Blurry text on external monitor?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jdarcy, Mar 22, 2019.

  1. jdarcy macrumors newbie


    Mar 22, 2019
    Hi all - please take a look at the attached picture. Maybe I am just so used to my MacBook screen that this just seems too blurry. What do you think? I am using a 2017 MacBook Pro connected to an LG 29" UltraWide monitor (2560x1080) via a Belkin USB-C cable. Pictures look ok, but the text just looks blurry/fuzzy to me. I have tried the following:

    - font smoothing in system preferences
    - turning off automatic graphics switching in system preferences
    - forced RGB
    - terminal command to adjust font smoothing: defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

    Any other suggestions? Or am I just nitpicking here, and this is what a 1080 screen should look like.

    Thanks! Screen Shot 2019-03-22 at 8.27.33 AM.png
  2. frou macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2009
    It's just that the monitor is non-Retina (and actually sub-100 PPI, so less than the typical 110 PPI of non-Retina Mac displays).

    Only thing you can do to get better fidelity is to increase font sizes so that more pixels go into representing each glyph.
  3. PeterJP macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2012
    Leuven, Belgium
    It's the way macOS renders fonts. They do it so that it looks exactly the same as when you print it. If you're coming from windows, it may look fuzzy. But that's because Windows renders fonts differently on screen as on paper, optimizing for sharpness on screen but for accuracy on paper.

    I bought an 11” MacBook Air in 2013, but I immediately returned it for a retina MacBook Pro because the 11 did the same on the built-in screen.

    If you really hate it, get yourself a 4K screen. You can put that into “looks like 1920x1080” resolution and it will be retina.
  4. theluggage, Mar 22, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2019

    theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Hang on, that's a "screen capture" taken by MacOS - the clue is the file name "screen-shot-2019-03-22-at-8-27-33-am-png" which is how MacOS names screen captures. So it is a perfect rendition of what your computer is "sending" to the screen and won't include many possible problems with what you actually see on the screen.

    Edit: deleted my previous brainfart about resolution being wrong. Sorry.
  5. frou macrumors 6502


    Mar 14, 2009
    That's a window grab, not the entire macOS screen. The image also has the semi-transparent drop-shadow effect, so both dimensions are padded out a bit by an arbitrary amount.
  6. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    Good point.

    Still, its a 'digital (for want of a better world) screen shot so it can't really be used to diagnose display problems.
  7. seb101 macrumors member

    Apr 3, 2014
  8. xhavrosh macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2019

    I'm experiencing exactly the same issue as you. I tried everything as you tried but nothing helped...

    I changed the monitor (WQHD (Philips) -> FHD (HP)), dock station, cables (HDMI, DP).

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7 March 22, 2019