Postscript Typefaces mess up IE9 - by cgrendel

Status : 

  Postponed<br /><br />
		Due to current priorities, the product team decided to postpone the resolution of this item.<br /><br />
		A more detailed explanation for the resolution of this particular item may have been provided in the comments section.

ID 652843 Comments
Status Closed Workarounds
Type Bug Repros 2
Opened 3/22/2011 9:28:40 AM
Access Restriction Public


Websites that have a reference to a font called "Times" in the style section cannot be displayed in IE9 (blank page is shown) if the font "Times" is actually installed on the local computer. The reason seems to be that "Times" is a postscript Type 1 font. If the postscript font is not installed locally, Windows substitutes "Times" with "Times New Roman PS" (aka times.ttf) and the website is displayed ok.
Problem: Users should not be forced to delete their postscript typefaces from their computers, just so that IE9 doesn't get confused.
Proposed Solution: IE9 should be patched so that it doesn't try to display fonts that DirectWrite cannot handle. Instead it should use font substitution tables or fallback fonts.
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Posted by BobbyJones on 12/21/2011 at 11:21 PM
Hopefully this info will help the Microsoft Team, the Type 1 version of Helvetica found in the "Adobe Fontfolio version 8.0" font pack used in conjunction with IE9 on Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit, will also cause the bug descriped in this post. Hope this helps
Posted by _ michael on 8/10/2011 at 10:18 AM
This is a relatively massive bug which affects tons of people, as a Google search for "ie9 helvetica bug" and some discussions on will quickly show you.

(See e.g. or

A huge number of websites list "Helvetica" as first font in some style or other, and an equally huge number of people have a Type1 Helvetica font installed on their machines. For these people, websites referencing Helvetica will not render AT ALL. IE9 will try to fall back to compatibility view, but without success, and the page remains empty.

The current solution to this problem is (a) to remove the Helvetica font from the affected machine, for the relatively small number of users who figure that out, or (b) to move on to Chrome or FF, for all others. I believe Micrsoft should deal with this thing quickly.
Posted by Microsoft on 6/14/2011 at 12:42 PM
Thank you for your feedback.

At this time we do not plan to fix this issue. Every piece of feedback we receive is important to us and helps us improve the quality of Internet Explorer. Unfortunately, we are currently unable to address your feedback. We will consider fixing this issue in the future.

We continue to welcome more feedback, so please don't hesitate to report other ways that we can improve Internet Explorer.

Best regards,

The Internet Explorer Team
Posted by cgrendel on 3/22/2011 at 3:08 PM
Sorry, forgot something: This bug can also manifest in webpages being only partly displayed. For example on some pages 'captcha' elements don't work, apparantly because "Helvetica" is referenced. Again, the reason for these display problems (standard postscript fonts are locally installed) is difficult to find because IE9 displays no error message.
Posted by cgrendel on 3/22/2011 at 2:25 PM
Just found out that this bug also applies to the font "Helvetica" (and probably also "Palatino"). The .ttf and .otf versions of these typefaces were renamed to avoid mix-ups with the postscript versions but most webpage designers obviously don't know that.