Monday, June 20, 2016

Disabling Xcode 8 Font Smoothing

Since Mac OS X 10.9, Xcode hasn’t followed the normal system preferences for controlling font smoothing. Lately, I’ve been using a plug-in to work around this. Xcode 8 has a new editor extensions feature but won’t load old-style plug-ins. Fortunately, Xcode 8 has changed so that it now respects the standard screen fonts preference, without having to use a plug-in:

defaults write NSFontDefaultScreenFontSubstitutionEnabled -bool YES

Note that whereas before, the preferences window would obey the setting but the text editor wouldn’t, now it’s the reverse. You can’t see the actual fonts as you’re choosing them, but they do work when you’re editing code. Unlike in other apps, the font smoothing in the editor seems to be either completely off or completely on. It does not respect the AppleSmoothFixedFontsSizeThreshold setting to only disable smoothing for smaller sizes.

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