Posted by Thomas Phinney

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September 11, 2008

Arial Narrow is fixed! No longer will it be reproducing like crazy… no, wait, not that kind of fix.

Users of many Adobe applications such as InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop have been noticing for a while that the version of the four Arial Narrow fonts that ship with Office 2007 and Windows Vista had a problem. They didn’t show up correctly in the font menus of these Adobe applications. Instead of four styles of Arial Narrow showing up, there would be just one. It was however under the main “Arial” family, unlike the older version of Arial Narrow.

Basically, Microsoft tried to enhance the font menu names for the family, but inadvertently gave all four fonts the same style of just “Narrow” rather than the needed “Narrow Italic” and so on. We worked with them to identify the problem and how to fix it, and they’ve now released the fixed fonts. These will doubtless show up in some future service pack(s) for Office and/or Windows, but until then, follow that link for a “Hotfix.”

ADDENDUM: [added 12 Sep 2008] The process of installing the new fonts may confuse the Adobe font caches. As my colleague Dov Isaacs put it, “The trick is that you need to rebuild the Adobe font cache mechanism. First, exit all Adobe programs. Then, search and delete ALL files of the form AdobeFnt##.lst where ## is a two digit number.”


  • By Adam Twardoch - 6:45 AM on September 14, 2008  

    Some font managers such as Linotype FontExplorer also allow you to easily clean the font caches.