I'm using Debian 8 Jessie with the Xfce4 desktop environment. I however have this weird font rendering issue where two characters are standing too close to each other. Please see the image here:


Here you can see that in "YouTube" the "Y" and "o" are standing way too close to each other. I don't have this problem in Ubuntu. What do I need to do adjust this?

  • Try googling for "kerning" problems, as this is what moves characters like this closer together. Possible solution to try.
    – meuh
    Commented Nov 3, 2015 at 20:26

1 Answer 1


This is a nice question, but there are many ways to get to a possible solution (and I don't know all of them). First of all, the exact wording you're looking for is kerning which is the adjustement of the space between characters in a font.

  1. It may be that this is application specific, and you'll only see a too close kerning between these characters in that specific application, I suggest trying to write "YouTube" in a word editor, and note a font that works for you. Some applications allow for changing or disabling kerning (sometimes they call it "space between letters" or letter-space). You could also try changing font in the application itself, and as a last resort application-wise you could look/search for config files to change.
  2. If the problem is not application specific, it more likely is xfce4 (or your desktop environments) fault, if it is, the easiest way out would be to just change the DE font to one that does not have kerning (this is where that word editor font you fancied comes in). For xfce4 the appearance menu is where you change the system-wide font. Disabling/changing kerning is also a possibility in some DEs.
  3. If the letters are overlapping, it could be a negative kerning, but it could also be problems with a font package.

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