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Okay, so any user of Mac OS for Chrome using the default theme is probably familiar with this problem (I hope it's not just me). On the new tab page, the text captions for your Most Visited sites (as well as app names, if you're using them) don't render correctly. As far as I can tell, there's something wrong with the subpixel smoothing when using a transparent background.

If you hover over an app, the background fades in grey, and the text looks fine again. Mouse out and the background color transitions to rgba(255, 255, 255, 0), and the text is once again ugly.

If I open the web debugger and overwrite that rule with background-color: #fff the problem disappears. (.app a is the selector)

Of course, this wouldn't work if you had a background image or something, but I don't, and I want to know how to make this fix permanent. It's a minor annoyance, but it's been bugging me for a while now and I decided not to take it anymore.

According to the resource inspector it's using a file called newtab.css...does anyone know where that file lives (assuming it is, in fact, a file, and not some bundled resource masquerading as such)? A search of my disk turned up nothing, but that would've been too easy. Failing that, is there some other way to persistently overwrite this rule?

Chrome 10.0.648.204, Mac OS 10.6.7, for what it's worth. Not using the dev edition or anything weird. This problem has been around for a while though; it's not new to Chrome 10 or anything.

Proof that I'm not crazy: This is how it looks by default:


And this is how it looks with the workaround described above:


And just for good measure, this is how it looks in the hover state with the default CSS:

Also good

That's not bad compression...that's actually how bad the text looks. This occurs on both my iMac (early 2010) and my MacBook Air (early 2011), so I don't think it's a system issue. Unless I did the same dumb thing on both computers? It seems unlikely, but I won't discount it... I thought maybe I was syncing a theme that did this, but that is not the case. This is the default theme.

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I'm not seeing much of a difference at all with the same versions. vs Perhaps this is something unique to your mac? in which case you might be better off over on apple-SE. – cabbey Apr 6 '11 at 5:18
@cabbey - Thanks for taking a look. Happens on both my macs, so I hope they aren't both broken. I've updated with screenshots of what I'm seeing; maybe someone else can back one of us up. – Ian Henry Apr 6 '11 at 6:05
@cabbey Mac OS X related questions are allowed and welcome here. If this were about an iOS device, you'd be right, but Macs are just computers. We also welcome ubuntu questions, even though there's AskUbuntu. – Daniel Beck Apr 6 '11 at 6:07
@Daniel, I know they're allowed, that's why I didn't vote off-topic and suggest a move... just saying that if it does turn out to be something wrong with Ian's mac, there might be a better density of gurus over on apple-SE than here on SU to get him fixed up. – cabbey Apr 6 '11 at 6:12
@Ian, can you look in system preferences, on the appearance tab, what do you have set for "USE LCD font smoothing when available" and "turn off text smoothing for font sizes __ and smaller"? – cabbey Apr 6 '11 at 6:35

I'm afraid you'd have to rebuild Chrome from the source code to make that change. You're probably better off reporting the problem in the Chromium bug tracker so they can fix it in a future release.

If you do wish to rebuild it from the source code and fix your problem, you can do so rather easily. There are instructions in the Chromium wiki for downloading and building on Mac OS X. Once you have the source code, you can change the newtab.css file by modifying src/chrome/browser/resources/new_new_tab.css You might also have to modify the associated JavaScript code, in src/chrome/browser/resources/new_new_tab.js.

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