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On Windows gVim:

enter image description here

On Ubuntu gVim (same on Vim):

enter image description here

Why is the padding across the two operating systems so different? Is this a changeable feature?

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Which way do you want it to look? It looks like in Ubuntu you are using font anti-aliasing while in Windows8 you are using ClearType mode instead... – Mxx Jan 27 '13 at 7:02
I'd follow that lead too: the individual characters (ea= and others)are not drawn the same. Usually that's the sign of font rendering problems. – romainl Jan 27 '13 at 8:19
is this link the way to go regarding font anti aliasing? Not an area im familiar with.… – 2c2c Jan 27 '13 at 9:53
up vote 0 down vote accepted

One difference between Windows and other systems is the default for the 'linespace' setting, which inserts one pixel line between characters on Windows. See :help 'linespace'.

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Besides the answer given by Ingo, note that starting from Patch 7.4.393 Vim on Windows let's you tweak the font rendering by setting the 'renderoptions'

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