Font troubleshooting

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Revision as of 15:01, 6 October 2021 by Bamaustin (talk | contribs) (Blurry fonts: add cleartype recalibration)
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Fonts are a big variable in computers. Since everyone has different opinion about what is a best and most readable typeface, there are thousands of font families available for installation with various operating system.

Following OS updates, new application installations or configurations changes; fonts can suddenly become blurry or even fail to render entirely, showing placeholder shapes instead of the proper glyph.

Common font complaints

Blurry fonts

Fig. 1 Point sizes for Times New Roman font in Windows

Font typeface families do not include all point sizes. (As an example, the Windows version of the Times New Roman font family includes point sizes: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 36, 48, 72)

Text can appear blurry/fuzzy if the system has to re-scale for the display. This is more likely if you have the Themes add-on installed and then specified a typeface and font size.

The OS (computer operating system) interpolates this typeface and size setting in combination: with your screen resolution; and, the OS accessibility controls for font scaling. The interpolation might require too much difference from the nearest point size that would would most closely fit inside the number of pixels allotted. When the scaling is pushed beyond these manageable limits, text can appear blurry.

If the outlines of dialogs and controls appear sharp but text is blurry, you should change one of the contributing factors: the fonts size in Gramps Themes preferences, the screen resolution, or the OS Accessibility font scaling. Do NOT change more than one setting before checking the results. If that changing that contributing factor does not help, revert it to the previous setting before adjusting the next factor.

If you are using a infinitely scalable don't (such as ttf - TrueType or ClearType), you may need to recalibrate for your screen resolution.

In Windows, there is a ClearType calibration you can do from the Fonts control panel. It is a calibration that is more visible when more modern drivers are used. There are a series of eye-doctor examine style questions (better on 1? Or 2?)

See also

No text, just rectangles

Fig. 2 Point sizes for Times New Roman font in Windows

Unicode calls the phenomenon (of a placeholder open/black rectangle "" or REPLACEMENT CHARACTER "�" being rendered instead of the actual strokes of a letter) a replacement glyph. It also known as a missing glyph.

You might also try going to the Gramps install directory (for Windows, this is "C:\Program Files\GrampsAIO64-5.1.4") and running "fc-cache.exe -fv" from the command line. This command should re-establish the font cache. A large number of Replacement Glyphs indicates that a recent update has likely messed up fonts in some way.

As an alternative using the Command Line utility, re-install Gramps... which will do the same thing but also do broader resets.

See also