firefox and anti aliased printouts

Christian Weisgerber naddy at
Tue Mar 3 09:02:19 PST 2009

Oliver Lehmann <lehmann at> wrote:

> I don't know when this first occured (maybe when switching from firefox 2
> to 3) but all the printouts I'm doing from a webpage have their fonts
> displayed extremly grainy. It is hard to read anything on the printout.
> Any idea how I can get my firefox to print nice anti aliased fonts?

For web pages that want specific fonts, such as Arial, Firefox (or
maybe an underlying component, i.e., cairo or fontconfig) ends up
picking a bitmapped font.

There are several workarounds for this.

* Completely disable bitmapped fonts in fontconfig (70-no-bitmaps.conf).
  I'm told future versions of fontconfig will do this anyay.  Right now
  it has the disadvantage that if you use the default X11 fonts, it
  kills various non-Western scripts.  For instance, no more Japanese
  in Firefox.

* Do what OpenBSD did for its upcoming 4.5 release and gently force
  fontconfig to map Arial and friends to Bitstream fonts.

* Install x11-fonts/liberation-fonts-ttf and write a fontconfig
  configuration file that maps Arial and friends to their Liberation

* Install x11-fonts/webfonts to get the original Microsoft fonts
  if you don't mind being touched by evil.

Christian "naddy" Weisgerber                          naddy at

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