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Ubuntu Hacks by Bill Childers, Kyle Rankin, Jonathan Oxer

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Hack #53. Make Your Fonts Pretty

Ubuntu configures GNOME and KDE to use some very pretty fonts, but there are some tweaks you can use to make them even nicer.

Most computer users don't even think about fonts. They just expect them to work and assume that text will look the same whether it's viewed onscreen, printed, or sent to another user in a document. However, font management is actually a surprisingly complex task due to the many subtle variations in the ways fonts can be created and used.

Fonts Are Not Created Equal

Fonts can be defined in a number of different ways and have a variety of file formats. Each operating system has its own method of managing and displaying them. Some fonts are designed as bitmaps to be displayed onscreen, while others are in vector format so they can scale up or down and be printed at high resolution. Some come as bundles that include both bitmap and vector formats in the same package, with one used for onscreen display and the other used in printing or to generate files in output formats such as PDF. And some come as families, with several variations such as bold and italic bundled together with the base font, providing much better results than working from a single base font and then applying such variations algorithmically.

Font Management with Defoma

Ubuntu uses Defoma, the " Debian Font Manager," to centralize and simplify font management across all applications. Applications can vary dramatically in how they manage fonts, so when a new font is ...

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