Get More Precise Font Smoothing In Snow Leopard

Among the many changes in OS X 10.6 was a simplification of the font smoothing options to a yes or no toggle. If your monitor text isn't quite right, Macworld offers up a quick terminal tip to get nitty-gritty control.

You should only undertake this fix if you believe Snow Leopard has made your font rendering somehow worse than Leopard. In the Macworld writer's case, that's because his Hackintosh-ed Dell Mini 10v screen doesn't support the kind of pixel smoothing that OS X presumes it does; you may have the same experience with older or off-brand monitors.

The fix is a terminal command with a single, three-setting variable:

Just open Terminal (in Applications -> Utilities) and paste this command, then press Return:

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

The 2 at the end is equivalent to the old "Medium - Best for flat panel" setting in 10.5. You can also use 1 for light smoothing, and 3 for strong smoothing.

It's also worth noting that the fix won't apply to currently open applications, so you might want to re-open a browser or text editor to test out the difference.

Enable Better Font Smoothing on Some LCD Displays [Macworld]


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