Tutorials On Using Anti-Aliased Fonts With KDE

LinuxPlanet recently published an article which contains a tutorial on how to set up anti-aliased fonts on your KDE 2 box. This article complements the tutorial posted some time ago by Lars Knoll.

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by Hervé PARISSI (not verified)

I've installed KDE 2.1.1t for mdk 7.2 (video card: ATI Rage-128), I got the KDE anti-alias option, but if I comment out the TT FontPath in XF86Config-4 and set up XftConfig, I have no TT fonts at all ! I've installed FreeType2 from freetype2-2.0.1-0_helix_1.i386.rpm and even recompiled it from the sources, but that doesn't seem to come from FT2.
So I guess the problem really comes from Xft.

If anyone has managed to get AA fonts under mdk7.2 with the KDE 2.1.1 rpms, please post a "HOWTO" ! Thanks !

by Hervé PARISSI (not verified)

Strangely, KDE rpms for mdk7.2 have disappeared from some mirrors...

Have any of you tried addingthe following section to ~/.kde/share/config/kcmdisplayrc


This worked for me after I got the right packages installed.

I tried that too! But I think in 2.1.1 the setting has moved to "kdeglobals" or the like where it was already set (it is an option in KDE/Settings/Style now).

I have - like the others - NO TrueTypeFonts in the font choice lists. Not even in QT-Designer, so it is probably not a KDE problem.

Who did the mdk packages on sourceforge anyway?

by Hervé PARISSI (not verified)

I've already got the AntiAliasing=true, but I can't get any TT fonts if I comment out the TT FontPath line in XF86Config. I checked the checkbox in kcm Look&Feel Style, but it really looks as Xft is disabled :(


I was just wondering if anyone knows which specific SRPM or source tarball would need to be compiling against Xft-enabled QT to enable the Anti-Aliasing checkbox in the Look & Feel section of the control panel.

I am using Mandrake 8.0beta2, and everything is set up fine for anti-aliased text already.


Found the following in the XFree86 mailing list "Xpert". Can't try it now, maybe someone else can?

> How do I pass/tell Xft I want to see some of the traces
> #define XFT_DBG_OPEN 1
> #define XFT_DBG_OPENV 2
> #define XFT_DBG_RENDER 4
> #define XFT_DBG_DRAW 8
> #define XFT_DBG_REF 16
> #define XFT_DBG_GLYPH 32
> #define XFT_DBG_GLYPHV 64
> #define XFT_DBG_CACHE 128
> #define XFT_DBG_CACHEV 256
> #define XFT_DBG_MATCH 512
> #define XFT_DBG_MATCHV 1024

There's an XFT_DEBUG environment variable that you can set to the sum of
any of these values. This is true even in the regular libXft builds.

[email protected] XFree86 Core Team SuSE, Inc.

by Phil Messenger (not verified)

The Mandrake XFree86 4.0.3 RPM's are broken in some way with regards to antialiasing. Compiling and installing 4.0.2 RPM's results in fully functional antialiasing. And boy does it look sweet!

The XFree86 4.0.3 packages really seem to be buggy.
I loaded older packages from a cooker mirror (XFree86-4.0.2-4mdk, ~server and ~libs) and it works!

Now I can start fine tuning the fonts ...

by Hervé PARISSI (not verified)

1) install the RPMS (there're been some new ones on KDE ftp - libmng, freetype2 and a README)
2) setup everything for AA, at this point it should not work (generally), if it works, you're luckier than me !
3) telinit 3 (or exit XFree if you don't use [kgx]dm)
4) recompile & install freetype2
5) recompile & install Xft or get a working one
6) telinit 5 (or restart XFree if you don't use [kgx]dm)
7) if it's still not working, you're on your own - use your brain :( Make sure your video card supports the RENDER extensions...

AA fonts are really worth the effort of making it works!

by Hervé PARISSI (not verified)

I forgot:
*before* compiling FreeType 2.0.2,
change the file


if you don't #define this, you'd get *ugly* fonts (alas, the freetype2 rpm doesn't seem to be compiled correctly - that's why you have to compile FT2 yourself, if you were wondering).

Read the CHANGES file to know more about this issue and remember: software patents are not a concern for _users_, especially outside the USA, so Apple (tm of the Beatles...) won't sue us!

To compile FT2 :
make CFG="--prefix=/usr"
and after that:
make (or make install, directly)

by Richard Varney (not verified)

I have a starnge prob with the AA. I follow all the steps in the tutorial and restart kde - the fonts that appear *are* anti-aliased, however i seem to lose half of them!!

They mostly seem to be the M$ fonts stolen from my 'doze installation. They are available to all kde apps with AA set to off, but seem unavailable when AA is on!

Help! Has anyone else had this prob?? Cheers.