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Firefox Hacks by Nigel McFarlane

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Hack #30. Install Fonts and Character Support

Protect your tired eyes from ugly fonts when staring at web pages.

Firefox can display web pages in a variety of languages, but whether Firefox picks great-looking fonts depends on three different factors:

  • Fonts available in your OS

  • Fonts specified for the language in use

  • CSS fonts specified on the web page

Installing Good Fonts

This is the take-off point. At the end of the day, Firefox can use only fonts that your OS provides to applications. Platforms such as Windows come preinstalled with beautiful TrueType fonts. If you are a Linux user and have a Windows license, you can migrate its TrueType fonts to your Linux partition and enable them in your Linux desktop for Firefox to use. Otherwise, you can get Microsoft's free TrueType core fonts for the Web at http://corefonts.sourceforge.net/.

Anti-aliasing may or may not be enabled on your particular Linux distribution. Some users like it and others don't. You can disable it in Firefox (if you have an XFT-enabled build) by simply setting an environment variable:

export GDK_USE_XFT=1 /* Linux only: set to 0 to disable anti-aliasing */

This applies to all GTK2/XFT applications. Because there are many distributions and configurations, each with its own syntax and documentation, we assume that you can refer to them to install nice fonts. The rest of this hack will concentrate on Firefox tricks.

Forget about downloadable fonts. They have been abused in the past to work around browser limitations. Documents ...

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