Bug 47868 - Fonts do not scale with the Xserver DPI setting
Fonts do not scale with the Xserver DPI setting
Product: Red Hat Linux
Classification: Retired
Component: XFree86 (Show other bugs)
i386 Linux
medium Severity medium
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Assigned To: Mike A. Harris
David Lawrence
Depends On:
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Reported: 2001-07-08 10:11 EDT by Robert Clark
Modified: 2007-04-18 12:34 EDT (History)
1 user (show)

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Doc Type: Bug Fix
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Last Closed: 2001-07-10 15:24:11 EDT
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Description Robert Clark 2001-07-08 10:11:45 EDT
Description of Problem:
The Xserver's dpi setting (as probed by the ddc module or set with the -dpi
flag) has no effect on the size of fonts.

This is a particular problem when running X in high resolution modes (e.g.
1600x1200) where the dpi can be 135 leading to unreadable fonts.

How Reproducible:
Every Time

Steps to Reproduce:
1. Run "X -dpi n :1 & xterm -display :1". Replace n with a dpi value.
2. Run a program which allows you to view different fonts (e.g.
   gfontsel or mozilla). Note the size of a large (e.g. 72pt) font.
3. Repeat for different n.

Actual Results:
The font sizes are identical at different values of n.

Expected Results:
Changing n from 100 to 150 should result in a noticable increase in the
size of a font.

Additional Information:
Tested with XFree86-4.0.3-5 from 7.1 and 4.03-22 from RawHide with both ATI
Radeon QD rev 0 (both "radeon" and "ati" drivers) and NVidia GeForce2 GTS
rev 163 ("nvidia driver) with NVidia GLX & kernel module v1.0-1251.

Tested with and without xfs. Also tried adjusting the value of the
default-resolutions parameter in /etc/fs/config.

Tested with bitmap, type1 and TrueType fonts.

The dpi setting in Mozilla doesn't seem to make a difference either.
Comment 1 Owen Taylor 2001-07-10 15:24:07 EDT
For most cases, this is normal and expected behavior -- X only comes
with two varieties of fonts -- 75dpi and 100dpi, and the choice
between them is determined by the order of your fontpath.

Some programs may take resolution into account beyond this -- for
instance, GTK+ version 2.0 ignores the resolution setting for fonts
and picks the nearest bitmap font based on the pixel size of
the fonts and the resolution -- but this is not common behavior currently.

I don't know the details of the algorithm that mozilla uses for choosing
font sizes. You might want to try switching to a scaleable font (such
as URW Helvetica, insetad of Adobe Helvetica) and see if that makes it
more responsive to resolution changes.
Comment 2 Mike A. Harris 2001-07-12 13:45:46 EDT
Indeed, as Owen has said, X comes with 75dpi and 100dpi fonts only, and
scalable fonts.  If the fonts do not look great, don't use the 100dpi/75dpi
fonts, but instead use Type1 and truetype which looks great.

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