Blurry text on external monitor?

jdarcy

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 22, 2019
1
0
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
 

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
790
872
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.
 

PeterJP

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2012
638
406
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.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,644
3,451
Any other suggestions? Or am I just nitpicking here, and this is what a 1080 screen should look like.
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.
 
Last edited:

frou

macrumors 6502a
Mar 14, 2009
790
872
Also, the version I've grabbed from the MacRumors website is only 1704x843 pixels - I've never heard of that as a screen resolution so my first guess is that its simply got re-sized during the process of uploading/downloading - which makes it useless for diagnosing your problem.
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.
 

theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
4,644
3,451
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.
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.
 

xhavrosh

macrumors newbie
May 6, 2019
1
0
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! View attachment 827673

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).
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.