How to improve font rendering on non-retinal screens with Mojave macros

If you’re using a Mac with a non-retinal screen (like me, working on my desktop with a late 2012 iMac), you may have noticed a change in the way you view system fonts after upgrading to Mojave macros. It’s not you: they’re a little harder to read now, as Mojave macOS disables the anti-aliasing in the subpixels.

Let’s go by parts: in antialiasing is responsible for smoothing out the system fonts, to avoid using only single color pixels for those fonts. We have been using it for many years now on all platforms, adding those mid-tone pixels that “smoothes” the font before our eyes .

How to improve font rendering on non-retinal screens with Mojave macros
How to improve font rendering on non-retinal screens with Mojave macros

In AppleWith this trick you will enable the Mojave macOS dark mode only in the interface and not in the apps

Those mid-tone pixels are called sub-pixels, and Mojave macOS has disabled the anti-aliasing on them. The change on retinal screens is not a problem (some users tell me that the font looks more defined), but on older screens without retinal resolutions it makes everything a bit harder to read .

Fortunately there is a way to improve this, for all those who have not liked the change. Open a terminal and type the following command:

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 1

What we are doing here is modifying the value of the AppleFontSmoothing variable to 1, thus increasing the antialiasing. The default value that applies Mojave macros is 0. After typing this command press ENTER, log your user out and log back in . When you log in again you will see that the fonts are slightly more readable.

If you still think it’s not enough you can change that 1 at the end of the command to a 2 or 3 to apply more antialiasing to the source, 3 is the maximum value. That is, repeating the command in the terminal like this depending on what you want:

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 3

You will notice the change especially when looking at web pages and small print. Here is a proof of it with the terminal itself, first with the antialiasing at 0 and then changed to the value 2:

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If on the other hand you want to go back to how Mojave macOS renders fonts by default, you can type the same command by setting the value 0:

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 0

But remember: you always have to log out and re-login to your macOS user account for the changes to take effect.

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