Most computers have a Palatino font (or equivalent), and it is one of the core fonts for Postscript printers. However, on Unix using FontConfig, Palatino looks bad. The main problem is that the hinting is terrible. It's unclear whether FontConfig is doing a bad job, or if the font itself has bad hinting data.
The issue can be fixed for individual users in one of two ways: by turning off all hinting for Unix's palatino-clone font, or by turning on autohinting for the font. Alas, making changes to your own personal configuration makes your own browser look good, but doesn't fix anyone else's browser.
The code for the
~/fonts.conf file that disables
hinting for Unix's palatino-clone (which is named
URW Palladio L) is:
<match target="font"> <test name="family"> <string>URW Palladio L</string> </test> <edit name="hinting"> <bool>false</bool> </edit> </match>
~/.fonts.conf code to enable autohinting for
all fonts is:
<match target="font"> <edit name="autohint"> <bool>true</bool> </edit> </match>
If you aren't using Unix, I have a
screenshot that shows how the following paragraph looks on
most Unix machines. Enabling the autohint feature in
~/.fonts.conf is sufficient to fix the problem, as
this screenshot shows.
If you are using Unix and FontConfig now, you can look at the jagged heights of the following lines. Even the lines that are mainly okay still have a bad height for the "T" (and other letters).