Fixing the small title bar text in GNOME with Compiz enabled

If you’re running GNOME and have enabled Compiz effects, you may have noticed that title bar text – the descriptions at the top of windows – have inexplicably got smaller. This problem is especially relevant and noticeable in Linux Mint and other Ubuntu-based distributions, as I learned when setting up a machine for my Mom to use. You can see an example of the small/broken title bar text size below. (This was with the default settings)

Small (broken) title bar text

A quick fix would be just to increase the title bar font size in the appearance settings, but this would result in larger-than-normal title bar text if you were to disable the Compiz effects. This smaller text is actually a slight bug, and can be fixed by entering the command compiz --version in the terminal. After doing this, you’ll see the title bar text increase back to the normal size – invoking compiz seems to cause the manager to reset the size back. However, the changes do not persist after a reboot or after logging back in and it’s impractical to have to do this every time.

As with all tedious tasks, the best way to accomplish them is with a script. Here’s a nice workaround.