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New HOWTO: XFree86 Font Deuglification Mini HOWTO - page 5

Table of Contents, Section 1

  • March 23, 2001
5. Adjusting Fonts in Specific Applications

5.1. KDE

KDE is one of the best things that have happened to Linux and X in a long
time. It provides a consistent user interface that goes a long way towards
making Linux accessable to the average non-geek. More information about KDE
can be found at [http://www.kde.org/] http://www.kde.org/. So why am I
singing it's praises here? This is because KDE 1.1 has a new feature that
will make the fonts and colors in your programs, including non-KDE
applications consistent with KDE's current style.
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5.1.1. Applying KDE Fonts and Colors to non-KDE Applications

This is very easy. Simply start up the KDE Control Center, go to Desktop, and
go to Style inside Desktop. In there, there will be a toggle switch labled
"Apply fonts and colors to non-KDE apps". Turn it on, click OK, and your
done! The next time you start up many X applications, they will use the same
colors and fonts that your KDE applications do. Some people may like this
feature better than others, but if you don't like it you can always turn it
off.
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5.2. Netscape

Let's face it, Netscape is an important application in Linux. We all use it,
and we all need it, so let's look at it specifically for a minute. An out of
the box Netscape installation is prone to the font problems we've discussed
-- large fonts that get pixelized, splotchy looking fonts, fonts so small
they are unreadable. In short, ugly. Maybe this is why you are here? 

Hopefully, at this point you have followed the above suggestions. These steps
can help greatly. TrueType font availability is almost a necessity, and you
need a TrueType font server for this. Many web pages specify font families --
like Arial -- that are not typically available to Linux users. This is bad
design, but having some of the basic TrueType fonts available will help
greatly in overcoming the short-sightedness of some designers. Microsoft --
can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em. 

Assuming you have TrueType working, from the Netscape menu select Edit ->
Preferences -> Fonts. Open the Variable Width Font droplist on the right side
of the window. Your TrueTypes should be there along with other fonts. Choose
which ever one suits your fancy as the default. Check the Allow Scaling
checkbox too. If the available point sizes are 0 and 12, you can go down and,
and enter your desired point size in the box to the right and click on the OK
button. The downside to this is that Netscape will not remember these
settings, and you will have to do this each time you start Netscape. Unless
-- you have fonts.alias set up already. Then this will solve these problems.
See Section 3.4 for more on fonts.alias. 

You might consider experimenting with some ~/.Xdefaults (or perhaps it's~
/.Xresources on your system) settings too:

   
     Netscape*DocumentFonts.sizeIncrement: 10
     Netscape*documentFonts.xResolution*iso-8859-1: 120
     Netscape*documentFonts.yResolution*iso-8859-1: 120
        
   
The 'sizeIncrement' controls how much of a jump Netscape makes when different
'basefont' sizes are specified ala: 



for instance. The default is '20', which is a pretty good jump. Changing this
can help Netscape from scaling to too large and too small of a font. The x
and y resolutions are roughly equivalent to 'dpi' settings. Any random number
within reason can be used here. Experiment.  

Then run:

$ xrdb -load ~/.Xdefaults

(or .Xresources as the case may be) and restart Netscape. There are many
settings that can be tweaked or altered this way. Look at the Netscape.ad
(app defaults) file that should be included with Netscape packages.

If this approach does not get the job done as far as the 'tiny fonts' problem
in Netscape, then see the fonts.alias section above. You can really fine tune
many things with this approach.  

Mozilla configuration should be roughly the same. You might find, however,
that Mozilla does a better job of handling fonts in X, and pages will look
better overall.
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