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Why fonts are always bigger than on other softwares ? [closed]

asked 2014-07-31 11:40:02 +0100

picos gravatar image

updated 2014-07-31 11:42:06 +0100

Hello, on my iMac, fonts are never displayed at their actual size in LibreOffice.

Example : I have a table in which all cells font is "GillSans" 14 Pt.

With Excel (or Numbers...), cells displays text as "GillSans" 14Pt. But in LibreOffice, font size increases and it becomes "GillSans" 19 Pt (approx.) (of course at 100% zoom)

I had the same problem with OpenOffice for a long time. Please see attached file with a partial screen capture of LibreOffice calc : obviously, this is NOT 14 Pt font size... The second screen capture shows the same file open with MS Excel.

So, how to display fonts at their actual size in LibreOffice ?

LibreOffice (should be GillSans 14):

image description

excel mac (GillSans 14):

image description

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Closed for the following reason the question is answered, right answer was accepted by Alex Kemp
close date 2016-03-01 17:09:46.719628

3 Answers

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answered 2014-07-31 12:25:08 +0100

mikebibo gravatar image

LibreOffice >> Preferences >> LibreOffice >> View >> User Interface >> Scaling gives you some control over this (80-130%). Personally, I find the Excel default display size too small.

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answered 2014-07-31 17:51:34 +0100

picos gravatar image

OK, I understand the problem : it's possible that LibreOffice displays fonts on a mac like it displays fonts on a PC.

Here are two screenshots. The first is Windows XP's notepad with Trebuchet-MS 14Pt.

The second is Mac OSX's TextEdit with exactly the same Trebuchet-MS 14Pt.

Font size is not the same at all !

image description

image description

I found this link very useful to explain the problem :

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Ok. So comparing your results with mine, doesn't make sense. Still if what you get in LibreOffice is unexpected, you could file a bug report ;)

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2014-07-31 18:25:25 +0100 )edit

@picos, if your Apple computer has a HiDPI (a.k.a. Retina) display, this could be the reason you indicate. There are currently some open bugs reported against HiDPI that indicate support for this technology in LO is not yet complete. Also refer this thread.

oweng gravatar imageoweng ( 2014-08-01 01:44:42 +0100 )edit

answered 2014-07-31 13:12:15 +0100

Pedro gravatar image

updated 2014-07-31 16:47:45 +0100

Actually you are wrong. The size showing in LibreOffice IS GillSans 14. That is obviously some error in the Mac Excel.

The text on this site is size 11. If your browser Zoom is set to 0 (Ctrl+0 in Firefox) you will see that the font size 11 is nearly the same size as what Excel claims to be 14.

I just tested with Excel 2003 under Windows XP using GillSans 14, and the font size is EXACTLY the same as in LibreOffice and EXACTLY the same as your top screenshot.

EDIT: Here is a screenshot of Excel 2003 (at 100% as seen on the top toolbar) under Windows XP

image description

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Thank you for the comment, but I think YOU're wrong. GillSans 14 on my iMac is ALWAYS the same as it is on excel : 14 Pt. With EVERY software I may use, it is the same size: safari, firefox, word, pages, numbers, textedit, xcode, bbedit, etc...

So, as LibreOffice is the only one which gives me a displayed font size of 19 for an actual font size of 14... obviously, the issue is caused by LibreOffice.

Could you really imagine that ALL SOFTWARE on my iMac gives me wrong font size... and that LibreOffice would be the only one which displays font correctly ?

picos gravatar imagepicos ( 2014-07-31 16:31:17 +0100 )edit

hello, take a look at this site : You'll see that a font of 14 Pt have approximately a height of 19px including ascending and descending.

14Pt in LibreOffice gives me a line height of 25 pixels, which is not correct at all. 14Pt in excel mac gives a line height of 18 pixels which is correct. (it depends of the font : Helvetica is higher than GillSans, for example)

I've see your screenshot of excel : the characters are definitely too big for GillSans 14 Pt.

picos gravatar imagepicos ( 2014-07-31 17:03:12 +0100 )edit

Maybe your screenshots were somehow resized. Measuring the height in pixels I get 17 (from top of h to bottom of p). Are you using LibreOffice version 4.3.0? There was a major rewrite of code which caused some problems in Macs specifically.

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2014-07-31 17:28:41 +0100 )edit

My screenshot are "out of the box". I use LibreOffice But the problem was the same with OpenOffice for a very long time, and on all my macs. Maybe it's a difference beetween macs and PCs...

picos gravatar imagepicos ( 2014-07-31 17:37:29 +0100 )edit

I don't know what you mean "out of the box" but saving your Excel image and measuring the font height it returns 13 pixels (from p to l), not the 18 you measured. In any case if you think that this is a bug, maybe you could contribute to the project by reporting the bug at

Pedro gravatar imagePedro ( 2014-07-31 17:51:01 +0100 )edit

Thank you, Pedro, please see my own answer !

picos gravatar imagepicos ( 2014-07-31 17:52:19 +0100 )edit

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Asked: 2014-07-31 11:40:02 +0100

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Last updated: Jul 31 '14