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Change Font Anti-aliasing & Font Smoothing Strength in OS X Yosemite Changing the font smoothing strength requires using the Terminal app and defaults command strings. Having tested this for a while in Yosemite, it appears there’s only really three options available in Yosemite, regardless of the integer number attached to AppleFontSmoothing. OS X Yosemite defaults to using AppleFontSmoothing “3”, and there does not appear to be any visible difference between setting it to “2” or “1”, which in either case results in a lighter font smoothing setting than the default. Setting it to “0” is the same as turning it off in the preference panel, which again, doesn’t completely turn off font smoothing, it just reduces it to an even lower strength of antialiasing.

Set a Softer Font Smoothing Setting Enter the following defaults string into the Terminal and hit return:

defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2

You’ll want to log out and log back in for the change to appear everywhere.

It’s important to note the differences are subtle, and many users probably won’t be able to distinguish one from the next. If you have a retina display, anything other than the default option may look poor to you.