How to Enlarge Kodi Fonts

Kodi is one of the most popular media centre solutions. However, unless you like to sit very close to the TV, the font sizes are a bit small. This article describes a simple procedure to improve legibility. It’s assumed that you are using the default Kodi skin, called “Estuary“. This article was updated 6th April 2020 and tested for Kodi 18.6.

The Kodi user interface is highly customizable, and there are many Internet pages explaining how it all works. But in this procedure, we will just make a few small changes. These instructions were originally written for OSMC running on a Raspberry Pi, but they work for stand alone Kodi too, and should also work for other hardware platforms.

Procedure

Increase Main Font Sizes

From your PC, login into the Pi with Putty (in Windows) or SSH (in Linux). Then, change to the Font.xml file as follows. (If you would rather just download a prepared file, skip the the next section entitled “Increase Main Font Sizes – Quick Way“).

Using your favourite editor, edit the file /usr/share/kodi/addons/skin.estuary/xml/Font.xml. For example, here I am using vi to edit the file. First, take a backup, using the cp command as shown.

osmc@osmc:~$ cd /usr/share/kodi/addons/skin.estuary/xml
osmc@osmc:xml$ sudo cp -p Font.xml Font.xml.org
osmc@osmc:xml$ vi Font.xml

Inside the file, near the top, are two definitions for “font12” and “font13“. Font13 is used to draw “label” type controls throughout the Kodi/OSMC user interface, including the text in the EPG grid and in many other places. Font12 controls the size of text in the EPG time line (near the top, showing the time of day horizontally), and smaller text in other places, eg Home page widgets.

Recommendation: increase the size of font13 from 30 to a maximum of perhaps 38, depending on your personal preference. Change the size of font12 from 25 by anything up to 35. Bigger increases can displace other screen elements and make a mess.

Recommendation: also change the style of font 13 from “lighten” to “bold”. This makes EPG text really stand out.

Below, I have increased font12 from size 25 to 30, and font13 from 30 to 35. Font13 has also been emboldened, by changing its style from “lighten” to “bold“. These settings make the text nice and clear without displacing other elements in the UI.

<font>
      <name>font12</name>
      <filename>NotoSans-Regular.ttf</filename>
      <size>30</size>
      <style>lighten</style>
</font>
<font>
      <name>font13</name>
      <filename>NotoSans-Regular.ttf</filename>
      <size>35</size>
      <style>bold</style>
</font>

To see the effect of your changes, restart Kodi/OSMC or reboot the Pi. Highlight the of/on button at the top left of the Kodi Home screen and select “Exit” (to restart Kodi) or “reboot” to reboot the Pi. Or you can simply reload the skin, if you have a button set up for that.

Improve Main Font Sizes – Quick Way

Download a copy of Font.xml with the changes already made:

osmc@osmc:~$ cd /usr/share/kodi/addons/skin.estuary/xml
osmc@osmc:~$ sudo mv Font.xml Font.xml.$(date +%y%m%d)
osmc@osmc:~$ sudo wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/webtaster/Kodi/master/Font.xml

To see the effect of your changes, restart Kodi/OSMC or reboot the Pi.

Improve TV Recordings Screen

These changes are useful if you are using Kodi or OSMC to watch and record live TV. (If you aren’t doing that but would like to, please see my accompanying procedure How to Watch and Record Live TV using a Raspberry Pi).

Two improvements are made. Firstly, the number of lines on the screen is increased, so that less scrolling is required to see your TV recordings. Secondly, the “free space” note at the bottom right of the screen is enlarged, and the accompanying indicator bar, which by default is only a couple of pixels wide, is broadened.

About 14 changes are made to the file. Instead of explaining each change here, the file has been uploaded to Github. Install it as follows:

osmc@osmc:~$ cd /usr/share/kodi/addons/skin.estuary/xml
osmc@osmc:~$ sudo mv MyPVRRecordings.xml MyPVRRecordings.xml.$(date +%y%m%d)
osmc@osmc:~$ sudo wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/webtaster/Kodi/master/MyPVRRecordings.xml

If you are curious about the file modifications, check it with diff:

osmc@osmc:~$ diff MyPVRRecordings.xml.$(date +%y%m%d) MyPVRRecordings.xml

To see the effect of your changes, restart Kodi/OSMC or reboot the Pi.

END.

1 thought on “How to Enlarge Kodi Fonts

  1. Pingback: How to Watch and Record Live TV with a Raspberry Pi | Unix etc.

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