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MacOS Mojave: The text in the editor is dimmed / hard to read. #17486

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timothymarois opened this Issue Jun 8, 2018 · 38 comments

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@timothymarois

timothymarois commented Jun 8, 2018

I know this OS was just released as a developer beta. So that is why I am reporting this so it can be properly dealt with as most of us are developers. This is going to make a lot of developers uneasy about installing this OS unless this is fixed.

Description

The code within Atom using MacOS Mojave is very dim, stylesheet and syntax theme, UI theme do not effect the dim of the editor text.

Steps to Reproduce

  1. Install Macos Mojave
  2. Open Atom

Expected behavior: Readable text

Actual behavior: Code within Atom is very hard to read within the editor.

Reproduces how often: 100%

Versions

1.27.2

Using the default "Light" theme

screen shot 2018-06-07 at 11 39 09 pm

Using Atom One Dark

screen shot 2018-06-07 at 11 40 32 pm

Note: The actual text appearing on screen is "dimmer" than what these snapshots look like

This does not look theme related . Almost as if the text itself is just "dim" / "opacity"

@thomasjo

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thomasjo commented Jun 8, 2018

Are you seeing similar rendering issues in Chrome on macOS Mojave on any specific websites?

@thomasjo

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thomasjo commented Jun 8, 2018

@atom/maintainers My hunch is that this might have something to do with GPU rendering; there's been some fairly significant changes to Metal in macOS Mojave. I haven't had time to install the beta yet, but I'm guessing this will affect all Electron apps, potentially even Chrome/Chromium.

/cc @atom/electron-maintainers

@daviwil

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daviwil commented Jun 8, 2018

@timothymarois Could you try 1.28.0-beta3 also? There was a change to Chromium that affects UI colors, I'm curious to see if you get different results.

@thomasjo's idea sounds pretty likely to be true, I'll talk to the Electron folks and see if they're aware of it.

@timothymarois

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timothymarois commented Jun 8, 2018

@thomasjo I haven't noticed any differences within Chrome itself, or specific websites. So far its only Atom which has the issue. I will check other Electron apps and see if the issue persist.

@daviwil I have just tried the Atom Beta and the issue still there.

@rsese rsese added the mac label Jun 8, 2018

@timothymarois

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timothymarois commented Jun 9, 2018

Yeah, so far it looks like its just Atom that is affected (from what I can see so far with Electron apps).

@simurai

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simurai commented Jun 11, 2018

@thomasjo My hunch is that this might have something to do with GPU rendering

Yeah, might be.

The text also looks really thin (for macOS) and based on the screenshot ☝️ above #17486 (comment), there is no sub-pixel antialiasing:

No sub-pixel antialiasing With sub-pixel antialiasing
image image
Only grey scale has red/orange and blue edges
@simurai

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simurai commented Jun 11, 2018

Just saw VS Code's issue about Mojave's font rendering: Microsoft/vscode#51132. The removal of sub-pixel antialiasing might be intentional, see this tweet.

My conclusion: Apple finally releasing a stand-alone monitor with retina screen. 😜

@mdeboer

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mdeboer commented Jun 18, 2018

Have you tried adding this to Atom's stylesheet?

atom-text-editor {
	-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased;
	// font-weight: 300; Optionally add this.
}

Should do the trick 👍

@vinkla

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vinkla commented Jun 19, 2018

This is also reported in Visual Studio Code: Microsoft/vscode#51132 and could be related issue.

@swiknaba

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swiknaba commented Jul 1, 2018

@mdeboer -webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased; doesn't do the trick for me (Atom 1.28.0 x64)

@mdeboer

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mdeboer commented Jul 2, 2018

Ah, no I see they removed subpixel antialiasing all together somehow. Increasing the font-weight in that case might help for now (try 400 or even higher, it depends on the font)

@vinkla

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vinkla commented Jul 17, 2018

It seems Apple released further updates to UI font smoothing in Mojave Beta 4. The fonts now look bolder and are easier to read.

@lee-dohm

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lee-dohm commented Jul 17, 2018

Thanks for the update @vinkla 😀

It sounds then like this has been fixed. Because of that, I'm going to close this issue. If anyone has any other concerns or questions. Please let us know and we can revisit 👍

@lee-dohm lee-dohm closed this Jul 17, 2018

@vinkla

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vinkla commented Jul 31, 2018

It seems Apple have reverted their changes in Mojave beta 5 and the fonts now look thinner again.

Also reported here: Microsoft/vscode#51132 (comment)

@phyllisstein

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phyllisstein commented Sep 19, 2018

Seems like this might be worth reopening. As of the latest Mojave dev beta (11 I think?) this is what Atom looks like compared to Sublime:

screenshot

The defaults command posted in the VSCode issue (defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2) doesn't do a whole lot of good either.

@joshtemple

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joshtemple commented Sep 24, 2018

Agreed. Atom's editor with default settings looks pretty rough on non-Retina monitors after the Mojave update. I've tried increasing the font-weight property and setting -webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased. These fixes help to some degree but don't restore the original clarity of the text, especially in panes or in the tree view.

@amercier

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amercier commented Sep 24, 2018

The problem still appears on MacOS Mojave public release (9/24) :( Please reopen.

@daviwil

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daviwil commented Sep 24, 2018

Hey folks, could you try running this command and then restart Atom:

defaults write -g CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled -bool NO

Hat tip to @alexanderyakusik in this comment for this possible fix!

@phyllisstein

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phyllisstein commented Sep 24, 2018

That seems to have done it! Thanks so much for forwarding the fix along!

Before

screenshot

After

screenshot 1

@Red3nzo

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Red3nzo commented Sep 24, 2018

@daviwil Your command worked for me thank you! I couldn't stand the super thin text, not even my custom font packages where working, now they are.

@StuCowley

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StuCowley commented Sep 25, 2018

@daviwil legend! That worked perfectly, I was beginning to start pulling my hair out over this and downgrade back to High Sierra

@texelate

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texelate commented Sep 25, 2018

I thought my eyes were going! @daviwil's fix worked for me too.

@shellbryson

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shellbryson commented Sep 25, 2018

The "fix" above looks like a global config change, rather than a fix for Atom? It doesn't resolve anything given the potential impact on other apps, surely?

@daviwil

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daviwil commented Sep 25, 2018

Yes, this is a global configuration change that effectively reverts a change that Apple made to font rendering which makes fonts look very thin on non-Retina displays. This change has affected other Electron-based apps like VS Code, so until there's a general solution for all Electron apps, this workaround will have to suffice.

I'd love to know if anyone has noticed any negative effects to the fonts in native macOS applications after running this command and rebooting their machine!

@joshhepworth

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joshhepworth commented Sep 25, 2018

For what it's worth, this also affects Atom/VS Code on my Retina display. The colors are dimmer/thinner there as well.

It appears certain Electron apps like Discord and Slack are not affected by this issue. It could be related to the specific fonts they are using.

@abdul-elah-js

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abdul-elah-js commented Sep 25, 2018

try increasing font-weight it worked for me .. just add

atom-text-editor {
      font-weight: bold;
     // the rest of your styles
}

in your style sheet

@joshuahiggins

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joshuahiggins commented Sep 25, 2018

For what it's worth, I'm finding this issue present on both retina and non-retina screens with Atom. I've tried a handful of other apps with the smoothing enabled and disabled and while I can see minor changes in some, Atom is drastically different.

Imgur

@agonzalezv

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agonzalezv commented Sep 25, 2018

If you don't want to mess with global config just install:

https://github.com/braver/fonts

And change as per your liking. I'm currently using office code pro light.

@lee-dohm

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lee-dohm commented Sep 26, 2018

I've created a FAQ for this on Discuss, the official Atom message board.

@patoi

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patoi commented Sep 28, 2018

Increasing font size could help.

@timothymarois

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timothymarois commented Oct 19, 2018

Does anyone know if this has been fixed? I restored back to MacOS High Sierra a while ago since I don't have time to deal with these changes. Apple has released the MacOs Mojave update. But I am very skeptical. Can anyone confirm its been resolved?

@mdeboer

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mdeboer commented Oct 19, 2018

I never had any trouble to begin with on retina screens. You can simply adjust your stylesheet and set the font-weight to your liking.

Also see: #17486 (comment)

Imho you can safely update to Mojave.

@lee-dohm

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lee-dohm commented Oct 19, 2018

@timothymarois Please see the FAQ

@cebor

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cebor commented Oct 20, 2018

When electron/electron#15007 gets backported, it should be fixed in electron.

@agustinbus

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agustinbus commented Oct 25, 2018

@daviwil thanks! Work perfectly!

@dalDevelo

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dalDevelo commented Nov 21, 2018

@cebor. As per my comment in electron/electron#15007, this doesn't look to be fixed in electron 4 yet either, unfortunately.

@cebor

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cebor commented Nov 21, 2018

@dalDevelo

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dalDevelo commented Nov 22, 2018

Apparently not 🤦🏻‍♂️

Oh well, at the very least, this has highlighted a big blackspot in my understanding of how GIT works. Back to reading for me 🙄

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