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Bad Xft rendering in i3/i3bar

asked 2013-12-17 15:01:32 +0000

idrei gravatar image

When using Xft-fonts in i3, the font rendering is worse than in other applications like dmenu for example. Also, the xft-fonts in i3 don't seem to be affected by any of the Xft-settings in my .Xdefaults, while all other apps are.

This is kind of annoying for example when opening dmenu over i3bar and there you get a noticable worse font rendering, although it's of course the same Xft-font and the same size.

Is there anything I can do to improve i3's font rendering?

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answered 2013-12-18 03:27:51 +0000

TonyC gravatar image

updated 2013-12-20 22:56:48 +0000

Unfortunately, i3 will as of now not use your Xft settings to render those fonts. Font rendering is done with Cairo.

The quality of the stock rendering varies by distro. On Arch, it is particularly bad on a fresh install.

A detailed article on how to adjust the font settings can be found on the Font Configuration article on the Arch Wiki.

I highly recommend using the Infinality freetype patchset. It is easy to use and dramatically improves font rendering right away. It works well with the ttf-liberation package, chromeos fonts, TeX Live, or MS Fonts.

For a good monospace font to use for the i3 interface, I recommend Fira Mono (ttf-fira-mono) or DejaVu Sans Mono (ttf-dejavu).

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Hey, thanks for the tip concerning infinality, it does have quite an impressive effekt, I tried several fonts and settings, but still, the dmenu font rendering looks a bit better (at least to me)…

idrei gravatar imageidrei ( 2013-12-18 21:34:15 +0000 )edit

Upvote in the hope for screen shots :)

joepd gravatar imagejoepd ( 2013-12-20 22:54:17 +0000 )edit

Here is a screenshot of my desktop right now: The monospace font on the interface and vim is Fira Mono OT. The browser uses Microsoft fonts. You can get my solarized i3 theme with i3-style:

TonyC gravatar imageTonyC ( 2013-12-23 01:36:34 +0000 )edit

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Asked: 2013-12-17 15:01:32 +0000

Seen: 1,874 times

Last updated: Dec 20 '13