I was trying to make fonts on external non-retina display look good and I was playing with setting CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled as many advices on the internet said. But nothing helped me and I declined an idea of using an external display.

But now I wonder what this setting actually does? I was playing with CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled on my MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2018) with Catalina and without external display and it seems to me that this setting does not change how the fonts are rendered on built-in dislay. No noticeable difference.

Can somebody please explain what setting CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled is supposed to do? Maybe I use it wrong or not able to see the difference.

  • In short: Nothing. Apple have disabled the difference. – benwiggy Feb 22 at 22:07
  • @benwiggy for Catalina I suppose? – Daniil Popov Feb 23 at 18:46

CGFontRenderingFontSmoothingDisabled is used to enable/disable subpixel antialiasing. Apple disabled it automatically on macOS Mojave which may cause problems on some displays (especially non-LCD) but it improves the rendering on Retina screens.

Here is an example :


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  • Thank you for showing a visual difference. But what about Catalina? – Daniil Popov Feb 23 at 18:46

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