Windows Legacy OS forum

General discussion

Some Fonts Show Up As Boxes!

by victorcamp / March 28, 2004 9:40 PM PST

One of my system fonts, in certain circumstances, shows up as boxes, not letters/numbers! In MSN Messenger and some Windows Help files, the links show up as boxes. It started happening about the time I updated MSN Messenger over a year ago. Now the problem has migrated to my new Paint Shop Pro on quite a number of fonts. Other programs don't exhibit the problem. I'm using Windows 98 4.10.2222 with all the updates Microsoft has provided.

Things I've tried:
1. Removing and reinstalling fonts.
2. Checking system file integrity
3. No problem in Word, Access, etc.
4. I really, really don't want to wipe and start over.

Does anyone have a clue about how to fix it?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Some Fonts Show Up As Boxes!
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Some Fonts Show Up As Boxes!
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.
Collapse -
Re:Some Fonts Show Up As Boxes! Spotted when resources get low.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 29, 2004 3:09 AM PST
Collapse -
Re:Re:Some Fonts Show Up As Boxes! Spotted when resources get low.

I take it by your reply that the problem sometimes shows up when resources are low, expecially do to unwanted pests. I have now followed your suggestions, but the problem persists.

1. I set my maximum VCACHE to 70% of my 512MB RAM (minimum: 0).
2. I downloaded and ran each of the pest controls referenced in the link you provided. It did find many ad and reporting cookies, etc., but no viruses.
3. I scan my system once a week with Norton.
4. I use ZoneAlarm set rather stringently for my firewall.

My belief is that the font problem is related to some newish way of referencing fonts, since it only shows up in the newest Paint Shop Pro version and all Microsoft Messenger and Help file links. If it's a DLL version problem, I haven't been able to track it down. Neither Microsoft nor Jasc has been able to come up with a solution or reason.

Does anyone have any other suggestions?

Collapse -

1. Your vcache has nothing at all to do with resources. Resources are 64 kB of RAM, vcache is 0-384 Mb disk space.
2. Resources are shown with Resource Meter (rsrcmtr.exe).
3. I don't believe in a new way of referencing fonts. But might it be that a font used by this new (version of) the programs is missing? Or an existing font is corrupted somehow?

A missing font will be difficult to find out.
You can view all existing fonts with a small freeware program called fontlist:

Hope this helps.


Collapse -
by victorcamp / April 1, 2004 11:33 PM PST
In reply to: Remarks.

The oddity is that all the fonts work fine in other programs, e.g., Access, other word processors. When viewed in the fonts folder, they show a complete set of characters as they should. For a year, only MSN Messenger exhibited the problem (plus a few MS help files). I was surprised when the new Paint Shop Pro came up with over 25 fonts (out of 243) showing only boxes. The broken fonts are mixed throughout, sometimes half a family but not all. Also, some would display numbers correctly, but not letters. And when they didn't work correctly (both screen and printer), their metrics were messed up too. I find no consistency of foundry company, style, size, or age.

I've tried checking the fonts via Access API's, and they respond as they should. I'm thinking that some DLL was updated sometime in the last year that has a slightly different format for the accessing the fonts and metrics.

I'm still stumped.

Collapse -
by Tokyopete / April 22, 2004 9:25 PM PDT
In reply to: Re:Remarks.

Have you tried checking what format you're using in MSN? It sounds as though your format encoding is set perhaps for asian fonts.
Go to view - encoding and set it to - auto select - western european ISO. This will enable you to see all fonts normally without boxes. If your encoding is incorrectly set then boxes will appear as the relevant fonts do not exist in the encoding settings you are using (by mistake, of course). I get this often when viewing websites that were set up for Asian fonts systems such as Japanese. Although the web site is in English, the font set being used is Mincho which basically works correctly with Japanese computers!!!

Popular Forums

Computer Newbies 10,686 discussions
Computer Help 54,365 discussions
Laptops 21,181 discussions
Networking & Wireless 16,313 discussions
Phones 17,137 discussions
Security 31,287 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 22,101 discussions
Windows 7 8,164 discussions
Windows 10 2,657 discussions


Your favorite shows are back!

Don’t miss your dramas, sitcoms and reality shows. Find out when and where they’re airing!