How to fix jagged font rendering in Google Chrome
Google Chrome has had an aggravating bug for quite a while now in which certain fonts, including some Google fonts, do not work correctly. That is, the text will have a jagged font that isn’t actually how it should look. There is, in fact, a quick fix for this.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, there have been various bug reports on the font rendering issue that you can look at. It seems to be a case where there have been multiple causes, so the fix may not always be the same. Here’s an image where you can see how this looks compared to how it should:
From Chrome Issue 137692
What a mess! As of the time of writing, without the following fix in place, GeekSided has a similar problem if you want to test your browser.
One of the most common causes of this issue, when it occurs in Windows, is that Chrome does not use Microsoft’s DirectWrite technology. DirectWrite is used to improve font rendering that it doesn’t look like, well, the above image.
It isn’t entirely clear why Chrome has been so slow to implement it (Internet Explorer and Firefox have had it for many release cycles) but it is currently still in the experimental phase in Chrome. Luckily, experimental is a lot better than nothing and you can activate it to clear up this issue.
Before we proceed, I’ll give the warning that experimental features are usually experimental for a reason. I have not encountered any problems from enabling DirectWrite and can’t find any reports of others having complications, but there’s always a chance.
How to fix the jagged font rendering in Chrome:
- In the Chrome address bar, type
- Scroll until you find
Enable DirectWrite. Alternately, use CTRL+F to search for
- Once you’ve found it, click enable. You’re done!
Yep, it’s really that simple of a fix. I’m really not sure why Google doesn’t have DirectWrite enabled by default, but my suggestion is to go ahead and do it if you’re annoyed by jagged font rendering like I am. If you notice any performance issues or strange behavior, you can always switch it back.
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