On my Retina MacBook Pro, the Python IDLE development environment has blurry, non-retina text.

Is there a way I can make the text retina?


Screenshot of IDLE

  • Which app is actually experiencing poor resolution? Is there an actual application called "Python"?
    – Dan J
    Oct 15, 2012 at 22:29
  • Yes .......... python.org
    – Render
    Oct 15, 2012 at 22:57
  • What @DanJ is asking is that in the terminal, where python is often run, everything should look fine, because the Terminal app is responsible for rendering text, and is retina compatible. Using python, ruby, perl, anything from the terminal should not make a difference. Are you talking about a Python IDE, or third party terminal app? How about a screenshot demonstrating your problem? Oct 15, 2012 at 22:58
  • Python IDLE. Terminal does not print characters in colors unfortunately, otherwise I would use it rather than IDLE. Ill post a pic in a bit
    – Render
    Oct 15, 2012 at 22:59
  • What do you mean, Terminal doesn't print color characters? Are you saying you want syntax highlighting? Or colored output?
    – segiddins
    Oct 16, 2012 at 0:28

3 Answers 3


At the moment this isn't likely to be fixable, unless you're fairly comfortable with OS X development and want to rewrite parts of the underlying GUI library.

According to this bug report on Python.org, it's an issue with the TkInter GUI library, which IDLE apparently makes use of. TkInter in turn is based on Tk, which is a cross-platform GUI toolkit, which means it almost certainly doesn't use the standard OS X text renderer, which is the only way to get "free" Retina text.

As an alternative, perhaps look at ways to make the default python shell or IPython running in Terminal more useful to you?


I'd say segiddins has it almost right, with a couple of slight adjustments that made that solution work perfectly for me:

  1. Copy IDLE.app to the desktop.
  2. Right-click the copied IDLE.app and select Show Package Contents.
  3. Open Contents/info.plist.
  4. Add the following two lines...



    ...to the end of the plist file, but before the last two lines (</dict> </plist>).

  5. Save the plist.
  6. Replace the original IDLE.app with IDLE.app you just modified.
  1. Do Show Package Contents on the .app bundle.
  2. Open Contents/info.plist
  3. Add



    To the end of the plist file, but before the last two lines (</dict></plist>)

  4. Save the plist and launch the app!
  • That did not work :(
    – Render
    Oct 16, 2012 at 0:24
  • I guess it doesn't use a native text rendered then.
    – segiddins
    Oct 16, 2012 at 0:27
  • If I clicked on get-info, the option to open in Low Resolution is checked and locked !!
    – Render
    Oct 16, 2012 at 0:31
  • Is this after you made the change to the plist?
    – segiddins
    Oct 16, 2012 at 0:36
  • Before and after, the setting wont change
    – Render
    Oct 16, 2012 at 0:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .