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Disable Web Fonts in Google Chrome/Mozilla Firefox


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I have noticed that remote web fonts have made some web pages difficult to read clearly, and contribute to browser slowdown with font rendering.

If you follow the instructions in this link (credit birdie at TechPowerUp), you experience faster web browsing speeds, and (in my opinion) clearer text. I noticed a huge speed increase.

Disabling web fonts in Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome

Some of us hate downloadable web fonts so here's how you can stop websites (including techpowerup) from forcing their glorious fonts down your throat.

1) Mozilla Firefox

Open about:config
Set "gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled" to false.

2) Google Chrome
Right Click Chrome's launcher icon, click "Properties".

At the end of the launcher string add the following:

" --disable-remote-fonts" (without quotes).

You're done.

Before:

remotefont.jpg

 

After:

remotefont2.jpg

Edited by sdfox7
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I have disabled Web Fonts for some time in Opera 12 to avoid their download and visible refreshes of the page. Sometimes the fonts would remain loaded in the system after I closed the respective page.

opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableWebfonts

Problem is that many websites now have buttons and icons drawn using font glyphs. Those do not show correctly if I disable web fonts. Commonly the search icon becomes the ligature "fl".

Most new downloadable fonts generally require ClearType to look good, with some exceptions. Here the absence of vertical anti-aliasing, breaks up some glyphs. If web fonts are disabled, the page falls back to a system font that is tweaked to look good with standard greyscale anti-aliasing, but the header no longer has an icon for the "user" and "basket" buttons.

8l8ChqK.png

2ZKRXem.png
 

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17 minutes ago, j7n said:

I have disabled Web Fonts for some time in Opera 12 to avoid their download and visible refreshes of the page. Sometimes the fonts would remain loaded in the system after I closed the respective page.

opera:config#UserPrefs|EnableWebfonts

Problem is that many websites now have buttons and icons drawn using font glyphs. Those do not show correctly if I disable web fonts. Commonly the search icon becomes the ligature "fl".

Most new downloadable fonts generally require ClearType to look good, with some exceptions. Here the absence of vertical anti-aliasing, breaks up some glyphs. If web fonts are disabled, the page falls back to a system font that is tweaked to look good with standard greyscale anti-aliasing, but the header no longer has an icon for the "user" and "basket" buttons.

8l8ChqK.png

2ZKRXem.png
 

@j7n

Yes, you are correct- some "enhancements" will break. On the second graphic I provided, on the Google News pages, the left side under sections, all of the icons are missing and replaced with a square. Even on this MSFN page,some of the graphics are broken, but the placeholders are still there. Hovering over them will tell you what they represent, as I have denoted with my red edits below.

The increased speed and font readability is easily worth the trade-off of having square placeholders.

placeh1.jpg

placeh2.jpg

placeh3.jpg

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  • 1 month later...

A lot of websites these days put all of their icons into a font instead of using individual image files, so completely disabling webfonts will cause those icons not to display.

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  • 3 years later...

On Firefox 41+ you can disable the 'normal fonts' download only by using this combination in about:config:

browser.display.use_document_fonts = 0
gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled = true

https://www.ghacks.net/2015/07/21/firefox-41-mozilla-modifies-how-icon-fonts-are-handled-by-the-browser/

All icon fonts will still be downloaded this way.

Tested on Serpent 52.9

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Is that not the same as the Dialog option "Allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of my selections above" in the advanced font options? It is there in Firefox 52.9 to 81.x, as well as Current Serpent and NewMoon. In the preferences dialog. It works well, like you said, with a font of my choosing but still showing those custom icons.

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FONT SETTINGS, as far as I understand them...
Permissions to "choose" fonts or to "download" fonts are different things.
And icon fonts are thing 3, since FF41...

If "download" is forbidden, that still allows website authors to choose from already installed local fonts.
"permissions.default.font" = 1 / 2 / 3
Same choices as with similar pref for downloading images, iframes etc:
Download 1=all / 2=none / 3=from same domain

If "choosing" is forbidden, that implies of course that download is forbidden too, only the user-font allowed.
"browser.display.use_document_fonts" = 0 / 1
(use fonts specified by document author: no / yes)

And ONLY younger browsers have a separate setting for "icon fonts"?
"gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled" = true
So this allows to download ICON fonts even if "choosing" fonts is otherwise forbidden

"gfx.downloadable_fonts....." comes with a bunch of sub-prefs, specifying fallback waiting times, sanitizing, a separate setting for woff2-fonts etc..... (no clue, just as hints ;-))

And no idea if gfx-fonts also overrule pref-1, or vice-versa ...?

While at it, in my prefs have also stored this comment note:
"layout.css.font-loading-api.enabled__INFO"
= "INFO: sends list of INSTALLED fonts / Avoid fingerprinting / Attention: reCaptcha?"

Oh, what most users keep overlooking, at least in K-Meleon:
In Page Display > Fonts there are a bunch of "Language Groups", each of them with independant fonts and minimum-size. The field showing "Western" is a dropdown menu, and the most important group is at the very bottom:
Others (Unicode)
For example Russian speakers may want to configure groups "Cyrillic" and "Central European"

While still at it... :cool: If any users with very old browsers and systems (like 98) ever see this, and have constant trouble with broken characters: get an emoji font like well-known "Symbola" and set it in browser prefs for "cursive" and "ornate/fantasy" text, in groups for "Unicode" and "Western" etc. Howto: download from link below, unzip, drop the smaller ttf-file into c:/windows/fonts (Asian users may need the bigger file, but no clue)
Symbola v12 was last TrueType:
page: https://web.archive.org/web/20190502155955/http://users.teilar.gr/%7Eg1951d/
font: https://web.archive.org/web/20190608100449/http://users.teilar.gr/~g1951d/Symbola.zip

Edit:
Yet another TRACKING-trick!
blocking fonts does NOT prevent GOOGLE from getting user data anyway, they use this trick:
link href='https://fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans' rel='stylesheet' type='text/css'
Workaround: Block domains instead: fonts.googleapis.com / fonts.gstatic.com
BUT:
Google does not allow reducing their tracking by blocking fonts.googleapis - or otherwise they will block you from their RECAPTCHAS! At least that was once figured out in a forum. It's been awhile, cannot test myself, but nowadays things rarely get better, Only worse, worse, worse....
.

Edited by siria
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15 hours ago, siria said:

FONT SETTINGS, as far as I understand them...
Permissions to "choose" fonts or to "download" fonts are different things.
And icon fonts are thing 3, since FF41...

If "download" is forbidden, that still allows website authors to choose from already installed local fonts.
"permissions.default.font" = 1 / 2 / 3
Same choices as with similar pref for downloading images, iframes etc:
Download 1=all / 2=none / 3=from same domain

If "choosing" is forbidden, that implies of course that download is forbidden too, only the user-font allowed.
"browser.display.use_document_fonts" = 0 / 1
(use fonts specified by document author: no / yes)

And ONLY younger browsers have a separate setting for "icon fonts"?
"gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled" = true
So this allows to download ICON fonts even if "choosing" fonts is otherwise forbidden

"gfx.downloadable_fonts....." comes with a bunch of sub-prefs, specifying fallback waiting times, sanitizing, a separate setting for woff2-fonts etc..... (no clue, just as hints ;-))

And no idea if gfx-fonts also overrule pref-1, or vice-versa ...?

While at it, in my prefs have also stored this comment note:
"layout.css.font-loading-api.enabled__INFO"
= "INFO: sends list of INSTALLED fonts / Avoid fingerprinting / Attention: reCaptcha?"

On 7/1/2017 at 7:25 PM, sdfox7 said:

Some of us hate downloadable web fonts so here's how you can stop websites (including techpowerup) from forcing their glorious fonts down your throat.

1) Mozilla Firefox

Open about:config
Set "gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled" to false.

2) Google Chrome
Right Click Chrome's launcher icon, click "Properties".

At the end of the launcher string add the following:

" --disable-remote-fonts" (without quotes).

You're done.

 

 

Just a quick question to clarify something..

Would it be advisable for the sake of privacy to set the following:

gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled - to "true" or "false"?

Also, as you noted..

"gfx.downloadable_fonts....." comes with a bunch of sub-prefs, specifying fallback waiting times, sanitizing, a separate setting for woff2-fonts etc..... (no clue, just as hints ;-))

Attached are how my prefs are set in the latest Serpent Build.

Also: as you noted..

"While at it, in my prefs have also stored this comment note:
"layout.css.font-loading-api.enabled__INFO"
= "INFO: sends list of INSTALLED fonts / Avoid fingerprinting / Attention: reCaptcha?""

I only have one pref for ayout.css.font-loading-api.enabled, and its set to false. When you say you stored this comment note, did you add another string to add the comment?

Thanks in advance everyone for your helpful postings and advice!

TC,

~Sal

untitled.JPG

Edited by sal here
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  • 2 months later...

Ok.. I'm now going to steer away from that thread about "missing buttons", and since my question now pertains more regarding privacy/security vs workability/functionality - I suspect going forward, its going to be 'that' trade off. Yes, it is a tad unsettling that in this day and age, we do (in fact) have to give up some of our privacy (both online and in real life) to enjoy all the "latest and greatest" the world has to offer. Its a new trend moving further away from privacy, and I recon that one day, our privacy will be (almost) completely eroded away as the younger generation enjoys throwing their entire lives (personal business) out there without a care in the world in full view of anybody and everybody :blink:

~Apologize for the rant - I could go on-and-an~ :boring:

Going over the prefs I had to remove last night to get MSFN functioning properly, I've been adding them back 'one-by-one' to see where the issues (or conflicts) begin, and the following 6 entries are what appears to be required (set to opposite of what was my previous configuration below in Firefox based browsers) to display everything correctly now here.

user_pref("gfx.downloadable_fonts.disable_cache", true);
user_pref("gfx.downloadable_fonts.enabled", false);
user_pref("gfx.downloadable_fonts.woff2.enabled", false);
user_pref("gfx.font_rendering.cleartype.use_for_downloadable_fonts", false);
user_pref("gfx.font_rendering.graphite.enabled", false);
user_pref("gfx.font_rendering.opentype_svg.enabled", false);

Edited by XPerceniol
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Just discovered something, and to quote you from yesterday:
YAY!!! :D

After some searching and googling have actually managed to get those "weird rectangles" aka Symbol fonts or Icons fonts, which are used e.g. in the headers on MSFN, to show up correctly even in ancient K-Meleon1.6 (Firefox3.5)!
And without allowing any font downloading or even font-chosing for websites, ha! :P
That trick probably works even in stone-age FF2, but will try later.

First, you need of course to have a LOCAL icon font installed, which contains those symbols. Actually I had downloaded that omnipresent infamous "Awesomefont" from google awhile back already and wasn't aware of it anymore.
And in old systems only truetype fonts work, not yet woff etc.
If just having that font installed isn't already enough to get those icons showing up, then proceed with step-2:
customize your default fonts in the browser.

HOWTO:
in OLD browser have created those NEW prefs on about:config:
pref("font.name-list.sans-serif.x-western", "Arial, Symbola, FontAwesome, Segoe UI Emoji, OpenSansEmoji, Microsoft Sans Serif");
pref("font.name-list.sans-serif.x-unicode", "Arial, Symbola, FontAwesome, Segoe UI Emoji, OpenSansEmoji, Microsoft Sans Serif");
pref("font.name-list.serif.x-western", "Times New Roman, Symbola, FontAwesome, Segoe UI Emoji, OpenSansEmoji, Arial");
pref("font.name-list.serif.x-unicode", "Times New Roman, Symbola, FontAwesome, Segoe UI Emoji, OpenSansEmoji, Arial");
Important:
Those 4 prefs are only EXAMPLES, only affect WESTERN and UNICODE language groups. There are TONS more such prefs which you may have to adjust too if needed, e.g. language groups for
x-cyrillic, x-central-euro, etc.
There seem to exist a hundred language groups on about:config...

So, for VERY OLD BROWSERS the trick is:
Just ADD awesomefont to your NORMAL font list for the browser!
(The other fonts in the pref are individual, whichever normal fonts you may have or like)
Acc Web the symbol font may have to be at the BEGIN of the list. But have now tested and they work just as well if placed BEHIND the normal main font, like Arial. Perhaps other browsers/versions may need it at begin instead, but should be no prob either, since AF contains ONLY those "weird symbols" and nothing else it seems.

For YOUNGER BROWSERS:
probably works too, but would NOT create those prefs, since there are almost surely (?) better ways now. New NATIVE prefs for that kind of symbol or icon fonts, so they can be set separately. No clue which name, would look around on about:config, which font families sound promising... or search web.
.

Edited by siria
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(FontAwesome ICON font for symbols in head block, 3dots, post editor etc.)

schwups said:
Thanks siria, these prefs work. Tested with Firefox47.

Thanks for confirmation, great! :)

Have meanwhile tested those prefs in KM1.5.4 (Firefox 2) and it actually works there too, which means it should also work in Retrozilla, same engine.

And after some more research am getting the impression my assumption above about new, separate prefs in younger browsers was wrong, they still need the same method too.

By the way have discovered the forum does NOT download the font from Google, unlike most other sites :)
Instead it's loaded from the own domain directly. That's defined as "@font-face" in style xxxxxx_framework.css, it contains download-links for various types, as modern woff, eot, svg - and for old systems as truetype:
/board/applications/core/interface/font/fontawesome-webfont.ttf?v=4.7.0
.
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