Since recent updates in the past two or three days, many of my incoming emails have become unreadable in Gmail.


  • This happens only in Chromium (in Gmail). If I open the affected emails in Firefox Gmail, I can read them OK.
  • If I change the zoom, whether larger or smaller, I can read the email. But at 100%, I cannot.
  • The problem started only a couple of days ago (yesterday, I think).
  • Not all emails have this problem. I don't know what separates those that do from those that don't.
  • The emails render perfectly on both Windows 7 (Chrome) and Lubuntu 14.04 (Chromium).

See the screen-shots:

100% (parts of letters, and entire letters, are missing):

Zoom 100%

90% (readable, though not entirely clear):

Zoom 90%

110% (also readable, though not entirely clear):

Zoom 110%

The letters are crystal clear on both Windows and Lubuntu.

Presumably, it is something to do with the fonts. But I don't know even where to begin fixing this readability problem.

Please help.

  • I'm using Ubuntu 14.04 64-bit, fully updated

1 Answer 1


I had a similar issue with Google Chrome and Outlook.com (I know different site & slightly different browser, but the code should help). Adding this code to ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf (it may need to be created) fixed the issue for me:

<match target="font" >
    <edit name="embeddedbitmap" mode="assign">

This isn't original with me, but I cannot remember where I found the answer as it's been awhile (I just copied my file to here). All I remember is that my searches had to do with Calibri. Hope this helps.

  • 1
    Perfect, thank you! I'd love to know what it means, but at least I can read my emails again. Oct 6, 2014 at 22:58
  • 1
    I can't remember exactly why/how, but I believe it turns off MS's proprietary attempt at an anti-aliasing guide, allowing Linux to do it freely and correctly. (It's embedded into the fonts themselves to aid MS's anti-aliasing engine, but naturally interferes with Linux. This code tells Linux to ignore MS.)
    – marcski55
    Oct 7, 2014 at 15:59
  • Thank you for the explanation. I had noticed that the emails were from MS Outlook. Presumably, then, it interferes not only with Linux but also with other operating systems such as Unix (Mac OS). Oct 7, 2014 at 17:32

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