Fonts in the browser on Ubuntu look look squashed/stretched compared to Windows/OSX.

This image shows exactly what I mean:

font image

I installed msttcorefonts and configured both Chrome & FF to use Microsoft fonts (Arial, Times New Roman) instead of the default ones.

While MS fonts made web pages appear a bit different, regardless of what font it was the squashed/stretched look remained. FreeSans looks a little different from Arial, but it too is rendered squashed/stretched like Arial on both FF & Chrome. Opera renders the Wikipedia page differently from FF & Chrome, but the fonts looks squashed/stretched on it as well.

I used to run Kubuntu prior to switching to Ubuntu and at some point I managed to get the fonts on Chrome (only Chrome) look exactly like in the image on the left. I have no idea how I did it though. Firefox and Rekonq retained the squashed/stretched look.

I had been using Rekonq for a while, then switched to FF. While using both browsers I had done various things to get the fonts to look better on them with no success - like installing MS fonts & configuring both browsers to use them. I then, after some time, installed Chrome and the fonts magically looked perfect on them - just like on right-hand side of the image. In fact, the font smoothing looked better (to my eye) compared to Windows and OSX. All 3 OSes use subtly different font smoothing strategies and the differences stand out.

Later, I formatted & installed Ubuntu 12.04.

The first thing I did was install msttcorefonts & then install Chrome. To my dismay, the fonts on Chrome looked just as squashed/stretched as it did in Firefox. There's no browser (except Wine Internet Explorer) that renders fonts properly on my Ubuntu setup right now.

Fixing this is definitely possible, since I was able to do it on Kubuntu, but apparently it requires some mysterious tweaking. Would anyone be willing to help me out?

  • Has anyone had this same problem? – Arjun Menon Jul 13 '12 at 7:07
  • I have very similar problem, check this thread: askubuntu.com/questions/304458/… How to solve this issue with fonts in Ubuntu. Installing msttcorefonts helps only a little. The fonts are still a little unproporcional, squashed, stretched when compared with Windows 7 browser Firefox/Chrome experience. Any idea how to have the same proportions of fonts in Linux? – Derfder Jun 6 '13 at 10:53

Wine doesn’t use the same FreeType rendering configuration that the rest of the system, and thus fonts look different.

If you want all applications to render fonts like Wine does, do the following:

  1. Open Gnome Tweak Tool (click here if you don’t have it installed).
  2. Go to the “Fonts” section.
  3. In the “Hinting” dropdown, select “Full” or “Medium”, according to your preference.
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