Will my fonts every look good?

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Bill Moseley

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Jan 4, 2003, 2:30:05 AM1/4/03
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I think I've spent too much time messing with my fonts, reading TrueType,
AA, and de-uglification HOWTOs, and messing things up with msttcorefonts.

Is it possible to get really nice looking fonts overall?

Any help on any of these would be helpful.

I have some screen shots.

1) http://hank.org/fonts.png

After installing mscorettfonts Opera's form fields are a big font (see
drop-down bos), and in Mozilla (on the left) the menu is AA I think.
That side-bar menu is ugly.

(Is that right that Mozilla uses AA fonts even if there's not a Xftconfig
file??)

2) http://hank.org/fonts2.png

That the same look but using a XftConfig file to enable AA fonts in Opera.
I think I like the non-AA fonts in Opera better. Mabye I'm just not an
AA-kind of fellow.

3) http://hank.org/fonts3.png

Shows that I can't type at this time of night, somewhat ugly AA fonts in
Google results for both Opera and Mozilla, and how msttcorefonts seems to
have messed up some of my programs (xfontsel). A number of x* programs
use that "comic sans ms" font by default. Argh!

4) http://hank.org/fonts4.png

Some more ugly fonts in abiword. I haven't messed with it much.


5) Finally, when printing with jpilot on my HP LaserJet with Cupsys the
fonts are ugly (well at least when printing a monthly calendar landscape).

Someone mentioned I might need to install "Screen Fonts". Anyone know
about this, and what I need to do?

I'm running XFree86 4.2.1, Debian 2.4.20, with nvidia drivers & a Gforce2
TI. 21" Sony G500 monitor at 1152x864. My eyse are not what they used to
be.


$ dpkg -l | grep font
ii console-data 2002.12.04dbs- Keymaps, fonts, charset maps, fallback table
ii console-tools 0.2.3-23.3 Linux console and font utilities.
ii console-tools- 0.2.3-23.3 Shared libraries for Linux console and font
ii defoma 0.11.1 Debian Font Manager -- automatic font config
ii fontconfig 2.1-10 generic font configuration library
ii gsfonts 6.0-2.1 Fonts for the ghostscript interpreter
ii gsfonts-x11 0.16 Make Ghostscript fonts available to X11.
ii libfontconfig1 2.1-10 generic font configuration library (shared l
ii libfontconfig1 2.1-10 generic font configuration library (developm
ii libfreetype6 2.1.3-4 FreeType 2 font engine, shared library files
ii libfreetype6-d 2.1.3-4 FreeType 2 font engine, development files
ii msttcorefonts 1.1.2 Installer for Microsoft TrueType core fonts
ii psfontmgr 0.11.1 PostScript font manager -- part of Defoma, D
ii x-ttcidfont-co 13 Configure TrueType and CID fonts for X.
ii xfonts-100dpi 4.2.1-3 100 dpi fonts for X
ii xfonts-75dpi 4.2.1-3 75 dpi fonts for X
ii xfonts-base 4.2.1-3 standard fonts for X
ii xfonts-scalabl 4.2.1-3 scalable fonts for X
ii xfs 4.2.1-3 X font server


--
Bill Moseley mos...@hank.org


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Russell

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Jan 4, 2003, 2:40:05 AM1/4/03
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Bill Moseley wrote:
> I think I've spent too much time messing with my fonts, reading TrueType,
> AA, and de-uglification HOWTOs, and messing things up with msttcorefonts.
>
> Is it possible to get really nice looking fonts overall?
>
> Any help on any of these would be helpful.

How about this one:
http://www.promptweb.co.uk/fonts

Bill Moseley

unread,
Jan 4, 2003, 3:00:06 AM1/4/03
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On Fri, 3 Jan 2003, Bill Moseley wrote:

> 1) http://hank.org/fonts.png

BTW -- those are suppose to be /images/font*.png.

I also put up
http://hank.org/images/XF86Config-4
http://hank.org/images/XftConfig

Stig Are M. Botterli

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Jan 4, 2003, 5:30:11 AM1/4/03
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In article <Pine.LNX.4.10.103010...@mardy.hank.org>, Bill Moseley wrote:
>
> $ dpkg -l | grep font
>
> ii gsfonts-x11 0.16 Make Ghostscript fonts available to X11.

This package is a real uglificator. Replace it with a dummy equiv.

Bill Moseley

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Jan 4, 2003, 6:40:06 PM1/4/03
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On Sat, 4 Jan 2003, Stig Are M. Botterli wrote:

> In article <Pine.LNX.4.10.103010...@mardy.hank.org>, Bill Moseley wrote:
> >
> > $ dpkg -l | grep font
> >
> > ii gsfonts-x11 0.16 Make Ghostscript fonts available to X11.
>
> This package is a real uglificator. Replace it with a dummy equiv.

I removed it with no real difference, but I didn't replace it
with anything. What package should I replace it with?

Thanks,

--
Bill Moseley mos...@hank.org

Jamin W. Collins

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Jan 4, 2003, 7:20:08 PM1/4/03
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On Fri, Jan 03, 2003 at 11:22:19PM -0800, Bill Moseley wrote:

> I think I've spent too much time messing with my fonts, reading
> TrueType, AA, and de-uglification HOWTOs, and messing things up with
> msttcorefonts.
>
> Is it possible to get really nice looking fonts overall?

It might just be me, but I don't really see any problem with the fonts
in your screen shots with the exception of Abiword (fonts4.png). That I
believe is problem of Abiword (I could be wrong).

Otherwise it appears that your chief complaint may simply be that the
fonts displayed are not the ones you want?

--
Jamin W. Collins

David Z Maze

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Jan 5, 2003, 1:00:08 AM1/5/03
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"Stig Are M. Botterli" <sa...@mo.himolde.no> writes:

> In article <Pine.LNX.4.10.103010...@mardy.hank.org>, Bill Moseley wrote:
>>
>> $ dpkg -l | grep font
>>
>> ii gsfonts-x11 0.16 Make Ghostscript fonts available to X11.
>
> This package is a real uglificator. Replace it with a dummy equiv.

Why do you say that? That package makes the PostScript fonts included
with the GhostScript PS interpreter available to X. My experience has
been that PostScript fonts are generally superior to bitmapped fonts,
except at what these days are unusually low resolutions; if you want a
non-standard resolution, bitmapped fonts are right out. I'd actually
consider this package essential to coming up with font support that
doesn't suck.

--
David Maze dm...@debian.org http://people.debian.org/~dmaze/
"Theoretical politics is interesting. Politicking should be illegal."
-- Abra Mitchell

Stig Are M. Botterli

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Jan 5, 2003, 4:10:04 AM1/5/03
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In article <Pine.LNX.4.10.103010...@mardy.hank.org>, Bill Moseley wrote:
> On Sat, 4 Jan 2003, Stig Are M. Botterli wrote:
>
>> In article <Pine.LNX.4.10.103010...@mardy.hank.org>, Bill Moseley wrote:
>> >
>> > $ dpkg -l | grep font
>> >
>> > ii gsfonts-x11 0.16 Make Ghostscript fonts available to X11.
>>
>> This package is a real uglificator. Replace it with a dummy equiv.
>
> I removed it with no real difference

Depends on what fonts you use. Atleast on my machine, the not-so-pretty
fonts provided by this package took precedence over some of my tt-fonts. I
wasn't able to solve it short of removing it.

>, but I didn't replace it
> with anything. What package should I replace it with?

Install the 'equivs' package and create a dummy gsfonts-x11, which will
prevent the real package from being installed to satisfy dependencies.

Bill Moseley

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Jan 5, 2003, 10:10:05 AM1/5/03
to
On Sat, 4 Jan 2003, Jamin W. Collins wrote:

> It might just be me, but I don't really see any problem with the fonts
> in your screen shots with the exception of Abiword (fonts4.png). That I
> believe is problem of Abiword (I could be wrong).
>
> Otherwise it appears that your chief complaint may simply be that the
> fonts displayed are not the ones you want?

Well, those might be the same thing. Yes, some fonts are fine.

For example, http://hank.org/images/fonts.png the side-bar menu fonts look
worse on mozilla (the one on the left), although I'm using my laptop now
and the look better in that image than on my CRT (Sony 21") on my desktop.
Is mozilla using anti-aliased fonts there?

The other problem with that image is the drop-down form in Opera. Notice
the "United States" in mozilla with the fonts on Opera. Much bigger in
Opera. IIRC I think adding the truetype fonts caused that.

The next image http://hank.org/images/fonts2.png is showing the results of
using XftConfig to enable AA fonts -- the difference is seen in Opera. I
guess AA fonts are a personal thing, as they look fuzzy to me.

http://hank.org/images/fonts3.png does look better on my laptop than on my
CRT. The google results in mozilla the characters are of different
thicknesses -- or even different parts of a single character vary in line
thickness. On my CRT it kind of looks like random characters are bold.

Also in the image you can see xfontsel using the comic sans ms font. Why
in the world is it doing that? I have not specified any fonts in
.Xdefaults or any other place that I can think of.

So yes, it's proably a matter of the wrong fonts.

I don't understand how applications like Opera and Mozilla select fonts.
What is Opera doing to get that big thick font for the form elements? It
would be nice to be able to monitor what fonts the applcication is
requesting and what fonts the X server is supplying.

In the form field case I suspect that Mozilla and Opera are selecting
similar fonts, but different enough that the X server is supplying
very different fonts.

Thanks very much for the help.

--
Bill Moseley mos...@hank.org

Stig Are M. Botterli

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Jan 5, 2003, 10:40:09 AM1/5/03
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In article <y68heco...@multics.mit.edu>, David Z Maze wrote:
> "Stig Are M. Botterli" <sa...@mo.himolde.no> writes:
>
>> In article <Pine.LNX.4.10.103010...@mardy.hank.org>, Bill Moseley wrote:
>>>
>>> ii gsfonts-x11 0.16 Make Ghostscript fonts available to X11.
>>
>> This package is a real uglificator. Replace it with a dummy equiv.
>
> Why do you say that? That package makes the PostScript fonts included
> with the GhostScript PS interpreter available to X. My experience has
> been that PostScript fonts are generally superior to bitmapped fonts,
> except at what these days are unusually low resolutions; if you want a
> non-standard resolution, bitmapped fonts are right out. I'd actually
> consider this package essential to coming up with font support that
> doesn't suck.

Superior to bitmapped fonts, sure, but inferior to the scalable fonts it
overrode. When I googled for a quick fix to my problem, I found I wasn't the
only person who had issues with this package.

Jeremy Tan

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Jan 5, 2003, 11:30:07 AM1/5/03
to

On Sun, 5 Jan 2003 06:49:12 -0800 (PST), Bill Moseley <mos...@hank.org>
wrote :

> On Sat, 4 Jan 2003, Jamin W. Collins wrote:
> http://hank.org/images/fonts3.png does look better on my laptop than
> on my CRT. The google results in mozilla the characters are of
> different thicknesses -- or even different parts of a single character
> vary in line thickness. On my CRT it kind of looks like random
> characters are bold.

The version of mozilla you are using uses freetype to render
anti-aliased fonts. In the latest version of mozilla (1.2.1) there is an
option to use xft to render the fonts. The fonts look much better but
the only downside is that you have to recompile mozilla from source
using the "--enable-xft" flag.


--
Regards,


Jeremy Tan

Ross Burton

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Jan 5, 2003, 11:50:05 AM1/5/03
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On Sun, 2003-01-05 at 16:19, Jeremy Tan wrote:
> The version of mozilla you are using uses freetype to render
> anti-aliased fonts. In the latest version of mozilla (1.2.1) there is an
> option to use xft to render the fonts. The fonts look much better but
> the only downside is that you have to recompile mozilla from source
> using the "--enable-xft" flag.

If you are running Sid, installing "mozilla-xft" gives you a Xft-based
Mozilla.

Ross
--
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jabber: ro...@nerdfest.org
www: http://www.burtonini.com./
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Nexus7

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Jan 7, 2003, 11:05:26 AM1/7/03
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Bill Moseley <mos...@hank.org> wrote in message news:<Pine.LNX.4.10.103010...@mardy.hank.org>...

> I think I've spent too much time messing with my fonts, reading TrueType,
> AA, and de-uglification HOWTOs, and messing things up with msttcorefonts.

I've given up on fonts as a cost of running unstable. There isn't one
HOWTO to get it correctly, with all the different versions, xfs,
xfstt, xft, freetype, whatever running around. The cost of freedom for
now is ugly fonts. Just last week I re-installed xserver-xfree86
because of issues with XVideo, resulting in my XF86Config-4 being
overwritten. Gnumeric promptly lost its nice Helvetica font and now my
spreadsheets look awful. Prior to that all Gnome2 apps quit
anti-aliasing after an apt-get dist-upgrade as detailed below. As of
now, the whole things is one precariously balanced contraption when it
does work and cost endless googling to fix when it doesn't.

All the GTK 2 apps that I run exit without drawing a window, with the
following type of message.

** (eog:2804): WARNING **: Cannot open font file for font Nimbus Sans
L, Bold 12

** (eog:2804): WARNING **: Cannot open fallback font, nothing to do

They will start with $GDK_USE_XFT=1 but there is no anti-aliasing.
I have libxft2, defoma, every font package that I could find in
dselect.

xfs is running. Gtk1 apps actually seem to be doing anti-aliasing.
Perhaps this is related, but at around the time this happenned
texfonts started conflicting with tetex and was removed.

Thanks for any tips. I attached /etc/X11/XftConfig and
/etc/apt/sources.list below.

/etc/X11/XftConfig:

dir "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/Type1"
dir "/usr/X11R6/lib/X11/fonts/TrueType"
dir "/var/lib/defoma/x-ttcidfont-conf.d/dirs/TrueType"

#
# alias 'fixed' for 'mono'
#
match any family == "fixed" edit family =+ "mono";

#
# Check users config file
#
includeif "~/.xftconfig"

#
# Alias between XLFD families and font file family name, prefer local
# fonts
#
match any family == "charter" edit family += "bitstream
charter";
match any family == "bitstream charter" edit family =+ "charter";


/etc/apt/sources.list:

deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ stable main non-free contrib
deb http://http.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main non-free contrib
deb http://non-us.debian.org/debian-non-US unstable/non-US main
non-free
deb http://termserv.berlios.de/debian stable main non-free

deb http://security.debian.org/ stable/updates main contrib non-free

deb http://marillat.free.fr stable main

Nexus7

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Jan 7, 2003, 11:28:30 AM1/7/03
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On Tue, 07 Jan 2003 08:05:26 -0800, Nexus7 wrote:
> because of issues with XVideo, resulting in my XF86Config-4 being
> overwritten. Gnumeric promptly lost its nice Helvetica font and now my
> spreadsheets look awful. Prior to that all Gnome2 apps quit

Well, fixed this one. The port du jour for xfs is 7100. Another bit of
voodoo to try if you're having issues.

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