Friday, May 22, 2009

Font issue in Windows

Recently I had a problem with fonts in Windows (mostly Firefox) suddenly showing up as serif instead of sans-serif. Anyone who uses computers often enough will notice the difference when sans-serif fonts are substituted with serif fonts or vice-versa. Another side effect was that the dots that normally show up for the password textbox on the Windows login screen showed as boxes one day, which usually means the character can't be rendered. The next day the dots came back, but they looked as if they were set for subscript (lowered), and it looked all wrong.

I found a solution by following this link on, found through my friend, Google. About halfway down page two, there is a section called Could your fonts be corrupted? This got me to thinking...

I recently copied the Arial and Arial Narrow fonts onto my USB thumb drive to install on a pair of PCs I was working on. Somehow I must have managed to delete (or corrupt) the fonts, as all 8 files showed up as 0-byte files when I used the method described on the page. I tried copying the fonts back from my USB thumb drive, but the 0-byte files stayed. I then deleted the old fonts and copied them again from my thumb drive, and this time the fonts re-installed properly.

I went back to Firefox and refreshed my Google search page, and the problem is gone! I have not logged out yet, but I am certain the problem is resolved. I hope this tip helps at least one person in the future.

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