I've just installed iTerm 3.2.0. I'm using default settings and noticed that fonts look slightly different, compared to Terminal.app. A bit thinner, and glyph heights (or maybe distances between lines) are smaller. In fullscreen mode, Terminal.app fits 59 lines on the screen, while iTerm fits 65. Why is that?

I'm running macOS Mojave, with Use font smoothing when available on. Also checked that in iTerm's Preferences, under Profiles->Text, Use thin strokes is set to Never.

update: Ventura 13.6

Terminal settings:

terminal settings

terminal font settings

iTerm2 (Build 3.4.20) settings:

enter image description here

Yet Terminal looks great


iTerm2 looks kind of meh

enter image description here

Compare the "i" in "Login". In Terminal it's clear and strong. In iTerm2 it's thin and janky

In both settings above, anti-alias is off. Turning on in both iTerm2 gets slightly less janky but it's still much less strong than Terminal

Terminal (anti-aliased):

terminal anti-aliased

iTerm2 (anti-aliased):

iterm2 anti-aliases

What settings will get iTerm2 to look the same as Terminal?

  • 1
    Did you check the line spacing and character spacing under the font selection button?
    – Natsfan
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 20:09
  • 1
    Sure that you have the same font at the same size selected? Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 20:11
  • @jmh - just checked, both horizontal and vertical are set to 100%
    – vitvly
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 20:21
  • @LangLangC - yes, it's default Menlo Regular 11pt
    – vitvly
    Commented Sep 25, 2018 at 20:21
  • I have the same problem and still can't figure it out!
    – user509654
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 14:06

1 Answer 1


Under the iTerm2 setting for Text Rendering, there are options for "Use thin strokes for anti-aliased text". On my machine, if I change from "On Retina Displays" to "Never", the terminal's text fattens up a bit, and looks pretty much the same as in Terminal.app.

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