Font rendering issues with Brave on Windows

Hello everyone,

recently I came across Brave and gave it a try due to its impressive privacy features. However, I have a pretty annoying issue: On Linux and even Android, everything works perfectly. But on Windows, there are quite a lot of websites including big players like Facebook and ebay where Brave renders the fonts pretty ugly, glyphs are non-antialiased and letters are kind of smearing into each other. I tried to fix this issue but nothing helped. I found some resources stating that similar issues can be fixed using the accelerated 2D canvas option (under brave://flags), Brave’s font settings and hardware acceleration or Windows font and/or DPI settings. I tried each possible option of these but still, nothing worked at all, fonts remain ugly.

Furthermore, I observed this issue on two different computers, one running Windows 10 and one running Windows 8. On both, Firefox renders the sites perfectly, i.e. it is unlikely that Windows itself messes up the fonts, and on one of them, Brave on Linux also renders them perfectly. Similarly, also Chrome renders the fonts correctly, i.e. it is also possible for Chromium-based browsers on Windows.

Here, I finally do not know how to fix this issue - any hints?

Thanks in advance!

Personally, I’ve always found Chromium-based browsers to do a poor job of rendering fonts on Windows machines.

I also read this statement somewhere, but is it really true at all? At least Google Chrome renders the fonts correctly, I would say equally well as Firefox does. So why should other Chromium-based browsers should not do equally well here on Windows? :thinking:

I haven’t used Chrome in a while, but when I did, I noticed the same rendering in it as I do in Vivaldi and Brave. All I know is that it uses different software to render than Firefox and Thunderbird, and that it looks fuzzier to me. I don’t know the technical specifics, only that it looks different than Mozilla products.

@Gibtnix,
Can you share a screenshot of how the font appears on your end?

Sure, I’ve attached a screenshot from the header on ebay.com. First row is from Brave on Windows showing the font issues, for instance the coarse ‘C’ in ‘Contact’ which looks like missing anti-aliasing to me, or the smearing between ‘r’ and ‘e’ at ‘register’ which almost looks a bit like integer instead of floating-point glyph positioning. Especially with larger and more text (for instance text boxes on ebay) this looks pretty ugly. The second row is from Firefox on Windows and the third row Brave on Linux, both looking fine.

edit: image removed since the one from my other posting better shows the issue

BraveWinLinux
Additionally prepared a better example: Top part is some dummy text from Brave on Windows, bottom part is the same text but from Brave on Linux. I think the difference is pretty well visible here…

@Gibtnix,
If you’ve tried Hardware Acceleration and it didn’t work I’m not entirely sure. Do you have any extensions installed at this time?

First, thanks for your response.
Sure, hardware acceleration is enabled, at least the option “enable hardware acceleration if available” is set - don’t know how to find out if it is actually running. Also tried all kinds of additional options (Brave://flags and system font/DPI settings), nothing helped.
I do not use any extensions besides uBlock Origin. But of course, I also tested if enabling or disabling it influences the font rendering - which it clearly does not.

Also would like to emphasize again that the issue does not appear on all sites. For example on this one here, all fonts are rendered correctly. Still, the issue is also present on sites like ebay or Facebook, therefore I guess it is a configuration issue somewhere… might it be worth trying then to report an issue at GitHub to the Brave developers?

@Gibtnix

:point_up: I was actually wondering if disabling HWA resolves the issue or not?

No, it does not. Enabling or disabling it does not change anything here. The same holds for any other font or DPI relation option :thinking:

1 Like

@Gibtnix,
Hmm – certainly strange behavior – let me reach out to some team members and see if anyone has seen this type of behavior before.

Appreciate your patience.

Sure, no problem for me if this takes some time. As long as I know that this issue is reported to someone how might know how to fix it, everything’s fine on my side :sunglasses:

Actually, today I noticed that this issue even appears in the Chrome Web Store, in particular the “search the chrome web store” field; text written in Windows looks pretty ugly while on Linux it’s perfectly smooth :thinking:

Hey guys,

coming back to this issue as I recently noticed something that might explain the reason for this issue. In particular, I noticed the following things:

  • The font rendering issues seem to appear if there are multiple screens connected to the computer (e.g. notebook screen and external monitor) such that Windows uses different scalings for the screens. If the scaling is fixed to for instance 100% for all screens, fonts seem look fine. I didn’t perform an exhaustive test session here, but at least this is my impression after checking some pages.

  • Desktop scaling itself seems not to cause the issue: Running a single screen with 125% scaling seems to be fine, too. Still, no exhaustive testing performed, but so far it looks ok.

  • As far as I know, Linux does not support scaling per screen. I’m on KDE, here I can only scale all screens simultaneously, as far as I know the same holds for Gnome 3 (e.g. ubuntu). However, would be interesting to check the issue on a Linux distribution with different scalings per screen (assuming that there is a distribution that supports per-screen scalings).

  • I found no option to fix the screen scaling for a specific application (i.e. Brave) to for example 100%. According to my tests, all kinds of Windows high-DPI options do not resolve this issue if there are screens with different scalings connected.

  • Most importantly: The issue only appears on one screen. Connecting two screens with 100% and 125% scaling, respectively, and running Brave will show the issue only on the 100% scaling screen while the 125% one looks fine.

  • At least on Firefox the issue is not present, but maybe all Chromium-based browsers might show this problem, at least the ones I tested (Chromium and Edge Chromium).

Maybe these information might help to resolve the problem? :sunglasses:

I have to correct my previous comment after more exhaustive testing. In fact, on screens with 125% scaling on Windows the issue is not present, however there seems to be no possibility to get the smooth screen rendering on any screen that does not use 125% scaling. Here it does not matter whether or not there are other screens with arbitrary other scalings - even a single screen at 100% scaling shows this issue. :thinking:

Hi, I have the same problem with fonts rendering on Windows 10. My eyes are bleeding from this, I am a digital designer, those blured fonts in browser window are awful.

In my case this problem is definitely caused by screen element scaling on Windows - I’ve picked 125%, because 100% on my fHD is not comfortable for me.

After changing back to 100% fonts in Brave are as sharp as they should be.

Brave Team, is there any way to fix this or maybe change some options in Brave? I really love this browser and I don’t want to be forced to change Brave<3

Another update from my side: I found a website that rather well shows this issue, thus I wanted to add the link to this topic: Link!

As already mentioned before, it is important to run Brave on a screen with 100% screen scaling to reproduce the issue here. On a screen with 125% scaling it looks alright and sharp (as it should do always). I hope that these information are useful to fix the issue… :thinking: