then build a binary RPM. If you're a newbie and this sounds intimidating,
there's a simpler alternative if you have an existing Windows image on your
Linux machine: simply copy the desired fonts from the Windows partition to
a directory on your Linux partition. My guess is that if you've paid MS for
the privilege of using their fonts, you can use them with another OS so
long as you don't distribute them without permission.

Now, merely having TTFs or anti-aliasing isn't enough. Take a look at this
screen shot of TTFs in an OpenOffice.org document. They're clunky and
blocky and basically impossible to distinguish from each other. However,
with a bit of tweaking we can make them look distinct, slick and refined,
as you can see in this screen shot.

The difference between the two is a feature in FreeType which is turned off
by default. You may have anti-aliasing selected via the KDE Control Center,
but unless you build the FreeType font engine with a trick I'm going to
explain, this setting has little or no beneficial effect on TrueType fonts.

Due to licensing hassles, FreeType is distributed with some TTF support
switched off. Thus we have to build FreeType so that this feature is
available, a procedure which, fortunately, is quite easy. That's the only
difference in the two screenies above -- the first was shot with FreeType
in its default configuration, the second with FreeType tweaked in the
manner that I'm about to describe.

First you need to download the FreeType source tarball and unpack it in a
convenient directory, probably /root since some of what we have to do needs
to be done as root anyway. Once it's unpacked you need to edit a file in
the FreeType directory: go to
freetype-2.x.x/include/freetype/config/ftoption.h and open it in a text
editor. Now find the line in ftoption.h which reads
#undef TT_CONFIG_OPTION_BYTECODE_INTERPRETER and change it to
#define TT_CONFIG_OPTION_BYTECODE_INTERPRETER. Save your change.

Now bust out a shell and find out where FT should be installed with the
command freetype-config --prefix. This will tell you where it's installed
on your system, if you have it installed. Install the new version in the
same directory with the prefix command. For example, assuming it's in
/usr/local, you would start with the command ./configure
--prefix=/usr/local and so on. If you don't have FT installed, it defaults
to /usr which is fine. Now just run ./configure --yourprefix, then make,
then make install and you're almost home.

There's a little issue with XF86 version 4 which makes it prudent to do the
installation again in /usr/X11R6, following the steps above. When you
upgrade FT, you'll have to install in both directories again.

All right, now you have your TTFs copied and your FreeType engine installed.
Now it's time to make them available. Re-start X, and then open the KDE
Control Center as root. Go to System, Font Installer. Click the tab
'Anti-Alias' and tick 'Use sub-pixel hinting'. Now click the 'Fonts' tab.
On the left you'll find a tree designating the directory to install the
TrueType fonts from. Select whatever directory you copied them into
originally. On the right you'll find a tree designating the directory to
install the fonts to, typically /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype. Set the
directories and then select all the TrueType fonts in the source directory
and click on 'Install'. In a moment they should all show up in the
destination directory. Now click 'Apply' and OK on any error messages you
might get.

That's all there is to it. Re-start X again, and all your apps should be
able to exploit the new fonts, except OpenOffice.org, which needs an extra
step. You can open Krusader or Konqueror or Mozilla and in the fonts
sections find the TTFs to be applied according to your choice. You can
apply them to the KDE desktop with Control Center, Look & Feel, Fonts (make
sure 'use anti-aliasing' is ticked), and Control Center, Look & Feel,
Desktop. You can apply them to Kedit and Kmail and a score of other apps.

For OpenOffice.org you need to install the fonts again manually. Go to your
OO.o directory and execute the file, spadmin. Go to Fonts, Add, and choose
the source directory, /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/truetype. When the fonts are
visible in the window, click on 'Select All' and then 'OK'. You'll then be
given a choice of copying the fonts to your OO.o directory or linking to
them. Either will work.

The docs with the freetype lib more or less explain it all over again as
well. I managed to do it ( my first compile and make install) selected
arial 10 which windows seem to use and I have win quality fonts.

--
regards
faeychild

 
 
 

Ugly fonts in Mozilla and Xchat- Howto

Post by nick » Sat, 04 Jan 2003 20:22:29




>>I have written a mini howto with screenshots showing the differences:

>>http://www.promptweb.co.uk/fonts/
> Fabulous fonts in Linux
> By Thomas C Greene in Washington
> Posted: 25/10/2002 at 11:35 GMT

snip

Quote:> First you need to download the FreeType source tarball and unpack it in a
> convenient directory, probably /root since some of what we have to do needs
> to be done as root anyway. Once it's unpacked you need to edit a file in
> the FreeType directory: go to

For some distros, this may be needed, but Xfree 4.x for Debian woody /
sarge comes with a truetype rendering engine built in, so re-compiling
is unnecessary. You can optionally install an enhanced font server,
xfs-xtt with Debian apt. Using the KDE control center in administrator
mode, it is very simple to install TT fonts using the graphical user
interface, just remember to hit the install button, which writes the
font directory index.

Alternatively, in Debian, as root, copy your TTfonts to
/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/

then
update-fonts-dir /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/

You may need to restart your font server and/or X-windows. Re-starting
the font server without restarting X often leads to the X-windowing
system to crash.

 
 
 

Ugly fonts in Mozilla and Xchat- Howto

Post by faeychil » Sat, 04 Jan 2003 21:42:51





>>>I have written a mini howto with screenshots showing the differences:

>>>http://www.promptweb.co.uk/fonts/

>> Fabulous fonts in Linux
>> By Thomas C Greene in Washington
>> Posted: 25/10/2002 at 11:35 GMT

> snip

>> First you need to download the FreeType source tarball and unpack it in a
>> convenient directory, probably /root since some of what we have to do
>> needs to be done as root anyway. Once it's unpacked you need to edit a
>> file in the FreeType directory: go to

> For some distros, this may be needed, but Xfree 4.x for Debian woody /
> sarge comes with a truetype rendering engine built in, so re-compiling
> is unnecessary. You can optionally install an enhanced font server,
> xfs-xtt with Debian apt. Using the KDE control center in administrator
> mode, it is very simple to install TT fonts using the graphical user
> interface, just remember to hit the install button, which writes the
> font directory index.

> Alternatively, in Debian, as root, copy your TTfonts to
> /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/

> then
> update-fonts-dir /usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1/

> You may need to restart your font server and/or X-windows. Re-starting
> the font server without restarting X often leads to the X-windowing
> system to crash.

In the Redhat distro the freetype library has the antialiasing and
extra fancy font rendering turned off by default ( an apple patent thing)
and the library must be recompiled with the function enabled.

I noticed a starkness to the true type font rendition with the unmodified
library
YMMV

--
regards
faeychild

 
 
 

Ugly fonts in Mozilla and Xchat- Howto

Post by TCS » Sun, 05 Jan 2003 00:51:19



>After a friend struggled to get mozilla and xchat looking OK after
>moving from Debian Woody to Sarge.
>I have written a mini howto with screenshots showing the differences:
>http://www.promptweb.co.uk/fonts/
>nick [at] nickhill [dot] co [dot] uk

I've found the best solution is to raise the screen resolution.   I ran
1024x768 back when I had a 13" monitor and now run 1600x1200 on a 19" vueable
monitor (mitsubishi diamond plus 200)  

Raise the resolution and the kick up the font sizes.  

 
 
 

1. Ugly font rendering in Mozilla 1.4 on dual headed Solaris 9 machine

Hi,

I have a Sun Blade 1000 running Solaris 9 08/03. The machine
has dual Elite 3Dm6 framebuffers and I have enable Xinerama mode.

When running Mozilla 1.4 I notice that certain web sites cause very
unpleasant font rendering (e.g. a mixture of gigantic fonts, and
unreadable fonts).

When I used to run Netscape 7.0 on a Sun Ultra 2 with series 3 Creator
3D I don't recall this problem (Solaris 08/03 again).

I was wondering whether anyone else has encountered this behavior?

Thanks and regards,
Andrew

2. Setting the first bit

3. New HOWTO....HOWTO-Hose-RedHat-Installation (help!)

4. Linux behind Proxy (microsoft)

5. Netscape - Mozilla Java plug-ins

6. Linux 7.1 sendmail

7. HOWTO build fonts.dir for PFA-Fonts?

8. e-mail problems

9. UGLY Icon fonts in Redhat 7

10. Fonts rendered in 2.5 ugly!?

11. What's the deal with ugly screen fonts?

12. Why TTF fonts + fonconfig look very ugly?

13. *Ugly* Netscape Fonts