Too little / too much distance between glyphs (on Windows)




6 years ago
a year ago


(Reporter: tobi, Unassigned)


18 Branch
Windows 8

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)




6 years ago
User Agent: Mozilla/5.0 (Macintosh; Intel Mac OS X 10.7; rv:18.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/18.0
Build ID: 20130116073211

Steps to reproduce:

I opened in Firefox on Windows (Windows 8).

Actual results:

In the pink-on-yellow text, there is the word "Centerslate". The glyphs "nt" are too close, and the first "te" pair is too far apart. See the screenshot at
On Mac OS the glyphs are laid out nicely enough, but that's just a reference for comparison (Firefox probably chooses a different font format on Windows vs Mac).
I tried to make sure that the yellow banner gets rotated after the two fonts have been loaded, but that didn't help.

Expected results:

The glyphs should be laid out nicely.
(BTW, "sl" are a bit close on Mac, but perhaps that's in the font).


6 years ago
OS: Mac OS X → Windows 8
Hardware: x86 → x86_64
Component: Untriaged → Graphics: Text
Product: Firefox → Core
This looks fairly typical of what could happen if hardware graphics acceleration is disabled, so that we use the old GDI text backend; I wonder if that's the case on your system, for some reason?

Could you please post the contents of "about:support", to confirm details of your configuration?

Can you compare results on Windows 7? (It looks much better on Win7 for me; I don't have a Win8 machine for testing yet.) Does it make any difference if you use a fresh Firefox profile?

Comment 2

6 years ago
So, maybe duplication of Bug 534064
Maybe, but only if the reporter is actually getting GDI rendering for some reason. Let's see what about:support has to say about his graphics...

Comment 4

6 years ago
Thanks for investigating this:

Here's the data:
"about:support"->"Graphics" from Firefox on Windows 8 (in a VirtualBox VM on Mac OS):

"about:support"->"Graphics" from Firefox on Windows 7 (in a VirtualBox VM on Mac OS):
(The glyph spacing does look better there, on Windows 7.)

(Regarding Firefox profiles: I use these installations of Firefox just for testing, I don't think I changed about:config settings etc.)

Regarding bug 534064 : I just glanced at it quickly, but especially the bold text is indeed rendered a bit "stairstepped" (not all on one baseline) and not really beautifully smooth. (I hope you can reproduce that on some version of Windows.)
But this report here is not a duplicate of that report because the one here mainly reports the very uneven letter spacing. If the other aspects get fixed as well that would be great!
Aha - if you're using VirtualBox, then you're seeing unaccelerated GDI rendering, which is not typical of what most Win8 users probably see. (Of course it'd still be nice if we could make it look better.)
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