Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blurry fonts on Firefox 18

Firefox is the browser which behavior I like most, but it’s seriously becoming a pain to use, version after version. I’ve just upgraded my Firefox to the ridiculous version number 18, and on some specific sites the fonts look terribly blurry. Seriously, they hurt my eyes. It’s specially noticeable on Google sites, like Gmail, Blogger, YouTube, Groups and Docs – and the font in Docs looks particularly bad.

I’ve run through some fixes from previous versions (though I never had this problem before), like this, this and this. Nothing seems to work. I’m using both Windows XP and Windows 7 to perform all these tests. At first, I thought it would be a problem of GPU rendering overriding ClearType settings, but the fonts are also blurry on Linux!

There’s a thread at Mozilla’s board with some people complaining about this since v17, where the solution was to disable hardware acceleration – what I did already, to fix other rendering problems at that time. On v18, however, no one could find a fix yet, it looks like they really messed it up. So if you have this problem, go make some noise at that thread!

Congratulations to Mozilla for dropping the ball again, with its moronic and Chrome-wannabe release cycling which is introducing more and more bugs. If I wanted Chrome, I would have downloaded Chrome.

9 comments:

sachin said...

Same here, the problem is with small fonts hit Ctrl+ . It should make the font little bigger and its not blurry anymore..

dai said...

I immediately noticed the difference and the eye strain that came with it. A lot of websites that use google web fonts like open sans looks beautiful to hack and slash bold.

Downgrading until firefox or someone has a fix for this.

Dave said...

I have exactly the same problem, all these beta versions and things like this aren't picked up, they need to slow down and get the versions correct before release them this 6 week cycle is becoming more and more problematic.

I also agree with the blogger that i don't want a Chrome clone, i want Firefox, they need to stop messing around with unnecessary changes to make it similar to Chrome.

Firefox tell anyone that will listen that most of their memory leaks are caused by add-ons, that is probably the case, so why then keep removing features from the browser that alot of users like and then need to replace by installing add-ons, i currently use 25 add-ons with my browser, 8 of them are only being used to replace lost functionality from all these new versions.

Serhouse said...

Same problem with Gmail. Waiting for a fix. Downgraded to Firefox 17, problem solved.

Anonymous said...

Same here!!

Francisco said...

Hey, I dont know a lot about typefaces... but they look as somebody, somehow, would have turned hinting off on Google sites...
Maybe there's a way to renable hinting for those sites...https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api/image?c=03AHJ_VuvPmuODTTYx_PBcCGfJ7A3JlNITdjEatvKV2R_x9jnm0x6_CY0Cq7QdNSqQujrFLxMsvU0Hy9aro_m0p9dHfQXA5Dist36Fa54-RdBO7CD9UhIwZQybRhOrJeu3Vg0kzO3G7t_32zIlCgvp3VO8oHor0mlDEhINwDL66ZhFzH2veb4P5kg

harlemblues said...

Exactly same problem here; so annoying. I am seriously considering to go for Chrome. How can I downgrade to Firefox 17?

I have tried remove Firefox 18 from my computer and then installing Firefox 17. Guess what: the problem is gone. However, firefox automatically updates to version 18.

Any suggestion?

Serhouse said...

@harlemblues
Uncheck automatic updates option in the FF settings

jon said...

I just upgraded to Firefox 18 on Ubuntu Lucid yesterday and I'm noticing the fuzzy fonts as well.

Arrgh... I'm going to downgrade to Firefox 17 for the time being.