Has font rendering changed?

  • I haven’t had notifications of Vivaldi updates since 2.05 (on two computers), and did a manual update yesterday on one. I noticed that the type renders differently—and not as well. Has something changed, or is there a flag I can switch to get things back to where they were?

    I tried Opera GX and it still renders type the way Vivaldi did at 2.05.

    Here is how type looks in 2.10:

    Vivaldi 2.10 type

    Sort of looks like old-fashioned pre-ClearType Windows.

    Here is how type looks in Opera GX, which is pretty much what I saw in 2.05:

    Opera GX type

    I can get a screen shot from my laptop (still on 2.05) if you want a direct comparison (though it is on a different graphics card).

    Any clues would be welcome, especially as I’ve been a loyal Vivaldi user since September 2017 and have become very accustomed to it. Thank you in advance.

    PS.: If the above images are not visible, they both can be found at http://jackyan.com/blog/2020/01/switching-to-opera-gx-from-vivaldi-i-needed-the-better-type-rendering/

  • Moderator

    @jackyan I haven't noticed any changes in fonts, but Chromium has blacklisted more graphics cards and that could change something.

    I could swear that I also read a while back that Chromium killed support for Windows ClearType or something.

    I just looked it up. There was a change with Chromium 69. I guess they started using ClearType or something.

  • @Ayespy Thank you, Ayespy. I wonder why the change only happened between v. 2.05 and 2.10 of Vivaldi since Chromium 69 has been around for a while.

    It could also be that blacklisting you mentioned. The above screen shots were from a PC with a Radeon card; I’ll see how it goes with Nvidia on my laptop later tonight. Both machines are around a year old.

  • Moderator

    @jackyan Pöease check if you have some special settings for FXAA (Antialiasing) in your card driver.

  • @Gwen-Dragon Hi again, Gwen-Dragon. I’ve just checked on both machines, no antialiasing setting as far as I can see.

    I’ve now done the 2.10 update on both, with the same result, even though the desktop is Radeon and the laptop is Nvidia GeForce.

    To compare apples with apples, here are the screen shots from Vivaldi 2.5 and 2.10 on the laptop (now that I’ve figured out how to import images into the forum again).

    Text on 2.5:

    2020-01-11 09.02.02 lucire.com 174a19a0062a.png

    Text on 2.10:

    2020-01-11 09.03.59 lucire.com b9bafc494bdb.png

  • Moderator

    @jackyan That are the images, but where is the original text? I like to test it with my PC.

  • @Gwen-Dragon http://lucire.com/insider/20200108/british-fashion-council-and-alexander-james-open-group-show-in-soho-celebrating-talent/

    It looks fine on my system, using Nvidia as well (GTX970).


    What happens if you zoom in, do the text become even uglier?

    Font-family is set to: Bembo, "Garamond 12", Garamond
    Rendered as Borgia Pro—Network resource(1078 glyphs)

  • Moderator

    @jackyan I remembered some issue with GPUs last years, for users (may depend on graphics hardware, OS zoom, Vivaldi zoom) disabling Use of Hardware Acceleration could help to get font display better.
    See in Vivaldi Settings → Webapages.
    Try it, may help.

  • @Gwen-Dragon Thank you for your suggestions. Unfortunately, changing hardware acceleration made no difference. How did it look on your system?

  • @Pathduck That looks pretty good, Pathduck. I wonder if it looked different on an earlier version.

  • @jackyan I have no idea if it's changed. But try right-clicking the paragraph of text, Inspect Element, then find the Computed tab in Devtools and looks at the values for Font-family and Rendered Font.

    Maybe it's a font issue. It looks like the same font but I'm no expert there...

  • @Pathduck Sorry, I didn’t see your last question. It still looks unnatural zoomed in compared to how it would have looked on an earlier version. It’s OK, just not as good as I know it could be. Here’s Vivaldi 2.10 at 125 per cent.

    2020-01-12 09.19.00 lucire.com 8cdbe73ad9ff.png

    Opera GX LVL1 (core: 64.0.3417.150), which displays similarly to the old Vivaldi, shows the text as:

    Opera Snapshot_2020-01-12_091938_lucire.com.png

    Other pages are similar: nothing looks as good as it once did.

    One reason I embraced Vivaldi was that it handled type better than Firefox (which is what I defected from) but right now Firefox’s once-inferior rasterizing of type is better.

  • @Pathduck It’s definitely the same font (on that part I am an expert, just not particularly expert on browser tech!). I’m beginning to understand a bit more about this Chromium core business—I might re-download 2.5 to see what the core number is there. If it was under 69 then @Ayespy has hit it on the head.

  • @jackyan Vivaldi 2.5 was Chromium 74:

    You'd probably need to go back to 2.0 or earlier for 69.

    Did you use the inspector to look at what font is rendering on your system?

  • Moderator

    @jackyan If you use zoom in Vivaldi or OS, the font rendering sometimes has less quality than in Mozilla browser.

  • @Pathduck Thank you. I guess we can rule out the changes in 69 in that case, as things were OK with 74 here.

    Borgia Pro is being rendered, same as on your system (it’s a linked font coming from the web page).

  • @jackyan said in Has font rendering changed?:

    @Pathduck Thank you. I guess we can rule out the changes in 69 in that case, as things were OK with 74 here.

    Borgia Pro is being rendered, same as on your system (it’s a linked font coming from the web page).

    You're assuming s/he hasn't prevented the loading of remote fonts, or replaced them with fonts of his/her choosing. I do both of these things quite frequently.

  • @bonetone I designed the site.

  • @jackyan said in Has font rendering changed?:

    @bonetone I designed the site.

    That doesn't mean you control what fonts display on people's computers. You can use various techniques to tell them which fonts you prefer your site to use. But in the end, the user not the designer is in control of what is displayed in their browser.

    For example, here's what your site looks like in Noto Sans, Source Code Pro, and Spectral.

    Noto Sans:


    Source Code Pro:




    By default, I would not see your site in a remote font, because I have never visited it before it would not load any remote fonts. I have to explicitly allow that.

  • I realized this, @bonetone, but this doesn’t get me any nearer why Vivaldi’s font rendering has changed.

    I am merely answering your point about my assumptions. So no, I haven’t prevented the loading of remote fonts, or replaced them with fonts of my choosing.

    And even if I had, the displays on 2.5 and 2.10 will still differ (at least for me)—I can go to many other sites or force a default and the original post’s issue will still stand.

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