How to change font and colors of Tooltips


The font, font size, foreground color and background color of Tooltips in Ubuntu can be changed. This can be important since Tooltips are used by applications in Eclipse.

  • To change the font and the font size: Open GNOME Tweak Tool, go to Fonts section and set the font and font size for the Interface element.

  • To change the foreground and background colors: Open GNOME Color Chooser, go to Specific -> Tooltips and set the colors you want.

Restart your application to see the effect of these changes.

Tried with: GNOME Tweak Tool 3.10.1-2, GNOME Color Chooser 0.2.5 and Ubuntu 14.04

Autoruns renders English text in Chinese encoding

Chinese font used in Settings of Autoruns
Chinese font used in Settings of Autoruns


I recently updated the Autoruns on a Windows machine. When I executed Autoruns, it displayed in the contents in an English font rendering that is typically seen with a Chinese font. I opened the Fonts dialog from Options and even there English text was displayed using a Chinese font no matter which font I chose.


I guessed that this might be caused due to a misunderstanding of Registry entries between the older and newer Autoruns. I opened Registry Editor by typing regedit.exe. I deleted the setting HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Sysinternals\Autoruns. When I opened Autoruns after this, the font was back to the default rendering.

Tried with: Autoruns 12.03 and Windows 7 Professional 64-bit

How to set font and colors of Eclipse UI

The font, font size and colors of most of the UI elements of Eclipse can be changed. Some of them can be set from inside Eclipse, others can be set in the CSS files used by the current Eclipse theme. There are other elements which can be changed only by modifying the settings of the current GTK or GNOME theme.

Inside Eclipse

Based on the current theme that Eclipse is using, many of the settings are in CSS files.

  • Font and fonts sizes of editor, console, dialog and other UI elements can be changed from Window -> Preferences -> General -> Appearance -> Colors and Fonts.

However, you will find that the font and font sizes of Project Explorer, Outline, Problems, Make and many other UI windows which hold tree-like elements cannot be changed from here. To do that you need to modify the CSS file of the theme you are current using. Here is how to do that:

  • Find out what is the current theme that Eclipse is using. You can see that in Window -> Preferences -> General -> Appearance. For example, I found that mine was using the theme GTK and the Color and Font theme was Default.

  • Go to the install directory of Eclipse and go to the themes CSS directory. For example, on my system this was plugins/org.eclipse.ui.themes_1.0.1.v20140819-1717/css.

  • Open the CSS file that corresponds to the theme that Eclipse is currently using. For example, for my theme I found the file e4_default_gtk.css.

  • Add this CSS style to change the font and font size. For example, to set to font Arial with size 8, I would add:

.MPart Tree {
    font-family: Consolas;
    font-size: 8;
  • Close the file. Close Eclipse and open it back again. You should be able to see the change in Project Explorer, Outline, and other windows that have tree-like UI elements.

Outside Eclipse

Related links:

Tried with: Eclipse Luna 4.4.1 and Ubuntu 14.04

LaTeX error: Font not loadable


Compiling the LaTeX for certain journals gives this error:

Font OT1/ptm/m/n/10=ptmr7t at 10.0pt not loadable: Metric (TFM) file not found


This indicates that some font its needing is not available on the system. This error typically goes away after install the extra fonts available in the TeXLive distribution:

$ sudo apt-get install texlive-fonts-recommended

Tried with: Ubuntu 14.04

OCR fonts

Vim using OCR-A font
Vim using OCR-A font

Do you like that font used in the computer console of old science fiction movies? That font is called OCR and you can actually use it if that is your fancy!

There are two variants of these fonts: OCR-A and OCR-B. These fonts can be obtained here.

To use them, just unzip the files and add them to Ubuntu as described here. You can start using them in any console or application you want.

Tried with: Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

How to install and use the vim-airline plugin for Vim

Vim using vim-airline for statusline

vim-airline is a newer and lighter alternative to the vim-powerlinee plugin. It shows a beautiful and informative statusline in Vim.


The vim-airline plugin can be installed for Pathogen by cloning its Github repository.

Fancy symbols

vim-airline can display those fancy symbols in the statusline in just a few steps:

  1. Download the powerline-fonts that have been patched to have the fancy powerline symbols.
  2. In the downloaded fonts, find the font that you use for your terminal and copy over those fonts to ~/.fonts
  3. Install the fonts using: fc-cache -vf ~/.fonts
  4. Once installed, configure your terminal to use these fonts. For GNOME Terminal, this can be done in Edit > Profile Preferences > General.
  5. Enable fancy symbols by adding this line to your vimrc: let g:airline_powerline_fonts=1

Tried with: Vim 7.3 and Ubuntu 12.04 LTS

Font expansion error in LaTeX


I had a LaTeX document that was compiling without errors under both Windows and Ubuntu systems. When a friend tried to compile it on their Ubuntu system using pdflatex, it spewed this strange error:

! pdfTeX error (font expansion): auto expansion is only possible with scalable fonts


The error was strange because it gave no clue how to solve it. It turns out that the LaTeX installation on that particular Ubuntu system did not have scalable fonts. The common solution seems to be to install the cm-super package which has scalable fonts that can be used by LaTeX. On installing this package and recompiling the document, the error went away.

Tried with: Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS

How to install fonts in Ubuntu

Sometimes you may want to install fonts from the web or from your Windows installation into Ubuntu. Installing fonts for the current user is pretty easy.

First, copy the fonts you want to install into a ~/.fonts directory. Next, let the system build font information cache files for these fonts. To do that run this command from anywhere:

$ fc-cache -fv

Tried with: Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS