MacOS Mojave: The text in the editor is dimmed / hard to read.

I know this OS was just released as a developer beta. So that is why I am reporting this so it can be properly dealt with as most of us are developers. This is going to make a lot of developers uneasy about installing this OS unless this is fixed.


The code within Atom using MacOS Mojave is very dim, stylesheet and syntax theme, UI theme do not effect the dim of the editor text.

Steps to Reproduce

  1. Install Macos Mojave
  2. Open Atom

Expected behavior: Readable text

Actual behavior: Code within Atom is very hard to read within the editor.

Reproduces how often: 100%%



Using the default “Light” theme

screen shot 2018-06-07 at 11 39 09 pm

Using Atom One Dark

screen shot 2018-06-07 at 11 40 32 pm

Note: The actual text appearing on screen is “dimmer” than what these snapshots look like

This does not look theme related . Almost as if the text itself is just “dim” / “opacity”

13 thoughts on “MacOS Mojave: The text in the editor is dimmed / hard to read.

  1. Have you tried adding this to Atom’s stylesheet?

    atom-text-editor {
    	-webkit-font-smoothing: subpixel-antialiased;
    	// font-weight: 300; Optionally add this.

    Should do the trick 👍

  2. Seems like this might be worth reopening. As of the latest Mojave dev beta (11 I think?) this is what Atom looks like compared to Sublime:


    The defaults command posted in the VSCode issue (defaults -currentHost write -globalDomain AppleFontSmoothing -int 2) doesn’t do a whole lot of good either.

  3. The “fix” above looks like a global config change, rather than a fix for Atom? It doesn’t resolve anything given the potential impact on other apps, surely?

  4. Yes, this is a global configuration change that effectively reverts a change that Apple made to font rendering which makes fonts look very thin on non-Retina displays. This change has affected other Electron-based apps like VS Code, so until there’s a general solution for all Electron apps, this workaround will have to suffice.

    I’d love to know if anyone has noticed any negative effects to the fonts in native macOS applications after running this command and rebooting their machine!

  5. For what it’s worth, this also affects Atom/VS Code on my Retina display. The colors are dimmer/thinner there as well.

    It appears certain Electron apps like Discord and Slack are not affected by this issue. It could be related to the specific fonts they are using.

  6. try increasing font-weight it worked for me .. just add

    atom-text-editor {
          font-weight: bold;
         // the rest of your styles

    in your style sheet

  7. For what it’s worth, I’m finding this issue present on both retina and non-retina screens with Atom. I’ve tried a handful of other apps with the smoothing enabled and disabled and while I can see minor changes in some, Atom is drastically different.