MS Word 2003 fonts problem

Posted on 2008-10-29
Last Modified: 2012-06-27

I had to format my drive, and re-install MS Word 2003. Now after i downloaded all Word updates, i'm experiencing strange issues:

Fonts that i've used to create previous documents - automatically changed to some other fonts. Like i used to use Arial for some docs, but if i open it now - it changed to some other non-standard font.

Is there a way to make MS Word display documents in font that i originally used?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank Y ou!
Question by:Kaptain1
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 22836573
When you first opened your document up Word obviously was unable to locate the original fonts that you used. So it automatically did the best that it could and selected some alternative fonts.

Also, you should make sure that the fonts that you originally used are installed. You might find that after installing the required fonts, that the document reverts to how it used to be. I have known this to be the case before even after saving over.

If you saved your document after the fonts were automatically changed, then you may have to go through and reapply the original fonts. The styles panel usually eases the pain of adjusting styles for an entire document.

To prevent this issue arising again in the future, you can set an option in Microsoft Word to automatically embed the fonts that you use into your word document. That way, the font is available even when the font is not on the computer that you are working at.

Here is a resource that you may find of use:
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 22836585
Word will try to use the same fonts that you used on the original document.  But if it's unable to find the same font then it will use what it thinks is the closest match.  Which is probably what is happening to you.  If you have a full back up from your last computer you can find the fonts under the c:\windows\fonts directory and just copy them all over.

Otherwise the font that you had previously used was probably installed by a third party program that you haven't reinstalled.  They often come with create a card programs or other similar type programs.

Besides that, if you have a document that isn't coming up right you could try installing OpenOffice, which is free (  It may do a better job at displaying the document than word.

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 22836602
If I remember correctly you are offered to permanently replace fonts upon import, if you chose no to this option, then the original font names should still appear in the tool bar when you select some text that is not being shown in the correct font. If the correct font names are appearing, then it should be easier for you to reacquire these.
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LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 22836638
Here is another useful link which further describes the problem and offers some interesting advice:

Author Comment

ID: 22837000
Thank you all for the input, however, the font i've used before is Arial (one of the default and most commonly used fonts i believe?) - so how could Word not recognize or not find it?
Any other ideas?

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 22837038
Perhaps it was one of the many Arial variants? On this computer I have 5 Arial variants:

Arial Narrow
Arial Black
Arial Rounded MT Bold
Arial Unicode MS

As you say, the Arial font is pretty standard these days.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 22837047
According to the Microsoft Website, "Arial" is provided with Windows, as I had imagined.
LVL 15

Expert Comment

ID: 22837254
The file may be corrupted.  I would try opening it with OpenOffice and see if you have the same problem.  If OpenOffice brings it up without a problem then you can save it as a word doc and it should resolve the corruption.

Accepted Solution

Kaptain1 earned 0 total points
ID: 22966042
Apparently this problem only happened once - the first time saved MS Word documents were opened. Fonts seem to function properly now. Thanks for the input everyone!

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