Just updated to macOS Mojave only to find out that there is a terrible font rendering issue for almost all the ElectronJS based apps like VSCode my code editor of choice.
After researching a little bit, messing around with system defaults, less to my surprise, I found out that Apple has disabled Subpixel antialiasing for text in macOS Mojave. It’s gone.
Little more research led to a fix, all you have to do is open up your Terminal application (COMMAND (⌘) + SPACE then search for Terminal) and run the following command.
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This will lead to the font smoothing to be enabled — especially for non-retina external monitors. You’ll thank me later. You need to sign out and sign back in or restart your Mac before you can see your changes after running this command. That’s pretty much all.
Some folks in the comments asked about how I stumbled upon this fix, so for the sake of technical know-how, I am updating this post with more details.
🎯 Apple’s macOS normally has a set of defaults that you can change programmatically. I have such an opinionated workflow for whenever I install my OS from scratch. That’s a story for another day.
🤖 I remember in the past, with High Sierra, I had to enable subpixel font rendering on non-Apple LCDs. That was the AppleFontSmoothing option which I set to true, or one could directly add -int 1 for that option.
🤔 I was unable to find that setting in macOS Mojave defaults. I kept looking in there. Especially in the Apple Global Domain settings, since that’s where the old setting was.
🙃 Aha! I found a new setting in there, it’s called CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled — it’s quite evident what this setting does. Disables the rendering of smooth fonts. It was set to 1 which means it was set to TRUE or YES.
So, all I had to do to try my luck was to disable this font smoothing disabler, i.e. enable to font smoothing on non-Apple/non-retina LEDs. For that I wrote this following command: