Troubleshooting Installed Fonts That Won't Work

Try These Tips to Fix Broken Fonts

Troubleshooting Installed Fonts
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Occasionally a font installation hits a snag. In many cases of broken fonts, your application, like a word processor like Microsoft Word, does not recognize the font.

Some problems can be fixed by deleting and then reinstalling the font, but first make sure you've followed all the steps to obtaining fonts, expanding archives, and installing the fonts as described in the font installation FAQ. If you're still having problems, try the troubleshooting tips below.

Troubleshooting Font Installations

If the font installation appears to go smoothly, but the font is not working or your software application doesn't recognize it, here are some troubleshooting suggestions.

  • If you downloaded the font from the web, the file may have become corrupted. Try downloading the file again and reinstalling it. If possible, download the font from a different source.
  • Make sure you are installing a font for the correct operating system you're using—there is a difference between Mac and Windows fonts in most cases, unless it is an OpenType font. 
  • If installing a PostScript Type 1 font, make sure you have both font files.
  • If installing a PostScript Type 1 font under Windows 2000 or Windows XP, and you currently have or previously had Adobe Type Manager Deluxe 4.0, 4.1, or 4.1.1 installed, you may need the Adobe Deluxe Updater in order to properly use your Type 1 fonts. This fixes registry problems associated with installing or uninstalling Adobe Type Manager Deluxe with Windows 2000 or XP.
    • There is also an ATM Light Updater for ATM Light users. Due to Windows 2000 and XPs built-in support of Type 1 fonts, ATM can interfere or cause registry problems when uninstalled.
  • Not all programs can use TrueType, OpenType, and PostScript Type 1 fonts, especially older or DOS-based programs. Some programs use proprietary font formats. Check the documentation for your software to be sure it supports the type of font you are trying to use.
  • If the font came from a reputable commercial source such as Adobe, Bitstream, or Monotype, it's rare that the font itself is the problem. However, some freeware and shareware fonts are not of the highest quality and can present problems with some software. Try them in a different program. If the font still gives you problems, you may have to abandon that font.
  • Some font problems arise when you have duplicate fonts installed. See the article Locate Font Files for tips on how to find where fonts may be hiding on your system and remove any duplicates.

What Is an OpenType Font?

PostScript Type 1 is a font standard developed by Adobe that is usable by any computer system.

TrueType is a type of font developed in the 1980s between Apple and Microsoft that offered greater control over how fonts would display. It became the most common format for fonts for a time.

OpenType is the successor to TrueType, developed by Adobe and Microsoft. It contains both PostScript and TrueType outlines, and it can be used on both Mac and Windows operating systems without conversion. OpenType can include more font features and languages for a font.