Italic display

tconsolo's Avatar


16 Jan, 2012 03:47 AM

In every version of TenFourFox I've used (5, 7, and now 9), italic fonts do not display correctly, particularly on Wikipedia. Anyone dealt with this already? This happens on multiple machines as well.

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  1. Support Staff 61 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 18 Jul, 2012 09:19 AM

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    Alright, let's see what tconsolo and the other bug reporters say about this. Since I don't see the problem on their reported websites, there might be other font families that behave similarly. I'll keep the Myriad variants in Fonts Disabled for testing purposes.

  2. 62 Posted by Felix on 21 Aug, 2012 08:37 PM

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    I have the same problem sorta with Craigslist

  3. Support Staff 63 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 04 Sep, 2012 03:23 PM

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    Felix, I don't see the bug on Craigslist, but this probbaly just means that I don't have any fonts installed that cause it. I checked with the one problematic font I know of and have available (Myriad), but that's not it. If you find the time to test which font causes it on your system, you'd help us a lot.

  4. 64 Posted by tconsolo on 19 Sep, 2012 04:28 AM

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    Hello. The Web site just redesigned, and now it doesn't
    display properly. Attached is a comparison between TFF 10.0.6 and plain
    FF 3.6.28. Note that there is no italic involved here. My default
    san-serif font is Arial, for the record.

  5. Support Staff 65 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 19 Sep, 2012 04:40 AM

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    The page appears normally here. It does appear that for some people Helvetica is offending font, and for others Arial, but I can't find anything in common between those systems. However, there is a suggestion on about getting a little more information.

  6. Support Staff 66 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 19 Sep, 2012 07:47 AM

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    I can't reproduce this one, either.

  7. Support Staff 67 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 20 Sep, 2012 02:07 AM

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    Since TenFourFox 17 is around the corner (the next major update) and I can't figure out what's going on, I'm working on a mitigation. While I still can't reproduce this on any of the four systems I test TenFourFox on (G5, iMac G4, iBook G4, Sawtooth G4, 10.4.11) or on my 10.6.8 Intel mini, there appears to be enough people with fonts affected by this to make wallpapering the problem worthwhile even if the underlying issue (which I can't reproduce) can't be repaired.

    Different people are having different issues. tconsolo seems to have it with Arial; another poster is having it with Helvetica, and at least one person mentioned Times; and Chris mentioned Myriad Pro.

    For 17, I'm writing code that will allow you to turn off Arial, Helvetica or both to force the system to pick a fall-back font. This code does work on my system, though the font it selects might be unexpected and I can't really control for that. If I kill both, it selects Times; it tends to pick the other if you just kill one. The font selection only affects TenFourFox.

    I'm trying to limit this to specific fonts to avoid writing a whole bunch of exceptions in the code or introducing new bugs, so fonts that are rarely reported as problematic should simply be disabled from the system in the usual way.

    Fonts that users can demonstrate are bad should be reported in this thread ASAP. I hope to have an Aurora build of 17 out in a week or so that you can play with and see if this helps the issue, even if the font choice is wrong.

  8. 68 Posted by orisinio on 21 Sep, 2012 01:20 AM

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    About half the pages I try to load with TenFourFox come across as some sort of Chinese characters. That, or it displays the little boxes described elsewhere in this thread. It's hard for me to nail down the font names or variations. This is even happening when I disable "TenFourFox > Preferences > Content > Advanced > Allow pages to choose their own fonts.... " though admittedly that reduces the problem.

  9. Support Staff 69 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 21 Sep, 2012 01:22 AM

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    For this intervention to be at all effective, I need specific font names. You can test fonts in that same dropdown by setting them to a font you believe is affected, and seeing if the problem occurs, or by disabling the suspect font in Font Book.

  10. 70 Posted by orisinioribaldi... on 21 Sep, 2012 09:31 PM

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    Thanks, Cameron. I just specified Times New Roman instead of Times as my browser's serif font, and it's cleared up several display issues. But if I let web pages specify their own fonts, there's no end of trouble -- and I can't always tell what fonts they're trying to display. Is there no fall-through safety net when TenFourFox can't find a specified glyph in a particular font?

    Oh, and this style spec seems to fail reliably, particularly in bold:
    font-family: Frutiger, "Frutiger Linotype", Univers, Calibri, "Gill Sans", "Gill Sans MT", "Myriad Pro", Myriad, Tahoma, Geneva, "Helvetica Neue", Helvetica, Arial, sans serif;

  11. Support Staff 71 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 22 Sep, 2012 12:43 PM

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    There is some fallback support but font selection is imperfect even in the real Firefox. I'm unlikely to alter that code significantly until after 10.5 support is completely purged from the Firefox code base, which probably won't happen until at least 18, due to the changes required.

    Adding Times to the list of fonts that can be blacklisted seems reasonable. However, the style spec in your report above isn't specific at all. The CSS style font-family allows the browser to select any of the fonts in the list if your system has it, listed in descending priority, so any one, set or all of those could be offenders.

    Chris has specifically mentioned Myriad Pro as a font that was affected for him. It's not workable to add an exception for every possible font to about:config. For these less common fonts, you should just disable them in Font Book and reenable when appropriate. I'm limiting the blacklist to common fonts that are not practical to disable for most users.

  12. Support Staff 72 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 24 Sep, 2012 04:55 AM

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    A friendly ping to people watching this thread: currently the font blocklist will let you block Arial, Helvetica and/or Times (or any combination) and force the browser to use another font. I am still soliciting other suggestions. Fonts suggested should be commonly reported as issues and commonly used enough that disabling them in Font Book is an unacceptable workaround. A build of 17-Aurora with this feature will be available hopefully next week for people to try.

  13. Support Staff 73 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 27 Sep, 2012 02:44 AM

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    For those affected by this issue, TenFourFox 17.0a2 is available. Please read this blog post: and heed the warnings within.

  14. 74 Posted by Barry K. Nathan on 27 Sep, 2012 10:21 PM

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    I only have one affected font (Bitstream Charter), which is enough for me to come up with the following theory but not enough for me to really be certain of it...

    Check the font's type in Font Book. If it's "TrueType" or "OpenType PostScript" then it will work fine. If it is "PostScript Type1" then it won't work. (This is on a Mac OS X 10.5.8 system. I haven't had a chance to try 10.4.11 but I don't expect it to make a difference.) These days, I wouldn't expect the typical Mac OS X system to have even one PS Type1 font, which would explain why this problem usually doesn't happen.

    If my theory is true, then this is a bug of some kind and doesn't involve corrupt fonts, but the workaround would be to disable all PostScript Type1 fonts (or make them all user fonts so that you can have a separate TFF user that does not have them). (Also, if clearing the font cache resolves the problem temporarily, make sure to check for and avoid having duplicate fonts.)

  15. Support Staff 75 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 27 Sep, 2012 11:02 PM

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    Interesting theory. Chris, what does Myriad Pro come up with on your system?

    I did some testing with this against the Type 1 fonts installed on my system. They indeed don't render, but they don't "box out." Still, it should be easy enough to filter them if that is indeed the problem.

    It would also be handy for people to Validate the affected fonts in Font Book to make sure they are not garbled otherwise.

  16. Support Staff 76 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 28 Sep, 2012 07:35 AM

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    As I wrote, in my case it's a combination that creates the problem (see comments 60 & 61). I don't know enough about fonts, but I'll try to explain anyway:

    "Myriad" (not "Myriad Pro") is a Font Suitcase; the variants are indeed Postscript Type 1. If only the Font Suitcase file or the variants files are in the Fonts folder, the font doesn't show up in Font Book at all, no applications see it, and the test website displays okay in TFF. (Maybe the Font Suitcase file is no actual font but is needed to make the Postscript variants work? "Myriad Roman" is the basic variant.)

    If I put everything back into the Fonts folder, the font shows up as a Family in Font Book and validates with no problems, but the test website is illegible.

    I have lots of Postscript fonts installed. The test website specifically asks for Myriad.

  17. Support Staff 77 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 28 Sep, 2012 07:37 AM

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    add.: Cameron, Myriad on my test website doesn't box out anymore in TFF 14+; there's no text hint at all. It only boxes out in TFF 10.

  18. Support Staff 78 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 28 Sep, 2012 08:15 AM

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    Created PostScript html test file with a variety of fonts. I think Barry is right. None of them renders correctly. Some seem to fallback, some don't render at all. Safari doesn't get all of them, either.

    TFF 17:

    TFF 10:


    SeaMonkey 1.1:

  19. Support Staff 79 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 28 Sep, 2012 10:45 PM

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    Can some of our other users report in on their affected fonts?

  20. 80 Posted by Felix on 08 Oct, 2012 09:13 PM

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    Now that I've downloaded and installed the update I can't even enter text into text fields they are blank

  21. Support Staff 81 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 08 Oct, 2012 09:17 PM

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    Felix, you didn't say if you changed any of the settings, or what your affected fonts are, or if any of them are Type 1. We're not going to get this fixed without more information from the affected parties, and I'm not getting any from the people for whom this was allegedly a major problem. Help us out here with information I can use to make a fix.

  22. 82 Posted by Felix Torres on 08 Oct, 2012 09:19 PM

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    I'm not sure what you mean

    Sent from my iPhone

  23. Support Staff 83 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 14 Oct, 2012 01:05 AM

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    17.0 beta is now released with a more complete take on this based on Barry's theory and Chris' testing. I would really appreciate those affected by this giving it a try. The settings I mentioned in the earlier comment are still available if that is insufficient.

  24. Support Staff 84 Posted by Chris (chtrusch... on 14 Oct, 2012 07:47 AM

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    postscript-test.html from comment 80 renders with all fonts readable (fallback) in TFF 17b1 on my system. Also the test website is now usable. Excellent.

  25. 85 Posted by Mike on 15 Oct, 2012 05:10 PM

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    Interestingly this thread update and the release of the beta of v17 coincided with my first use of my G5 in about 6 months. I've been out of State on a job assignment and working exclusively on my MacBook Pro. But last week I arrived home and got the G5 powered up and saw the updates to this thread.

    I'm happy to report that, thus far, the beta version of TFF 17 has cured ALL the issues I previously posted in this thread. No more off characters or weird boxes. I have changed absolutely nothing else on this system. As I said, it has been sitting unused almost the entire time since my last post.

    So whatever you folks did, major kudos to you. Thanks for your perseverance.

  26. Support Staff 86 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 16 Oct, 2012 12:39 AM

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    Great! That's very encouraging, and says that the theory and fix are probably both on the right track. Other reports still solicited.

  27. 87 Posted by Matthew R Giese on 16 Oct, 2012 08:49 PM

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    I am really satisfied with this posting that you have given us. This is really a stupendous work done by you. Thank you and looking for more posts

  28. Support Staff 88 Posted by Cameron Kaiser on 28 Nov, 2012 09:57 PM

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    I'm assuming this general issue has been fixed by the font blacklist code in 17. If this is not the case, please reply to this post and the ticket will reopen.

  29. Cameron Kaiser closed this discussion on 28 Nov, 2012 09:57 PM.

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