Blurry font rendering


I am getting very poor font rendering in atom when compared to other editors and the terminal. The text is blurry and dim, and rather less readable than I would expect. Here is a screen shot which shows similar font styling and sizes between atom (upper left) Sublime (upper right) and Konsole (bottom):

I have tried tweaking the style (text-rendering, -webkit-font-smoothing, etc.) without any appreciable result.

Are there fixes in the works? (I tested the latest beta version and it appears that the problem is partially resolved, although not yet as clear as Konsole or Sublime Text.)

And in the meantime does anyone else have suggestions on workarounds? I really like atom in general, the openness and hackability are very appealing, but I am going to have to stay with Sublime for the readability of the font alone.

atom 1.3.2
linux mint 17.1
1920 x 1080 screen resolution


Font rendering worse than Chromium

I’m seeing this too, but only on one machine. Both my home and work computers are running Linux Mint 17.3 with Cinnamon, Atom 1.3.2, dual monitors at 1920 x 1080 resolution, and nearly identical settings for both the OS and Atom.

Atom’s font rendering looks fine on my work machine, but on my home machine it’s blurred as in the OP’s screenshot. Some fonts are worse than others (Roboto looks pretty good at large sizes, for example, but looks aliased at small sizes like in the file tree, while virtually all other fonts are blurry at any size, and monospaced fonts seem to be the worst). I don’t see any difference in the latest Atom Beta.

Based on the hardware differences between the two machines, I’m wondering if it may be a GPU/driver issue. My home computer is running a GeForce 750 Ti, for which the free, open-source drivers that ship with Linux Mint were completely nonfunctional,while my work computer is running a Radeon card, which works fine with the default free drivers. I can’t really think of any other major difference between the two machines that should affect font rendering.

Let me know if there’s any other information I can provide that would be helpful.


I have the same issue since december, anyone created an issue of this on github?


I think that Atom 1.4.0 looks better, as good as the beta version I tested earlier. Still not as clean as Sublime.

I read somewhere that Sublime does render fonts a little differently–but I still think the problem is with Atom, as Konsole and Sublime look more alike, with Atom appearing blurrier.

I’m going to mess around with styles again at some point to see if I can get it looking a little better.

@hendricha there have been various font rendering issues reported on Github, many of them have been closed. Maybe this flaw isn’t considered a bug…?


To some extent Atom is hostage to our choice to use Chromium for rendering. To my knowledge, Chromium does not use the native OS font rendering because this can provide a consistent rendering experience across platforms. This means that Chromium’s, and by extension Atom’s, font rendering will look different than applications that use the native OS font rendering in some or even most cases. Whether “different” is equal to “better” or “worse” or “roughly equivalent” is, I feel, mostly subjective and highly dependent on a large number of factors.

Now, there are cases where the use of semi-transparent backgrounds can cause the Chromium font rendering to fall back from subpixel-antialiasing to regular antialiasing … these aren’t bugs (at least in Atom). And there are cases where Atom’s tiling scheme has caused strange antialiasing issues … these are definitely bugs.

Hopefully that makes things a little more clear :laughing: