IE10 displays text in italic font

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Post IE10 upgrade some users may report that they see websites that:
1. Cannot load certain font, and IE10 recommends Compatibility View, or
2. Display the fonts incorrectly e.g. in italic.

 

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And the same site displays correctly on IE8.

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The issue is typical of a PC which has been installed previously with a set of Adobe Type 1 or True Type fonts.

We examined the website with the IE Debug tool.

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On the left hand side, under Style it reveals that the page is calling font-family “Helvetica Neue”, Helvetica, Arial, sans-serif.

We then used Microsoft Process Monitor (procmon.exe) to capture whatever font files which are called by IE10 process when it loads this page. Massive output that you have to sort by Excel. We found the closest match being helr48w.ttf, which is an Adobe True Type font called Helvetica-Narrow Oblique.

Preview of the font and another one called Helvetica-Narrow (which is a Type 1 font) leads us to believe these two fonts are allegedly causing the italic text display.

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To prove our finding, we installed the above two fonts on our test VM and were able to reproduce the exact problem. Once these Helvetica series fonts are removed, the web page displays correctly again.

TIP: You can use this test link to test if a font is displayed correctly by the browser http://webdemos.azurewebsites.net/font.aspx?font=Helvetica Neue

 

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Resolution – Remove the conflicting third party font(s)

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We have two fonts we want to remove:

    1. Helvetica Narrow Oblique
    2. Helvetica Narrow

Step 1 – Remove the font’s registry keys

Installed fonts are stored in the following Registry paths:

    • TrueType & OpenType Fonts
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts
    • Adobe Type 1 Fonts
      HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Type 1 Installer\Type 1 Fonts

Warning: Changes made to the Windows registry happen immediately and there is no automatic backup. Microsoft have issued the following warning: “Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious, system-wide problems that may require you to re-install Windows to correct them. Microsoft cannot guarantee that any problems resulting from the use of Registry Editor can be solved. Use this tool at your own risk.”

How to back up the registry: From the Registry editor’s File menu,  click ‘Export…’. Click the ‘All’ option in Export range, specify a filename and then save your registry.

Remove  Helvetica Narrow Oblique (TrueType):

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Remove Helvetica Narrow – there are four registry keys that need to be removed

    1. Helvetica Narrow
    2. Helvetica Narrow Bold
    3. Helvetica Narrow BoldOblique
    4. Helvetica Narrow Oblique

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Step 2 – Remove the font files under C:\Windows\Fonts folder

Delete the following font files:

    1. Helr48w.ttf
    2. HVNB_.PFM
    3. HVNB_.PFB
    4. HVNBO.PFM
    5. HVNBO.PFB
    6. HVNO_.PFM
    7. HVNO_.PFB
    8. HVN___.PFM
    9. HVN___.PFB

Note: TTF only has 1 font file. Type 1 font has 2 files per font typeface, so for this Helvetica Narrow font family which has 4 typefaces there are 8 font files

In some cases the system may not allow you to remove a font because it is in use. In such situation you’ll need to boot up in Safe Mode to perform the deletion.

Optionally, you may want to delete the other variations of the Helvetica font if they are causing IE10 display issue. Perform the above two steps if you want to delete additional Helvetica fonts, for example:

HelvCondBlk – Type 1, 2 files, 2 registry paths

    • HelveticaCondensed Black
    • HelveticaCondensed BlackObl

HelvCondLight – Type 1, 2 files, 2 registry paths

    • HelveticaCondensed Light
    • HelveticaCondensed LightObl

HelveticaCondensed – Type 1, 4 files, 4 registry paths

    • HelveticaCondensed
    • HelveticaCondensed Bold
    • HelveticaCondensed BoldObl
    • Helvetica Condensed Oblique

Voila! You have removed the problematic Helvetica font that is causing IE10 to display text in weird italic.

 

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