Jim Rossman: How fixing someone else’s problem broke my computer | | #firefox | #chrome | #microsoftedge

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 jrossman@dallasnews.com. Visit The Dallas Morning News at dallasnews.com

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