Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chrome/Chromium, Roboto, and the horrible text nightmare

I began doing Android development a year or so ago, and the first thing that I noticed was that the official Google Android documentation looked absolutely horrible in Chromium (and Chrome too).  I tried updating fonts, disabling fonts, and installing new fonts, and none of that helped.  On other people's computers, the text looked fine.  In Firefox on my own computer, the text looked fine  On my computer, in Chromium: total crap.

One of the directions that I researched was around the Roboto font (which apparently was released with Android Ice Cream Sandwich).  However, it turns out that the font itself has nothing to do with the problem.

Today, I finally figured it out (and fixed it!), and my Internet (and Android development) experience has been much, much better.

First, let me tell you that I've been running Kubuntu (the KDE Ubuntu variety) this whole time.  So, this covers Kubuntu 11.10, Kubuntu 12.04, Kubuntu 12.10, Kubuntu 13.04, Kubuntu and 13.10.  I had the problem with all of them.

Here's what it looks like:

To make a very long story short, I had to enable anti-aliasing for fonts for the entire system.  I typically set all of my graphics settings to the lowest possible levels in order to not have to see stupid animations or other things that slow down my experience just to be on par with Windows, and it looks like font anti-aliasing is one of the settings that got turned off.

So, a quick tweak to the drop down box here:

And everything now looks nice and pretty.  Here's the exact same page from before, this time with system-wide anti-aliasing enabled:

Problem solved.

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