Fix Blurry Fonts Thunderbird 5.0

Like Firefox 5.0, Thunderbird 5.0 takes advantage of video hardware acceleration to improve performance. Unfortunately, like in Firefox 5.0, this can lead to blurry fonts. A quick change of a couple values in about:config should clear this issue up for most users:

  1. In Thunderbird go Tools > Options…
  2. Click Advanced Tab
  3. Click the Config Editor… button at the lower right
  4. If needed, click the I’ll Be Careful, I Promise! button
  5. Filter for each of the below values and double click to change the setting from false to true

    • gfx.direct2d.disabled
    • layers.acceleration.disabled

11 Comments on Fix Blurry Fonts Thunderbird 5.0

  1. Thanks! That did the trick. You could also mention in the post where a user can change the Calibri typeface to something more “orthodox”.

  2. For AMD Radeon card users there’s an option to be unchecked in the card’s “Catalyst Control Center”, select the “Gaming” tab and then its only sub-menu: “3D Application Settings”.
    At the top of the page, in the Anti-Aliasing box, the Morphological Filtering option should be unchecked.


    This solved it for me; the problem was showing in both Thunderbird and The Sims 3.

  3. Alexandre | July 30, 2011 at 6:54 AM |

    Thanks, dude! Excellent post! You are the man!

  4. Thanks a lot, it worked.

  5. Still works on Thunderbird 7 and Windows 7 Home Premium.

  6. Thankis dude this was really irritating me. Oddly it didn’t occur for me until I installed a new ATI card.

  7. From what I noticed, I only needed to do gfx.direct2d.disabled=true and that’s it. However, at least in one place there is still ugly blurry font fringing: when text is reversed on the attachment pane (mouseOver attachment -> blue bg color and fringing white font).

  8. Thanks man, that solved font aliasing problems!

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