E16 changing the Fonts Sizes

This little howto explains how to change your font sizes on E16, to satisfy better your needs and screen types

Update: the new beta versions includes now by default an optimal font size configuration

Some points to consider:

  • It is strongly suggested to configure them at the smallest size that your eyes can comfortably read

Applications Font

First, run the Customize Look and Feel Application:


After, configure the Default Font and select the desired size:

Apply your changes

Note: If you don't see the changes to take effect, you must logout from the desktop to have it correctly reloaded

E16 Font settings

For that, you would need to hack your own E16 theme :madness: but don't worry, its very easy! :excited:

First: make a copy to your desired theme to modify to your local home themes, with a rebranded name! for example:

cp -a /usr/share/e16/themes/Elive_Dark ~/.e16/themes/mytheme1

On this example you will have a copy of the entire directory of the theme to your E16 home settings named mytheme1

  • note: spaces are not allowed for these directory names, you must use the _ character

Next, edit the Fonts configuration file:

scite ~/.e16/themes/mytheme1/fonts.pango.cfg

Basically you just need to change the number, which is the font-size value, for example for the entries like default, border, menu...

Save the file and reload your E16 desktop with the combo "Ctrl + Alt + End" (or just logout)

Enjoy your new fonts settings :excited:

  • note: there's multiple font configuration files, but pango is the used by default that gives smooth looking fonts

Other font settings:

You may not need to configure these, but just in case:


To configure your terminology terminal, just right click on it and search these settings

Note: Since Terminology is an elementary application, changing the setting on elementary it will also affect terminology!


Run elementary_config from a terminal and change the Scale value

I have managed to change font and font size in Preferences->Customize Look and Feel. Great!
But the font and font size of the window title is as it was, too small for me.
I followed your suggestion, got to Preferences->Elementary Configuration->Fonts, I picked my preferred font and font size for ‘Title Bar’, no changes.
Can you get me through changing font via terminal, in this particular case changing font and font size of Title Bar?

I think I could for E16 but it's no easy thing if you want to do it.
The above howto is actually enlightenment (E17-E24) oriented.

The fonts in the titlebar are set through the theme in the sense that you can make it use bigger fonts but they won't be used if they are bigger than the titlebar height itself.

there's a "elive-dark-big-fonts" theme available for E16 which has the same issue for the titlebar. The fonts are bigger but get cramped by the bar size.

if you want to try for yourself:
Go edit "font.cfg" in your current theme in ".e16/themes" and play around with the font sizes there.

To see a result you will have to go into the settings GUI and set it to use your changed fonts in your theme settings.

After which E16 will probably need a restart (and a wiped cache too) ---- or simply log out and in again to show the changed fonts.

If they get too big for the title bar there's only the option left to enlarge the bar itself which can be done by altering that in the theme's "borders/default.cfg" but this can be a daunting task considering there's more than one thing to alter.
In general the title_bar is set to 12-15 pixels.

I suggest you to try the recent beta versions, they includes a dynamic configuration of fonts based on the size of your screen with the amount of pixels, this means that the fonts should be configured by default to be the optimal sizes, @muhibbij can you confirm the font sizes feels small for you in a Live mode of a recent beta version? :thinking:

...which is not fun

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but they will never surpass the fixed height of the title bar.
On my X1 carbon 14" 2560x1440 display --- 16 pixels height requires quite a bit of effort to read.

Not for now... Sorry, first I will try @triantares suggestions. But I definitely try it later at my spare time.
Thank you guys for your concern and support

this is true and a limitation of E16 (well, the theme especially, but the main cause is the non-dynamic resizing of elements in e16), this will no thappen in e24+

so the only thing that elive can do is to do it on its best way possible :slight_smile: (always customizable by the user, of course), the default themes has been also improved to be more compatible with these font sizes

keep me informed, is good to know that elive does it good by default :slight_smile: , and remember that this doesn't stops you to do your own customizations like @triantares said

I think is time to make our own manual configurator for these fonts ? (just like it does in the auto modes of the recent versions, but to be able to manually customize them) @triantares @TheTechRobo

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2 posts were split to a new topic: Keyboard configurator - suggestions

agreed, will start something soon.
First need to be sure I'm reasoning right.

Moved to this new thread. Should be better. :thinking:

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.e16/themes is an empty folder in my case
Catfish haven’t found font.cfg.
I tried E17 of Stable in VirtualBox too and it works through settings. If it as @Thanatermesis says that the latest version is like that than I go for it

I found “fonts.cfg” in “/use/share/e16/themes/mytheme/”
No change

The best would be to copy the wanted theme from there to ~/.e16/themes/ and give it an alternate name. That way you'l have full control of all changes and can always hop back to the original if you muck stuff up. :smile_cat:

It'll be somewhat like what I showed in part 3 of the tutorial here:

You'll be needing to change the size of the titlebar in it's .../borders/default.cfg configuration file as that doesn't dynamically resize with the changed fonts.

  • Just changing the min and max height opens "new" issues like the size of the window buttons and the necessity for the left and right bars to accommodate the extra pixel height (to avoid it taking away space below). else you get a sort of Frankenheimer widget like the one below set at 25 pixels.

Themes differ in how they handle this, so it will be a matter of going through said file and changing the options. by trial and error.

If you want to read up on how E16 is configured and what needs to be edited, go here:

Not a lot but it gives a good impression on how E16 is built.

It's a steep learning curve, once you dive into that but it has it's perks if you plan to keep on personalizing and using E16. :nod:

Happy modding.

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