How to make font darker

I am trying to update a program written a few years ago in RB on a Mac for a Mac to now run on both Windows and Mac. I’ve gotten over some of my early issues just updating to Xojo after so long, but now am having Windows problems. Some of them are pretty small, but still, I’d like to understand what I should be doing.

To be clear, I am still developing on the Mac, then building for Windows and testing there. I do not have a Windows computer to use for developing, nor am I likely to get one, so I’m stuck doing it this way.

The current problem is the font on what the user sees. I have a text box being written onto the background of the large window (I know I don’t have quite the right terminology, I hope you get what I mean). I already had to specify the background color (rather than let it be set by the system) because originally the font was appearing very washed out, and almost like a shadow font.

The background is now set to white (to alleviate a different problem; I would have like it to be a mid-light grey). I’ve also set the fonts to Helvetica instead of whatever I was using for the Mac, and bolded them. Their colors are set to black. Even so, they are appearing a very light brown on the screen. I would really like them to be darker so that they are more easily read; there is a lot of information that the user has to read in these and more contrast, I think, would be better.

What should I be doing to get the font colors to behave as (I think) they ought to?

Thank you very much,
Carolyn B-G
PS all answers appreciated and I will read them at home, however I’m only working part time and won’t be in the office again with Xojo available to me until Monday to be able to see if what anyone might recommend works. I’ll try to let you know at that point, however. Thanks so much!

Let me add that in another place in the program, the font appears to be black, but I cannot see what the difference might be between them. Also, I guess they are "label"s rather than textboxes. And some of the misbehaving text in question is actually Arial now, because I noticed that text that appeared the correct color was Arial. And yet some appears light brown/grey, and other appears black as I expect.

thanks again,

If the color is set to black (which is &c00000000) there’s not much likelihood its the font color thats wrong
You say it looks brownish - is the display calibrated to show colors properly ?
Sounds like maybe the contrast & brightness may be set wrong so the appearance is washed out

Is the control disabled, by chance? Make sure the Enabled box is checked.

A couple of things, is helvetica available on Windows? Check it is installed on the target machine and it is not being substituted with something else with a thin face. Also, Helvetica (Neue) is a very thin font, i’m not sure what variant you are using but i wouldn’t say it was the best for reading vast amounts of text.

If it is a thin faced font and as norman said the contrast & brightness are set wrong it is more likely to appear brown or off colour.

Can you not choose a font which is likely to be installed on both machines and be a big more standard?

No, Helvetica is not a default font under Windows, and it is not a good idea to use it for Xplat. The equivalent of Helvetica is a font created by Microsoft called Arial. You can probably download it, and other Windows fonts such as Windings, at

I have tried to generate Windows executables with Xojo Mac, but finally went to the Windows version for fine tuning. Which you can do within a virtual computer on your Mac. Among big differences, fonts are not rendered at all the same way on Mac and Windows. In the same app, to get the same rendition on labels, I had to move them upwards 26 points and increase their height from 45 to 64. Also, make sure to set labels to transparent if you do not want them to mask what is under, when the Mac does not seem to care.

About Helvetica, that’s interesting; Helvetica is what my local IT person said to use as a font that was pretty standard for both. But we are more Mac folks here than Windows (OTOH, my IT guys know a lot even about Windows, so it’s surprising to find one of them wrong). I’ve got Arial on Mac, so will use that.

Thanks to you all for all the other advice for fine-tuning; I’ll try to put it in place today (if I ever stop getting interrupted) or next Monday. Don’t know if the project will be able to support putting this on a Windows machine for dev/build (either time or money might get in the way; small project and low funds right now; trying to prep for applying for an actual grant, and the time allotted keeps getting squeezed with requirements increasing at the same time, I’m sure you’re all familiar with that!), but I’ll look into that.

(Another thing is we don’t have the true target machine, a laptop, available yet; I’m going to have to move stuff around anyway, I think, as I’ve just been told that the screen size I’ll have to work with is smaller than what I’m using. The nearest Windows machine for me to use is up a flight and down a hall, so I have to make a number of changes before it’s worth running back and forth to test them on an actual Windows computer instead of Windows run on parallels…)

Thanks again for all your help. I’m sure I’ll be back with more questions, especially as I start working with the executable on an actual Windows machine.


If you have a decently powered Mac a copy of Parallels, VirtualBox etc is a nice way to get a lot of testing before having to hit a real machine

Here is a list of the fonts included in various Windows OS releases:

Windows Fonts

As previously mentioned your safe on Windows with Arial…

Not sure what VirtualBox is, but yes to the rest. That’s what I’m doing. (This thing has been coming on like a freight train with requirements changing and so forth, and me only working extremely part time, so I don’t think the VirtualBox thing is going to happen…)

Going to try Arial now and some of the other things you and others have mentioned.
(This community has been so helpful! First with some mouse stuff over in the getting started area, and now this! Thank you, everyone!)

Some screenshots of the misbehaving Windows stuff would be very helpful as well.

Also, have you considered setting up remote debugging to the windows box upstairs? If you can VNC or Remote Desktop into it from your mac, you can remotely test and debug straight from the IDE on your mac. I do this daily, to test on various flavors of windows we have installed around the office.

Another VM engine so you can run windows on your mac

Virtualbox is an opensource free virtual PC produced by Oracle that you can download from

All you need afterwards is a copy of Windows to install in there.

i use the following for testing purpose

I’m sorry I haven’t gotten back to this thread. A lot has changed in the past couple weeks. I had to do a lot on the mac side to make changes and make it look more official for the NASA standards, and just get things running well enough to make good screen shots…that got finished just today (I was allowed to do those on the mac side).

Meantime some of the suggestions above seemed to do the trick for the fonts and appearance, and so I thank you all…

and on Monday, we got a laptop running an acceptable version of Windows, which I can now use for developing in Xojo to do the fine-tuning. (The laptop is on the table across from my desk and all I have to do is swivel my chair around. I don’t think I can get better!) I now have a new problem there, but I think I need to start a new thread.

So thank you all again. I printed your responses and they definitely helped.