Sometimes helping others can create more problems.
An example of the font Helvetica Neue
I had a situation happen to me this week that’s worth sharing.
One of my co-workers is working on a graphic design project, and she needed to add some fonts to her computer to edit a document.
For those who don’t know the term, a font is a typeface. Each typeface on your computer is an actual file that needs to be installed before you can use it.
After I found the font files she needed, I decided to install one on my computer as a refresher before I helped her. I hadn’t installed a font on a Windows PC in several years.
She was working remotely, so we set up a Microsoft Teams meeting. She shared her screen with me, and I walked her through installing the fonts.
That should have been the end of the story, but it wasn’t.
It isn’t unusual for there to be a follow-up question or issue when I work on a computer, but this time the problem manifested on my PC.
After that Teams meeting, I noticed that the default font on my web browser had changed. It was now a different typeface that was very thin and italic. It was not at all what I was used to seeing.
I began troubleshooting by restarting the browser — in this instance, Google Chrome.
Same font problem.
Then I made sure Chrome was up to date and restarted my PC.
Same font problem.
I launched Firefox to see whether the problem was limited to Chrome or was more widespread.
Firefox had the same font problem.
Aha. It was a system font issue.
I searched for the terms “browser,” “default font” and “changed” and I found an article called “Why has my browser font changed by itself?”
The article takes you through the steps of troubleshooting, like trying a different browser, then deleting any problematic fonts.
The article says to delete any recently added fonts, and of course I had installed one earlier in the week.
I uninstalled the font (Helvetica Neue, if you’re curious) and restarted my PC, and my browsers’ default font returned to normal.
I have fixed an awful lot of computers, but this was the first time I can remember that fixing a problem for someone else caused an issue with my computer.
It was a good troubleshooting exercise.
Jim Rossman writes for The Dallas Morning News. He may be reached at email@example.com. Visit The Dallas Morning News at dallasnews.com
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