Piotr Szotkowski (Shot) sent me a mail explaining how when you use the gnome font dialogs, you are simply configuring ~/.fonts.conf and that config combined with /etc/fonts/local.conf governs how fontconfig does its rendering.

Piotr also says:

I personally hate when the smaller sizes are antialiased (but like when the smallest and bigger ones are), so I have the additional: <match target="font"> <test compare="more" name="pixelsize" qual="any"> <double>9</double> </test> <test compare="less" name="pixelsize" qual="any"> <double>15</double> </test> <edit mode="assign" name="antialias"> <bool>false</bool> </edit> </match> which brings fontconfig about on par to pre-ClearType Windows rendering. Windows additionally antialiases all of the bold fonts, which can be acheved with:
<match target=“font”>
<test name=“weight”>
<edit name=“antialias” mode=“assign”>

Erich Schubert says here that he doesn’t see how you can get AA wrong if you’re careful to choose the right fonts. All I have to say on that point is that AA is a very personal thing (as Norbert, myself and Piotr have demonstrated) and different people find different levels and combinations of settings to be how they prefer their fonts to look.

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