In the past couple days it appears that new MathJax fonts have been deployed. In my environment these fonts are a big step backwards compared to the prior fonts. They are a lighter face and render so lightly that they look like text typed by an old typewriter running low on ink. Moreover, the style of the font is a very poor choice for mathematics text. Many characters render jammed together, the i's and j's are horrendous, etc. None of these problems occurred with the prior fonts.

Note: the problems may be more noticable to me because I use roman fonts for my math text - which renders more lightly than the default fonts. Also, I use the default web downloaded fonts, not the STIX fonts (which I find very ugly). Is anyone else seeing these problems?

  • $\begingroup$ I have to agree with that. At first, it was only when using Chrome, but now is affecting Firefox as well. $\endgroup$
    – Jason
    Apr 2, 2011 at 2:53
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill, could you include more details of your environment? Browser, version, OS. Also, do you use browser defaults for font-size, color, background, etc? Have you observed this issue on all pages? How about the demos at mathjax.org ? If only on a few pages could you provide a link. Regards, Sean $\endgroup$
    – Sean Hogan
    Apr 2, 2011 at 4:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Sean: I don't think it has anything to do with what browser version I'm running. I haven't upgraded any of my browsers in many months. I'm running with defaults. Nothing on my end has changed in a long time. The mathjax demos don't have enough examples for me to infer anything, e.g. no roman fonts. Would screen grabs help? I'm running Chrome, Firefox and IE on XP SP3. $\endgroup$ Apr 2, 2011 at 4:28
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    $\begingroup$ @Bill: A page url (or several) would be better. If I can't reproduce then I'll ask for a screen grab. $\endgroup$
    – Sean Hogan
    Apr 2, 2011 at 5:12
  • $\begingroup$ @Sean: Ok, I'll try to gather some representative samples tomorrow. $\endgroup$ Apr 2, 2011 at 5:32
  • $\begingroup$ the OS could indeed be relevant, as Windows XP has pretty ancient font rendering technology at this point; it is over 10 years old. $\endgroup$ May 25, 2011 at 21:51

1 Answer 1


Having this problem. The comments are a bit short on space, so posting this as an answer.

Page where I have this problem: https://math.stackexchange.com/a/171016/5910 (the answer).

What it looks like:

          enter image description here

OS: Win7 x64. Browser: Firefox 14.0.1.

What's wrong with this screenshot (whether this is nitpicking depends on how sensitive you are to font rendering quality):

  • the font is rendered too lightly as originally reported (note the visible break in the 5's tail and between left/right halves of 0)
  • stroke weight is inconsistent (most visible in the left/right halves of the multiply symbol)
  • the character spacing is rubbish as originally reported (note the two zeroes in "100" smashed into each other)

Granted, this is quite good enough for most people, and there might be more important issues to fix. But the fact remains that math font rendering is worse than that of other text in my browser.

  • $\begingroup$ Firstly, although I'm no expert, I think it unlikely that your font issue today is connected to a font problem reported over a year ago. Secondly, I can't see anything wrong with the rendering in your screen-shot. $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2012 at 12:58
  • $\begingroup$ @PeterPhipps I'm no expert either, but it appears that the fonts in use are still the same STIX fonts, and since most people appear to be less sensitive to font rendering quality, it's probably still the same issue, unaddressed because it's good enough for most people. $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2012 at 21:32
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    $\begingroup$ What I was seeing last year was much worse than that. Thankfully, the worst problems have been fixed, but there still remains some ugly rendering. $\endgroup$ Aug 14, 2012 at 22:25
  • $\begingroup$ @BillDubuque Was it something like this? I think it's the same problem, only showing letters instead of numbers. Currently live here with some complaints. $\endgroup$ Oct 10, 2012 at 1:49
  • $\begingroup$ @romkyns I don't recall since it's been so long. But it may have to do with Roman fonts, since I use them for math. $\endgroup$ Oct 10, 2012 at 3:26

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