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For last 2 years (2018-) I've been using

emacs -xrm Xft.embolden:true -fn Hack-13

to start emacs w/ suitable sized and 'brightness'ed fonts for me in my systems.

What that does gives extra boldness to font glyphs in every weights used.

That has worked fine with emacs 25 and 26 (and could work w/ emacs 24, too...)

Now since I upgraded to emacs 27.1 (in 3 fedora systems I have) the extra bolding supposed be given by that embolden does not have any effect anymore...

probably due to the great technology called HarfBuzz(?)

[[edit 2020-09-17 -- use of Cairo instead of HarfBuzz is more probable cause for this, thanks for comment for me to think outside of this -- compared output of (emacs-version) in versions 26.3 and 27.1 of emacs and latter mentioned "cairo"]]

For urxvt I use -fn xft:Hack-13:embolden -> emacs -fn Hack-13:embolden makes no difference.

emacs -fn Hack-13:weight=bold does bold the "regular" weighted fonts but does not make "bold" fonts any bolder (like Xft.embolden:true does).

What are my options? I hope I don't have to resort to recompile Hack fonts with extra boldness to begin with ;/

  • 1
    Based on a quick test, what you're looking for is emacs -fn Hack-13:embolden=true (and this is nothing to do with Harfbuzz, it's because of Cairo) – rpluim Sep 6 at 22:32
  • this looks pretty much what I am looking for. I have to test a bit more (will compare what emacs 26.3 does on one other machine)... will continue shortly – Tomi Ollila Sep 7 at 11:16
  • well, with :embolden=true the difference between non-bold and bold glyphs are very small. much smaller than using -xrm Xft.embolden:true with emacs 26. it is slightly better than :weight=bold (where bold and non-bold looked exactly same). So I have to keep looking (In the mean time, in most of the cases, I probably switch using this as temporary solution...) – Tomi Ollila Sep 7 at 17:08

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