Common font problems and ways to solve them


Font files are digital files that contain information about the design of a particular typeface. Computers and other devices use them to display text in a specific font style. Any font file contains information about the size, shape, and style of each glyph in the font. There are different types of font files( font types), such as TrueType (.ttf) and OpenType (.otf), Web Open Font File (.woff). They have their pros and cons and can be installed on a computer or embedded in a website to ensure that the intended font is used to render text.

Here we are going to explore the problems you may face working with font files as a designer, developer, or user.

Introduction to font files

Font files are an important element of design work. The appearance of the text in any design project depends on them. Designers need them to create unique typography fitting to the style, mood, or values of the project it is used for.

To work with a font file, you have to first install the file on the device. To download font files take these steps:

  1. When you have found the font you need, click on the download button.
  2. Select a location on your device where to save the font file.
  3. Double-click on the file to open it. Here you can view and install the font using the Install" button.
  4. When it is done, the font can be accessed and used in different design software, like, CorelDraw, Figma, Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign. In these programs, designers can select the font and adjust its parameters to make it fit the design.

Using font files designers also can create new custom typefaces or upgrade the already existing fonts. This allows the creation of distinctive typography to enhance the visual impact of a design project.

Common font file problems

When working with fonts users can face a lot of problems. Here we are going to describe the most common of them.

Display issuesDue to compatibility issues, outdated software, or incorrect font settings, some fonts may not render properly.
Size issuesFonts may appear too small or too large so that it is difficult to read them or it causes layout issues.
Compatibility issuesFonts may not be compatible with some software applications, platforms, or devices, causing display issues or errors.
Corrupted fontsDue to accidental deletion, software conflicts, or malware, fonts can be corrupted. Then they may not display correctly or may not display at all.
Language support issuesComplex or rare glyphs like hieroglyphs can be absent in some fonts making it difficult or impossible to display text correctly.
Accessibility issuesSome fonts are just difficult or impossible to read or use for people with visual impairments or other disabilities.
Missing fontsWhen a font file is missing or accidentally deleted, it is not available for use, and causes display issues or errors.
Licensing issuesUsing font files without the proper license may result in legal issues.
File format issuesEach font format has its drawbacks. One of them is that they may not be supported by some software, browser, or device.
Installation issuesIf you did not install fonts properly you may have errors or display issues when using them.

Identifying and resolving font file issues

As we already found out the main font problems, let’s learn how to identify and resolve them.

Font installation errors

Signs that a font file was not installed correctly:

How to solve font installation errors?

  1. Reinstall the font. You will need to uninstall it and then install it again correctly. Make sure you follow the correct installation process for your operating system.
  2. Check if the font file format is compatible with your operating system and the software you are using.
  3. Make sure the font file is placed in the correct directory so it is recognized by the software.
  4. Restart the software to ensure that it recognizes the font after installation.
  5. Check for conflicts and try to disable the fonts that may be causing conflicts.

Font licensing issues

How to identify if there are font licensing issues?

  1. Check the license agreement which outlines the terms of use. Read this agreement carefully to be sure that you are violating the licensing terms.
  2. Look for licensing information embedded in the font file itself if there is any. It can be done by opening the font file in a font editing software or by right-clicking on it and choosing “Properties” (on a Windows system) or “Get Info” (on a Mac).
  3. Check the source of the font to know if it originates from a reputable source. If it is from a website that offers free downloads of commercial fonts, there probably will be licensing issues.
  4. Consult with a lawyer whose specialization is intellectual property law. By that, you can be sure whether your use of a font is in compliance with the licensing agreement.

How to solve font licensing issues?

License violations can lead to legal action, so you must take steps to rectify the situation immediately.

Font compatibility issues

How to spot if there are issues with font compatibility?

Note: It is always good to test your fonts thoroughly across different platforms, devices, and browsers not to miss the comparability errors. Use different tools to manipulate fonts that allow you to see font metadata, preview fonts, or convert them to a more suitable format if needed.

How to solve font compatibility issues?

Font file accessibility issues

How to spot if there are issues with font file accessibility?

How to solve font file accessibility issues?

Corrupted font files

How to indicate that the font file is corrupted?

How to fix problems with corrupted font files?

Here are some steps you can take to try to solve the problem:

How to prevent font file problems?

So to summarize here we will give you tips to prevent problems with font files. But following them you will be able to minimize the possibility of having any troubles with fonts.

Stick to these tips and you will prevent problems with font files and ensure your designs look great without any issues.

Additional resources

By the end of the article, it seems worth mentioning to share with you some additional resources that you can use to find answers to questions related to managing fonts. They are:

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