The accessibility preferences for the default desktop environment include High Contrast, which doesn’t affect text, and Large Text, which makes it larger but no bolder.
I have an awful migraine today. I get migraines from similar faint text rendering in current versions of MacOS, and was hoping to avoid it, as well as some of Apple’s eye candy, by switching to Linux.
If you’re using GNOME desktop environment, you can install the “Gnome Tweaks” from the software center or
sudo dnf install gnome-tweaks This tool will provide further options to change the text size and font rendering.
I might be able to install something if and when I can get a wifi connection, but that’s a big if. I can’t sudo dnf anything until then.
I find that the text editor is even worse than the default desktop environment.
If I could use the bugzilla, I’d try to report the issue there.
Indeed with Gnome Tweaks, you can set any font for the interface, including bold fonts.
@yuntaz @ytrium did you check if your suggestion actually works?
I don’t think it’s possible in GNOME. GTK ignores the style if specified in the font-name, since the style should be set by the application.
E.g. the application wants to emphasise a button by making it bold. If the default font is already bold, then the intention of the emphasis is lost.
If GNOME Tweaks allows choosing a style for the default font then it’s a bug in GNOME Tweaks. It should not give the user a fake choice.
Increasing the relative weight of all text for accessibility reasons (like iOS) is different from setting the default font to bold. Unfortunately I don’t think any Linux desktop environment currently has such a feature.
Intel One Mono Fonts:
Identifying the typographically underserved low-vision developer audience, Frere-Jones Type designed the Intel One Mono typeface in partnership with the Intel Brand Team and VMLY&R, for maximum legibility to address developers’ fatigue and eyestrain and reduce coding errors. A panel of low-vision and legally blind developers provided feedback at each stage of design.
Currently you have to download an archive from Github and install manually, then configure apps to use it.
How does installing a monospace font (which is not what most people want for their UI) relate to making all text bold?
I apologize for the oversight - indeed, GTK apps ignore font styles unless there are no other styles available.
- Begin by installing “gnome tweaks”.
- Download a font that includes a bold style, such as the Intel One Mono font.
- Use the font manager to import only the ‘intelone-mono-font-family-bold’, skipping the entire font family. You can use this command in terminal:
sudo flatpak install flathub org.gnome.FontManager
- After that, head back to “gnome tweaks” and designate ‘IntelOne Mono Bold’ as the font for all text selections.
- Finally, log out and log back in to reload the desktop environment.
Upon testing, I can confirm that this process will render all text for GTK apps in bold style. It’s worth noting that non-GTK apps don’t respect this setting - you’ll need to individually apply the change for them.
Using bold can make some fonts more readable for someone with vision problems, but is not a substitute for using a font designed to improve readability. I hope we will see work on readability for other fonts.
I’ve been trying to get wifi working for a few days. P.S. Finally got it working!
I would get awful migraines from trying to read anything on the screen, and misread some things as a result, and mis-typed some commands in the Terminal.
I used Terminal preferences to get better contrast and a less-awful font there. But until I get wifi I can not install gnome-tweaks or do much about the desktop. I don’t know if gnome-tweaks will be enough.
I think Fedora should include readable text options in the default installation.
Tweaks is useful but doesn’t affect the top and bottom panels. I’m still struggling with migraines and not sure if something subtle, like grayscale antialiasing, is at work.
This is not an actionable suggestion.
We only recently changed to Noto fonts in F36. I don’t even like Noto, but it’s definitely readable for the vast majority of users—not just Fedora users, but all the users of millions of websites that use Noto fonts.
If you know of a specific font that can help in your case, then by all means suggest it.
There are a lot of fonts that claim to aid readability, but they’re often pseudo-science-y. There’s no evidence that the Intel One Mono font “address[es] developers’ fatigue and eyestrain and reduce[s] coding errors”. It’s also irrelevant because it’s a monospace font which will never be considered for a UI font, so I don’t know why it keeps getting mentioned.
Linux still has many gaps in accessibility, but generally the distro is not the best place to address them. Whatever features have to be implemented upstream, at GNOME, KDE, etc.
I got awful migraines while trying to set up Fedora. I think gnome tweaks helped, but I’m still struggling, and I’m taking a break of a couple days before returning to Fedora.
I think putting the accessibility menu in the top panel of the live usb and the default installation would help, and wouldn’t require upstream changes. That way users wouldn’t have to go through as much animation, as much scrolling, and presumably as many other accessibility challenges before addressing their accessibility needs.
I had to go through there about a dozen times before I could get things installed, repeating the accessibility setup each time.
I think including gnome tweaks in the default installation would help. If that’s doable, that would make it possible for users to switch the font smoothing and size, and make it easier for those users to read the settings app, other apps, and installer, even if it doesn’t affect the top and bottom panels and doesn’t have access to as many fonts yet.
As for websites, there are a lot of websites which:
Use zooming, side-scrolling, and/or marquee animation, for slideshows, or to show that there’s something important. These may be safe for most people, but can be migraine triggers for some.
Embed autoplaying animated gifs, pngs, etc. and/or autoplaying videos. These are migraine triggers, and can be seizure triggers for some.
Use animated sticky headers.
Use non-scrolling sidebars, like on readthedocs, or use non-scrolling elements hovering in front of or static behind scrolling content.
Override accessibility settings and convert page down to animated smooth scrolling.
Override accessibility settings, and implement blinking cursors on their own, like Google Docs.
Use dark mode, which may be readable for most people but can be unreadable with an astigmatism.
Use very small font sizes, or inadequate contrast, or drop shadow effects.
So I don’t think they’re a good gauge for accessibility.
This would benefit all GNOME users, so it should be changed upstream. Here’s the upstream issue.
Important settings like font size should be in GNOME as well (I don’t know if they already are), not an extra tool.
Not being able to easily configure the panels is also a GNOME problem. Not just for accessibility, but for any reason that you want to configure the panels. GNOME doesn’t want you to do it.
[stuff about websites]
Maybe you misunderstood my point about Noto, which was only to say that Noto is readable by any reasonable measure (this does not mean Noto is universally readable, by every person in every situation, on all hardware and software). Your suggestion that “Fedora should include readable text options in the default installation” implies that there is currently no readable option in Fedora, which is not useful feedback.
If you instead say “The current default fonts are not accessible for X reasons, and Y font addresses those”, then the relevant teams in Fedora can act on that information. I have yet to find such a font that backs up its claims with science.
I’m on your side regarding accessibility, but taking out all these complaints on Fedora will not get you anywhere. I’m actually not confident that GNOME can or will solve these problems, but if you’re going to try, then you have to try upstream.
I’m not trying to chase you away or pretend these aren’t problems in Fedora. You can and should continue talking about them here too, to raise awareness and get possible solutions.
Or, you could try KDE Plasma, which has a lot more options—too much IMO, but maybe some of those options will enable you to overcome some issues.
You can try to customize the font and font size of the top bar, panel, and GNOME search by following this article: How to Change the Font of the GNOME Top Bar."
If you use Mate Desktop, the port of gnome-tweaks is https://github.com/ubuntu-mate/mate-tweak. Ubuntu forked it from Mint, but it works on most distributions. I am using it on Fedora 37.
dnf install python3-distutils-extra python3-setproctitle
git clone https://github.com/ubuntu-mate/mate-tweak
sudo ./setup.py install