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Solving Font Problems with the Latest Version of Firefox

written by: Donna Buenaventura•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 2/27/2011

Do websites you visit continue to display their fonts instead of your selected fonts? Find out how you can solve font problems with the latest version of Firefox in this how to guide.

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    Downloadable Fonts and Firefox

    Font Problems with Firefox? There are providers of free Web fonts that websites, blog owners or content providers can use to display a desired font on their pages. The Firefox browser supports downloadable fonts to be used by a website or blog. Some examples of free downloadable fonts come from Google Web fonts or Font Squirrel. Some users and content providers are seeing font problems with the latest version of Firefox, and below are some solutions to help you work-around and fix these issues.

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    Web Fonts and Firefox

    Bloggers and other online content providers that are using fonts by Google or other services often find the font in Firefox will not display correctly. The web page will display fine in Chrome, Safari and Internet Explorer, however. There are reports that this problem is normal or by design, if the location of Web fonts in use is hosted or served in a different path of a domain or other domain name.

    To work-around the issue, you need to edit the apache configuration in your Web server by adding the following lines:

    AddType application/ .eot

    AddType font/ttf .ttf

    AddType font/otf .otf

    <FilesMatch "\.(ttf|otf|eot)$">

    <IfModule mod_headers.c>

    Header set Access-Control-Allow-Origin "*"



    Another work-around is to use the Google blog service since they are the provider of Web fonts and also the same provider as Firefox.

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    Images Will Not Display in Firefox When Using Customized Fonts

    The NoSquint for Firefox Firefox browser allows end-users to choose what type of font they want to see when viewing a web page instead of displaying what the website creator desires. This option in Firefox can be changed via Firefox tools menu > Content tab > Advanced button under Fonts and colors. Unchecking the box before "allow pages to choose their own fonts, instead of my selections above" should display what you actually want to see when viewing a page. However, there is a known issue in Firefox where images of the website won't display if the above font settings are applied in Firefox.

    The work-around is to use NoSquint add-on for Firefox that can override the setting of fonts, background colors and other website elements.

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    Internet Explorer Displayed Fonts Better

    ClearType option in IE Some users find Internet Explorer can display the fonts in websites nicer than those in Firefox. This is because there is option for IE to use ClearType to sharpen fonts in Windows and Internet Explorer. You can also take advantage of this feature by enabling ClearType in Windows:

    For XP users:

    • Click Start, click Control Panel, click Appearance and Themes, and then click Display.
    • On the Appearance tab, click Effects.
    • Click to select the Use the following method to smooth edges of screen fonts check box, and then click ClearType in the list.

    Or simply turn on ClearType in Windows XP by going to the ClearType Tuner website of Microsoft.

    For Vista and Windows 7 users: ClearType is enabled by default, but if it was disabled for some reason, follow the steps below to enable it.

    • Right-click any empty area on the desktop and click Personalize.
    • Select Windows Color and Appearance and click open classic appearance properties for more options.
    • Click Effects button and choose ClearType in the drop-down menu to replace the Standard effects.ClearType 
    • Click OK to apply the selections.

    If you continue to see font problems with the latest version of Firefox, update your graphics driver by installing the latest driver. Check the manufacturer's website of your graphics card or visit the PC vendor's website for available updates. Windows also provides hardware-related driver updates so check for updates often.

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