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OT: Font sizes in application UIs

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  • Christoph Eckert
    Hi all, maybe it s a bit off topic, but because it s related to my notebook display, I d like to ask for help in this list first. Since I upgraded to xorg and
    Message 1 of 11 , Dec 8, 2005
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      Hi all,


      maybe it's a bit off topic, but because it's related to my notebook
      display, I'd like to ask for help in this list first.

      Since I upgraded to xorg and using the nv driver instead of the nvidia
      binary driver, I see huge and fat fonts on my screen.

      For KDE applications I solved this by setting a 10pt font in the control
      center, but this somehow seems to be a dirty trick. 12pt fonts
      shouldn't look like 13pt bold.

      The situation went worse as I emerged OOo 2. All menus and dialogs used
      huge fonts resp. huge buttons and input fields. I just put an image on
      the homepage:

      http://christeck.de/files/ooofonterror.png

      To resolve it, I tried to follow and understand

      http://www.mozilla.org/unix/dpi.html

      and I set

      DisplaySize 301 232

      to the monitor section of my xorg.conf.

      As this didn't help, i additionally tried to put

      Xft.dpi: 108

      in /etc/X11/Xresources.

      Both didn't help at all.

      Of course I can startx -dpi 100 which does surely help, and I can put
      the -dpi 100 to the config of my display manager, but I'd like to know
      * which dpi is correct to use
      * in which xorg configuration files I can set it directly

      I use a NVidia Geforce 2 Go and a Dell Inspiron 8200 with a resolution
      of 1400 x 1050 on 301 x 232 millimeters.

      Anyone here who can point me to the right direction (even RTFM is much
      appreciated) to get the two settings mentioned above?


      Thanks a lot & best regards


      ce
    • Wen ke Li
      I ve had the same problem when I first started using linux. The correct dpi should be 96. In DisplaySize, don t put in the actual physical size of your
      Message 2 of 11 , Dec 8, 2005
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        I've had the same problem when I first started using linux. The
        correct dpi should be 96. In DisplaySize, don't put in the actual
        physical size of your monitor, but instead, the calculated size of
        your monitor in milimeters, assuming 96 pixles per inch. Since your
        monitor supports 1400x1050, at 96 pixles per 25.4 mm, your calculated
        display size in mm would be 370 by 277, +/- 1. You'll have to tweak
        the numbers a little to get 96 dpi, maybe 371 by 278, or 371 by 277,
        or 370 by 278, you can look in the xorg logs to see what the dpi was
        set to.
        Hope this helps.

        --- In linux-dell-laptops@yahoogroups.com, Christoph Eckert <ce@c...>
        wrote:
        >
        > Hi all,
        >
        >
        > maybe it's a bit off topic, but because it's related to my notebook
        > display, I'd like to ask for help in this list first.
        >
        > Since I upgraded to xorg and using the nv driver instead of the nvidia
        > binary driver, I see huge and fat fonts on my screen.
        >
        > For KDE applications I solved this by setting a 10pt font in the
        control
        > center, but this somehow seems to be a dirty trick. 12pt fonts
        > shouldn't look like 13pt bold.
        >
        > The situation went worse as I emerged OOo 2. All menus and dialogs used
        > huge fonts resp. huge buttons and input fields. I just put an image on
        > the homepage:
        >
        > http://christeck.de/files/ooofonterror.png
        >
        > To resolve it, I tried to follow and understand
        >
        > http://www.mozilla.org/unix/dpi.html
        >
        > and I set
        >
        > DisplaySize 301 232
        >
        > to the monitor section of my xorg.conf.
        >
        > As this didn't help, i additionally tried to put
        >
        > Xft.dpi: 108
        >
        > in /etc/X11/Xresources.
        >
        > Both didn't help at all.
        >
        > Of course I can startx -dpi 100 which does surely help, and I can put
        > the -dpi 100 to the config of my display manager, but I'd like to know
        > * which dpi is correct to use
        > * in which xorg configuration files I can set it directly
        >
        > I use a NVidia Geforce 2 Go and a Dell Inspiron 8200 with a resolution
        > of 1400 x 1050 on 301 x 232 millimeters.
        >
        > Anyone here who can point me to the right direction (even RTFM is much
        > appreciated) to get the two settings mentioned above?
        >
        >
        > Thanks a lot & best regards
        >
        >
        > ce
        >
      • Wen ke Li
        Just curious, are you a gentoo user? I ask because I am one, and it seems hard to find other gentoo users outside of gentoo forums. Christoph Eckert
        Message 3 of 11 , Dec 8, 2005
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          Just curious, are you a gentoo user? I ask because I am one, and it seems hard to find other gentoo users outside of gentoo forums.

          Christoph Eckert <ce@...> wrote:
          Hi all,


          maybe it's a bit off topic, but because it's related to my notebook
          display, I'd like to ask for help in this list first.

          Since I upgraded to xorg and using the nv driver instead of the nvidia
          binary driver, I see huge and fat fonts on my screen.

          For KDE applications I solved this by setting a 10pt font in the control
          center, but this somehow seems to be a dirty trick. 12pt fonts
          shouldn't look like 13pt bold.

          The situation went worse as I emerged OOo 2. All menus and dialogs used
          huge fonts resp. huge buttons and input fields. I just put an image on
          the homepage:

          http://christeck.de/files/ooofonterror.png

          To resolve it, I tried to follow and understand

          http://www.mozilla.org/unix/dpi.html

          and I set

          DisplaySize 301 232

          to the monitor section of my xorg.conf.

          As this didn't help, i additionally tried to put

          Xft.dpi: 108

          in /etc/X11/Xresources.

          Both didn't help at all.

          Of course I can startx -dpi 100 which does surely help, and I can put
          the -dpi 100 to the config of my display manager, but I'd like to know
          * which dpi is correct to use
          * in which xorg configuration files I can set it directly

          I use a NVidia Geforce 2 Go and a Dell Inspiron 8200 with a resolution
          of 1400 x 1050 on 301 x 232 millimeters.

          Anyone here who can point me to the right direction (even RTFM is much
          appreciated) to get the two settings mentioned above?


          Thanks a lot & best regards


              ce



          Yahoo! Shopping
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        • Paul V. Gratz
          I m a gentoo user :-). BTW I had similar problems (in my case fonts were way too small on my 1920x1280 screen) and I just measured my monitor and I just put
          Message 4 of 11 , Dec 8, 2005
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            I'm a gentoo user :-).

            BTW I had similar problems (in my case fonts were way too small on my
            1920x1280 screen) and I just measured my monitor and I just put this
            line in my monitor section:

            DisplaySize 330 209

            and everything became consistent and looked fine (except emacs, that
            took a little more work).

            Paul


            On Thursday 08 December 2005 06:28 pm, Wen ke Li wrote:
            > Just curious, are you a gentoo user? I ask because I am one, and it seems
            > hard to find other gentoo users outside of gentoo forums.
            >
            > Christoph Eckert <ce@...> wrote: Hi all,
            >
            >
            > maybe it's a bit off topic, but because it's related to my notebook
            > display, I'd like to ask for help in this list first.
            >
            > Since I upgraded to xorg and using the nv driver instead of the nvidia
            > binary driver, I see huge and fat fonts on my screen.
            >
            > For KDE applications I solved this by setting a 10pt font in the control
            > center, but this somehow seems to be a dirty trick. 12pt fonts
            > shouldn't look like 13pt bold.
            >
            > The situation went worse as I emerged OOo 2. All menus and dialogs used
            > huge fonts resp. huge buttons and input fields. I just put an image on
            > the homepage:
            >
            > http://christeck.de/files/ooofonterror.png
            >
            > To resolve it, I tried to follow and understand
            >
            > http://www.mozilla.org/unix/dpi.html
            >
            > and I set
            >
            > DisplaySize 301 232
            >
            > to the monitor section of my xorg.conf.
            >
            > As this didn't help, i additionally tried to put
            >
            > Xft.dpi: 108
            >
            > in /etc/X11/Xresources.
            >
            > Both didn't help at all.
            >
            > Of course I can startx -dpi 100 which does surely help, and I can put
            > the -dpi 100 to the config of my display manager, but I'd like to know
            > * which dpi is correct to use
            > * in which xorg configuration files I can set it directly
            >
            > I use a NVidia Geforce 2 Go and a Dell Inspiron 8200 with a resolution
            > of 1400 x 1050 on 301 x 232 millimeters.
            >
            > Anyone here who can point me to the right direction (even RTFM is much
            > appreciated) to get the two settings mentioned above?
            >
            >
            > Thanks a lot & best regards
            >
            >
            > ce
            >
            >
            >
            > --------------------------------------------------------------
            > Please post your X config files in the group links or database
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          • Christoph Eckert
            ... Yes, I am. And I have even seen Gentoo users in other forums, namely the linux audio user forum :) . Best regards ce
            Message 5 of 11 , Dec 9, 2005
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              > Just curious, are you a gentoo user? I ask because I am one, and it
              > seems hard to find other gentoo users outside of gentoo forums.

              Yes, I am. And I have even seen Gentoo users in other forums, namely the
              linux audio user forum :) .


              Best regards


              ce
            • Christoph Eckert
              Hi, ... this helped *a lot*. Thanks for clarifying that I have to recalculate the settings to inches instead of using millimeters (in fact I m a bit ashamed
              Message 6 of 11 , Dec 9, 2005
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                Hi,


                > Since your
                > monitor supports 1400x1050, at 96 pixles per 25.4 mm, your calculated
                > display size in mm would be 370 by 277, +/- 1.

                this helped *a lot*. Thanks for clarifying that I have to recalculate
                the settings to inches instead of using millimeters (in fact I'm a bit
                ashamed that I didn't understand it by myself :-) .


                Best regards


                ce
              • Alexandre Tessier
                ... Why we use this incomprehensible strange unit for computer screens and printers instead of the international system of units (the metric system)? Maybe so
                Message 7 of 11 , Dec 9, 2005
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                  Christoph Eckert a écrit :
                  > Hi,
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >>Since your
                  >>monitor supports 1400x1050, at 96 pixles per 25.4 mm, your calculated
                  >>display size in mm would be 370 by 277, +/- 1.
                  >
                  >
                  > this helped *a lot*. Thanks for clarifying that I have to recalculate
                  > the settings to inches instead of using millimeters (in fact I'm a bit
                  > ashamed that I didn't understand it by myself :-) .

                  Why we use this incomprehensible strange unit for computer screens and
                  printers instead of the international system of units (the metric
                  system)? Maybe so that nobody understands!

                  Did you fix the problem with the dpi switch of xorg or the DisplaySize
                  entry of xorg.conf?

                  If you still have problems, you may also try to edit /etc/fonts/local.conf
                  as explained for example here:
                  http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/XOrg_Font_Configuration

                  Finally, I'm a Mandriva user, but there is a lot of gentoo users on this
                  list. Maybe, the members of the list should add (or update) a record in
                  the DellLaptopsUsers database:
                  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/linux-dell-laptops/database?method=reportRows&tbl=1

                  Alex.

                  >
                  >
                  > Best regards
                  >
                  >
                  > ce
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > --------------------------------------------------------------
                  > Please post your X config files in the group links or database
                  > To unsubscribe, email: linux-dell-laptops-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                  > FAQ: http://www.whacked.net/ldl/faq
                  > Yahoo! Groups Links
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                • Christoph Eckert
                  Hi, ... Maybe metrics are international, but the US aren t known to care about the rest of the world ;-) . In the US, feet and inches are widely used and this
                  Message 8 of 11 , Dec 9, 2005
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                    Hi,


                    > Why we use this incomprehensible strange unit for computer screens
                    > and printers instead of the international system of units (the metric
                    > system)? Maybe so that nobody understands!

                    Maybe metrics are international, but the US aren't known to care about
                    the rest of the world ;-) . In the US, feet and inches are widely used
                    and this will not change too soon. And because most desktop operating
                    systems have been developed in the US...

                    > Did you fix the problem with the dpi switch of xorg or the
                    > DisplaySize entry of xorg.conf?

                    I added DisplaySize to xorg.conf and it worked very well.

                    > If you still have problems, you may also try to edit
                    > /etc/fonts/local.conf as explained for example here:
                    > http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/XOrg_Font_Configuration
                    >
                    > Finally, I'm a Mandriva user, but there is a lot of gentoo users on
                    > this list. Maybe, the members of the list should add (or update) a
                    > record in the DellLaptopsUsers database:
                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/linux-dell-laptops/database?method=repo
                    >rtRows&tbl=1

                    Well, Gentoo is the distro which survived longer than any other on my
                    machine, but right at the moment I try to update many packages, and
                    Gentoo did mess up my system a lot. That's partly my ignorance about
                    the portage system, but anyway, if I don't get it fixed I'll install
                    another one and try it out. Such a database gets out of sync with
                    reality real fast ;-) .


                    Best regards


                    ce
                  • James Frye
                    ... Maybe because those units are what was understood by the people that invented the computer display and Xwindows :-) What I can t understand is why the
                    Message 9 of 11 , Dec 9, 2005
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                      On Fri, 9 Dec 2005, Alexandre Tessier wrote:

                      > Why we use this incomprehensible strange unit for computer screens and
                      > printers instead of the international system of units (the metric
                      > system)? Maybe so that nobody understands!

                      Maybe because those units are what was understood by the people that
                      invented the computer display and Xwindows :-)

                      What I can't understand is why the physical size of the display should
                      matter at all. It seems to create a lot of problems. For instance, I
                      have two different-size displays: the standard laptop, and a larger (20
                      inch) display that I use at home. I want to see exactly the same image on
                      either screen: that is, if I have say a web browser occupying 1/4 of
                      display A, I want it to occupy the same 1/4 if I switch to display B.
                      Most applications don't seem to do this: they seem to grow or shrink to
                      hold the physical size of the characters constant.
                    • Wen ke Li
                      Glad it worked out :) If you have any problems with gentoo, I m more than willing to help. I personally like it a lot, but it certainly takes some work to get
                      Message 10 of 11 , Dec 9, 2005
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                        Glad it worked out :) If you have any problems with gentoo, I'm more than willing to help. I personally like it a lot, but it certainly takes some work to get exactly what you want.
                        I do wonder if the rest of the world uses the DPI also, or maybe DPcm or something similar? Metric system is so much easier to work with....

                        Christoph Eckert <ce@...> wrote:
                        Hi,


                        > Why we use this incomprehensible strange unit for computer screens
                        > and printers instead of the international system of units (the metric
                        > system)? Maybe so that nobody understands!

                        Maybe metrics are international, but the US aren't known to care about
                        the rest of the world ;-) . In the US, feet and inches are widely used
                        and this will not change too soon. And because most desktop operating
                        systems have been developed in the US...

                        > Did you fix the problem with the dpi switch of xorg or the
                        > DisplaySize entry of xorg.conf?

                        I added DisplaySize to xorg.conf and it worked very well.

                        > If you still have problems, you may also try to edit
                        > /etc/fonts/local.conf as explained for example here:
                        > http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/XOrg_Font_Configuration
                        >
                        > Finally, I'm a Mandriva user, but there is a lot of gentoo users on
                        > this list. Maybe, the members of the list should add (or update) a
                        > record in the DellLaptopsUsers database:
                        > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/linux-dell-laptops/database?method=repo
                        >rtRows&tbl=1

                        Well, Gentoo is the distro which survived longer than any other on my
                        machine, but right at the moment I try to update many packages, and
                        Gentoo did mess up my system a lot. That's partly my ignorance about
                        the portage system, but anyway, if I don't get it fixed I'll install
                        another one and try it out. Such a database gets out of sync with
                        reality real fast ;-) .


                        Best regards


                            ce


                        Yahoo! Shopping
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                      • Christoph Eckert
                        Hi, ... thanks a lot for the offer. Well, accidentally I have some troubles world-updating my machine right at the moment ;-) . ... Me too. It s the first
                        Message 11 of 11 , Dec 11, 2005
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                          Hi,


                          > Glad it worked out :) If you have any problems with gentoo, I'm more
                          > than willing to help.

                          thanks a lot for the offer.

                          Well, accidentally I have some troubles world-updating my machine right
                          at the moment ;-) .

                          > I personally like it a lot,

                          Me too. It's the first Distro that survived longer than a year on my
                          machine - and I'm using Linux since 1998 ;-) .

                          > but it certainly takes some work to get exactly what you want.

                          Maybe. To be honest, installing Gentoo was the easiest Distro install I
                          ever did - just got a *huge* tarball on DVD by a friend, adjusted GRUB,
                          XF86Config and pppoe.conf, and I had my system up and running.

                          After a year where I only have updated packages I wanted to have in more
                          recent version, I'm just trying to do an emerge --update world. I had
                          some troubles I could solve, but no I have some further issues. But the
                          Gentoo user mailing list is a very friendly and useful place; I hope to
                          get the issues solved.

                          And all overall: I like it a lot, except for the compile times and the
                          issues I had with setting the USE flags right ;-))) .

                          > I do wonder if the rest
                          > of the world uses the DPI also, or maybe DPcm or something similar?

                          I wonder if properly set screen size should be part of any xorg.conf
                          created or not.

                          > Metric system is so much easier to work with....

                          Maybe, but I also know that it's very hard if you are used to imperials
                          to switch to metrics. I barely can understand imperials for the same
                          reason ;-) .


                          Thanks & best regards


                          ce
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