Fonts on Ubuntu - revamped


Good font rendering is possible! :-)

Some years later, I am at the same spot: trying to get proper font rendering for ubuntu, this time 16.04. After some research, these are my findings:

I like my fonts to be crisp, like in the screenshots below, and I don't care too much about the actual font shape. I don't use MacOS (or whatever OSX is called these days) :-).

So, In Ubuntu Tweak I selected the following settings:

Before configuring fontconfig one has to understand the problem of Helvetica. Lots of websites want it, but Ubuntu delivers a really unsuitable replacement. Thats why lots of websites look ugly, unless a better alternative is configured. I like to use Arial as a replacement, but DejaVu Sans would do as well.

To get Arial I have to install it.  In 16.04 there is a bug though, but loading the upgrade debian package helps:

wget http://ftp.de.debian.org/debian/pool/contrib/m/msttcorefonts/ttf-mscorefonts-installer_3.6_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i ttf-mscorefonts-installer_3.6_all.deb

This leaves my fontconfig file in ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf

 <match target="font" >
 <edit name="rgba" mode="assign"><const>none</const></edit> 
 <!-- <edit name="lcdfilter" mode="assign"><const>lcddefault</const></edit> -->
 <edit name="hinting" mode="assign"><bool>true</bool></edit>
 <edit name="antialias" mode="assign"><bool>true</bool></edit>
 <edit name="autohint" mode="assign"><bool>false</bool></edit>
 <edit mode="assign" name="hintstyle"><const>hintfull</const></edit>
 <match target="pattern">
 <test qual="any" name="family"><string>Helvetica</string></test>
 <edit name="family" mode="assign" binding="same"><string>Arial</string></edit>
 <!-- <rescan><int>5</int></rescan> -->


In Firefox I have the following font settings (remember: latin and other writing systems):

Update: I use 16 now instead of 14.

In thunderbird (latin and other writing systems):

Last there are the qt based apps. like skype, where the font is a bit to small for me. So I used qtconfig from qt4-qtconfig, changed appearance to another style, saved, changed back to Desktop Settings (Default), saved again. and now it looks good.

Last note: I tried using Helvetica and Helvetica Neue from MacOS, but they don't render nicely with hinting set to 'full'. If hinting is set to 'slight', using the MacOS creates a nice visual experience (but as I said, I need crisp fonts)