Better Firefox fonts?

Tim ignored_mailbox at
Tue Aug 31 13:03:46 UTC 2010

On Mon, 2010-08-30 at 16:12 -0400, Alex wrote:

> Quite often the fonts in a web page, or printing something from within
> Firefox looks blurred. Here is a sample screenshot:

In this case, according to the plug-in I mentioned on another email in
this thread, the "abstract" section of text is:

Asking to use Verdana, then several other alternatives (Helvetica, then
a generic sans-serif).  Verdana's a pet hate of many, as it's bigger
than normal, so many page authors reduce the size (as that page has
done).  Of course, if you don't have Verdana, you get the alternative
fonts, at too damn SMALLER THAN NORMAL.

That explains why it can look bad on screen.  

Now, as far as it looking bad on print, that's usually a different
reason, as printers usually have much better resolution than on-screen,
and can still produce small fonts neatly.  A problem most printers have,
is that they can only print black text well, anything else has to be
dithered, and that means a fuzzy appearance.  This page is one of them,
it's specified dark grey text.

The author could have made life easier for you, and provided style rules
that set printing as black, even if the screen image is not.  But many
don't.  Your print driver may have a print text as black option, or even
your web browser.  If so, it might be something you want to leave
enabled all the time.

One of these days, if it's not already done, someone's going to make a
proxy filter that replaces the combination of Verdana font family with a
small font size, to something else at normal size.  A brute force and
ignorance method is to use a user stylesheet that overrides all site
styling, with your preferred font face and size.  But, that doesn't
always fit into the rest of the page, particularly when authors force
text into specific spaces.  And Firefox doesn't make it easy to toggle
user styles on and off, like Opera does.

I've taken the easy route, though.  Installed a Firefox plug-in that
lets me toggle use website styling, or not, with a gadget sitting on the
status bar.  It should really be on the tool bar, but the author has
other ideas.

[tim at localhost ~]$ uname -r

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