Hardware accelerated fonts don’t work on all monitors, and may result in them looking blurry – particularly with smaller fonts. This font blur is something that’s very noticeable, but only in specific setups. These setups I’m referring to are Windows Vista and Windows 7 users with ClearType enabled.

The standard advice given concerning Firefox to cure a blurry font look is to disable browser hardware acceleration, however this is not necessary. You can still keep hardware acceleration enabled and get the older, crisper font look back by modifying a single setting.

  1. In the Fx browser, type about:config in the address bar and press Enter.
  2. If you see a "warranty void" notice (which is a joke by the way given the product’s free), click through that.
  3. In the Filter bar (just under the address bar), type gfx.font_rendering.cleartype_params.rendering_mode to load that setting.
  4. The default value for this setting is -1. Double-click that and change the setting to 2.

That’s it. No browser restart required. Most fonts will return to the way they’re supposed to look.

"Most fonts?"

Modifying this setting adjusts the majority of fonts seen in web pages back to the way they were, but not all. This is OK since the fonts changed will be for content you read most in the browser. Instances where you may still see "accelerated" fonts are on form buttons and other script-rendered content containing text.