I use a higher DPI setting which makes IntelliJ (actually Android Studio) have really messed up fonts.

I use MacType which renders my fonts beautifully elsewhere, but I guess Java VM somehow intercepts it or something, it's killing me.


UPDATE: As rpgmaker says in his answer below, you can also just install the latest IntelliJ (2016.1 onwards)

11 Answers 11

up vote 107 down vote accepted

I’m on a high-dpi display and I got it working with a perfect font rendering, to achieve this you need to:

  • (On Linux) Install and use Oracle JDK (I’m using 1.7) and not OpenJDK (also the patched one with fontfix was useless for me). See how to do this.

  • Edit the .vmoptions configuration file that you find into the Bin installation folder (eg. studio.vmoptions and for 64bit studio64.vmoptions, or WebStorm.exe.vmoptions etc. according to the version of the IDE you installed) by adding these lines:
    -Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=on
    -Dswing.aatext=true
    -Dsun.java2d.xrender=true

  • Remove hinting informations from the font that you would like to use and select the new font into IntelliJ IDEA preferences (Setting -> Editor -> Font);
    if you don’t know how to do this, install FontForge then:

    1. Open your font in FontForge
    2. Select all glyphs via Ctrl+A and clear all hints (Hints -> Clear Hints)
    3. Select glyphs again and use Hints -> Clear Instruction
    4. Save the font with different name ( File -> Generate Fonts)
    5. Install the new font, select it in IDEA

If you followed the above tips and you’re experiencing lags when fast scrolling the code (this sometimes could happen on Linux distributions with a not optimized gpu driver), try removing the line
-Dsun.java2d.xrender=true
from the .vmoptions file.

Finally, here is a screenshot of the result:

IDE screenshot


(fonts used here are LucidaMAC for the main IDE and Ubuntu Mono with removed hinting informations for the code editor)

  • 4
    Awesome! Works in Windows as well :)) thank you :* – Bloke Jul 25 '13 at 10:06
  • 1
    I have tried the above on my windows machine with hi dpi (3200x1800) I have adjusted the studio.vmoptions as mentioned yet everything is still blurry. Please advise if possible I'd really like to get this working? – Pace Jan 7 '14 at 12:06
  • 10
    @Pace To remove blurry fonts you need to disable display scaling for that application (right click on its icon, select Properties, go to Compatibility tab and check Disable DPI scaling on high DPI settings, for x64 apps in Win8- you should edit the flag of the related registry key: open Regedit.exe, go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\AppCompatFlags\Layers and add a string value REG_SZ whose name is the full path to the application executable and whose value is HIGHDPIAWARE) ;) – guari Jan 7 '14 at 14:22
  • 3
    cant clear hints and instructions on fonts in font forge... There are errors when i try to save them after that... What am i doing wrong – Mario Zderic Sep 12 '14 at 10:05
  • 2
    Wow. Still helpful a year later. JetBrains needs to make this the default or at least perform some auto detection. The blurriness without these settings makes IntelliJ look awful and unusable. – Andrew T Finnell Sep 19 '14 at 13:18

I wrote a little manual howto fix this.

   wget http://urshulyak.com/jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08.tar.gz
   tar -zxvf jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08.tar.gz
   sudo mv jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08 /usr/lib/jvm
   rm jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08.tar.gz

Script to start Intellij Idea

*only note that need to change IDEA_HOME location for your path of idea

#!/bin/sh

IDEA_HOME=/opt/idea
export JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08/
export _JAVA_OPTIONS="-Dawt.useSystemAAFontSettings=lcd \
                      -Dsun.java2d.xrender=true"
export GNOME_DESKTOP_SESSION_ID=this-is-deprecated
exec $IDEA_HOME/bin/idea.sh "$@"

More info and screenshots of better fonts: http://urshulyak.com/?p=478

  • Adding -Dsun.java2d.xrender=true to bin/webstorm64.vmoptions in WebStorm's directory was enough for me. – Alicia Dec 21 '14 at 23:20
  • 1
    the download link is broken. Please fix – jackode Jan 3 '15 at 15:27
  • This answer assumes 64bit architecture , which may not be the case – Anwar Mar 26 '16 at 11:41

I got a similar look just by downloading the Menlo font and setting the Editor Anti-aliasing to 'grayscale' within Appearance & behaviour > Appearance

This is the result:

This is how it looks

Here is a comparison between the two platforms

enter image description here

I am using a higher resolution and better hardware at work with the MAC, that is why the fonts look a bit brighter, the result will vary depending on your machine. Anyways it's worth a shot, the changes are easy to revert

  • Worked partially for me! Fonts are not as crisp as generic Mac UI but sharp enough to be workable. I'm on 13" Mac Pro, OS X 10.11.4 – Mayank Jain Apr 14 '16 at 10:43
  • why are you doing this on OSX?, you should get the right fonts out of the box :) – FRR May 9 '16 at 7:46

On newer JetBrains IDE's solution is different.

In IDE installation folder just rename jre folder to something else. For example:

  1. $ cd your-path-to/WebStorm-162.2228.20/
  2. $ mv jre/ _jre/

Newer versions use bundled JRE instead of your system one and this bundled version causes font rendering issues.

Works fine here: WebStorm 2016.3.2 on Kubuntu 16.04 linux.

WebStorm screenshot with fixed font

  • This is buried at the bottom, but THIS is the real culprit. Everyone above is focused on the Editor fonts, but I already had good editor fonts. My problem was the various callouts, tooltips, and modal dialogues all showed terrible font render with no antialiasing. I tried everything above and none of it resolved the issue, but hiding the packaged jre did the trick. – Dan Dec 26 '16 at 6:42

None of this ugly stuff is needed anymore. Download the latest IntelliJ (2016.1 onwards) for Linux. It includes a modified JRE with the fonts issue fixed. To fix Android Studio too make a symbolic link to the IntelliJ jre:

ln -s /PATH/TO/INTELLIJ/jre /PATH/TO/ANDROIDSTUDIO/jre

Alternatively, just open your file manager as root (assuming your IDEs are installed in the /opt directory or another system folder) and create a shortcut to IntelliJ's jre and move it to Android Studio installation folder, then rename it to 'jre'. This works for the latest android studio 2.0 but it should work with earlier versions too.

  • Which version do you mean? When I go to Help > About, I see Intellij IDEA 15.0.2 and Build #IU-143.1184 – Bloke Apr 18 '16 at 6:47
  • @Bloke just go to the site and download the latest IntelliJ. It's 2016.1.1 right now I think. They changed the way they advertise the new versions now and it has that YEAR.REVISION.UPDATE# format now. – Aspiring Dev Apr 18 '16 at 18:38
  • Oh, indeed. I have just tried it. My Source Code Pro font now looks a bit too bold, though, but that's a minor issue. Thanks! – Bloke Apr 25 '16 at 14:49
  • Using the JRE packaged with IntelliJ made all the difference for me. I had initially downloaded IntelliJ without the JRE and used my local Oracle JDK (1.7) which resulted in bad fonts. HTH. – sengs Jul 27 '17 at 17:02

If you can't clear hints with FontForge like guari explained in his answer. Use Cousine (Apache License v2.00) as editor font and set the size to 14. I tried a couple of other monospaced fonts. However, Cousine seems to have a nicer rendering than the most other fonts. See the screenshot at the end

  1. Download the font: cd ~/Downloads/ && wget www.fontsquirrel.com/fonts/download/cousine
  2. Create a new font family dir: sudo mkdir /usr/share/fonts/truetype/Cousine
  3. Extract the font files: sudo unzip cousine -d /usr/share/fonts/truetype/Cousine/
  4. Make them available for IntelliJ: sudo chmod -R 777 /usr/share/fonts/truetype/Cousine
  5. Update the font cache: sudo fc-cache -f -v
  6. Restart IntelliJ and choose Cousin as editor font
  7. Don't forget to set the vmoptions like guari explained

Screenshot:

  • Your screenshot doesn't look like it's using anti-aliasing. – Ztyx Jun 15 '17 at 15:34
  • Replaced the screenshot by a smaller one to prevent down scaling. Now you can see that anti-aliasing is used – user1185087 Jun 27 '17 at 13:33

In Windows 10, I had similar issues. Checking the Disable display scaling on high DPI settings made the fonts smoother but much bigger. Here's how to do this (from a previous comment from another user):

Right click on its icon, select Properties, go to Compatibility tab and check Disable DPI scaling on high DPI settings

Going into Windows Settings and searching for Display Settings, there's a dialog with a slider that says Change the size of text, apps, and other items. I moved it from 125% to 100% and had to logoff and log back in. The fonts are small AND smooth now:

enter image description here

Even more, if I uncheck Disable display scaling on high DPI settings, it appears to still be smooth.

  • This was the only solution that worked for me! Thx! – DrKaoliN Dec 21 '17 at 11:35

The accepted answer didn't work for me but I got everything working by doing this:

After reading various tutorials and messing with a bunch of fixes I've found a way that works perfectly.

First of all download JDK 8 from Oracle and execute the following lines in the terminal:

cd Downloads
tar -xvf jdk-8u25-linux-x64.tar.gz
rm jdk-8u25-linux-x64.tar.gz
sudo mkdir -p /usr/lib/jvm/
sudo mv jdk1.8.0_25 /usr/lib/jvm/

Now download the JDK font fix (Courtesy of [Urshulyak Yaroslav][2]) by executing the following:

cd ~/Downloads
wget http://urshulyak.com/jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08.tar.gz
tar -xvf jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08.tar.gz
sudo mv jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08 /usr/lib/jvm
rm jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08.tar.gz

This will extract the downloaded zip and move it to /usr/lib/jvm/. Now run the following in the terminal:

cd ~
sudo gedit .bashrc

Then add the following lines to the very bottom of the bashrc file.

JAVA_HOME=/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.8.0_25/
export JAVA_HOME

Save it then gedit the idea.sh. (Your script location may be different)

gedit /home/USER/Downloads/idea/bin/idea.sh

At the very bottom of the script replace the line(s) in the While Do statement at the bottom with these two lines:

eval "/usr/lib/jvm/jdk-8u5-tuxjdk-b08/bin/java" $ALL_JVM_ARGS -Djb.restart.code=88 $MAIN_CLASS_NAME "$@"
test $? -ne 88 && break

Save it then open up IntelliJ, the fonts should work and you will be using Oracle JDK 8 for development. You will likely have to edit Project Settings and set up your JDK again but be sure to use the actual JDK and not the font fix one.

This fix also works with CLion, Android Studio and [PyCharm.

These instructions assume the JDK version was 1.8.0_25, file/path names will change for future versions.

  • Would you have an idea how to get this working with PhpStorm? The bottom of the file looks like this: LD_LIBRARY_PATH="$IDE_BIN_HOME:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH" "$JDK/bin/java" \ $AGENT \ "-Xbootclasspath/a:$IDE_HOME/lib/boot.jar" \ -classpath "$CLASSPATH" \ $VM_OPTIONS "-Djb.vmOptionsFile=$VM_OPTIONS_FILES_USED" \ "-XX:ErrorFile=$HOME/java_error_in_WEBIDE_%p.log" \ -Djb.restart.code=88 -Didea.paths.selector=WebIde90 \ $IDE_PROPERTIES_PROPERTY \ $IDE_JVM_ARGS \ $REQUIRED_JVM_ARGS \ $MAIN_CLASS_NAME \ "$@" EC=$? test $EC -ne 88 && exit $EC #test $? -ne 88 && break exec "$0" "$@" – MichaelHindley Sep 17 '15 at 21:08

You can install Oracle JDK-8. Tested on ubuntu 14.04, should work for later also.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:webupd8team/java
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install oracle-java8-installer

Check the version:

$ java -version
java version "1.8.0_101"
Java(TM) SE Runtime Environment (build 1.8.0_101-b13)
Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM (build 25.101-b13, mixed mode)

Took from here.

This is how it looks like with horrible font rendering on ubuntu 16.04:

This is how it looks like with horrible font rendering on ubuntu 16.04

If you are using the IntelliJ IDEA 2016.X or later without bundled JDK, you can set an environment variable "IDEA_JDK" to specify a specific runtime. Font rendering in ubuntu 16.04 with Android studio is perfect, so you can share the same JRE with Intellij IDEA. IntelliJ looks for IDEA_JDK environment variable first, so set it by adding a file:

/etc/profile.d/IDEA_SDK.sh

Add this to the file:

export IDEA_JDK=/opt/android-studio/jre

Adjust /opt/android-studio/jre as per your installation. Logout and login back and fire your Intellij IDE

This is what it looks like after using the new JRE:

This is what it looks like after using the new JRE

I realized that the anti-aliasing of phpstorm works quite well using the default configuration.The comparison of the two commands shows that the only difference is phpstorm using its own java (/usr/share/phpstorm/jre64/bin/java).

I modified the startup script of idea to make it using phpstorm's java and it worked and everything is as good as phpstorm do. screen shot

  • What changes? Do you need to install phpstorm for it? – Journeyman Geek Oct 31 '17 at 6:10

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.