If you've installed Snow Leopard and your fonts are fuzzy, clap your hands
Posted on Fri, 28 Aug 2009
Users of third-party monitors who are performing a fresh install of Snow Leopard may notice a preference that's missing. Ever since Apple first implemented subpixel font antialiasing
in Jaguar, there's been an option to adjust the style of antialiasing used on your monitor. If OS X couldn't determine that your third-party monitor was a LCD monitor, you could still set the kind of antialiasing used manually.
That control has been removed in Snow Leopard. The only option now is labeled "Use LCD font smoothing when available", but the definition of "available" doesn't include the majority of LCDs on the market. Users who upgrade from a 10.5 install will keep their setting (as far as I can tell), but new users or fresh installs will revert back to the default grayscale-only antialiasing.
Fortunately there's a workaround. Just open up Terminal and run the following command:
defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2
If you used the "weak" setting on Leopard, replace the last number with 1; if you used the "strong" setting, that'd be a 3. Then log out and log in again for the setting to take effect. When you look at the Appearance preferences now, you'll see a checkbox in indeterminate state like this:
That's what it should look like; don't touch it!