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Why has Arial Narrow font disappeared on iMac running Parallels?

Posted on 2014-11-15
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Last Modified: 2014-12-09
Hello

I run Parallels 9 on an iMac and do a lot of work in Windows 8.1

Recently the font Arial Narrow disappeared.   In Excel for example the cell appears to still be formatted in Arial Narrow but nothing is visible in the cell.

After finding no answers on the web I did a Windows System Restore to a few days prior to the latest Windows update, and it brought Arial Narrow back into operation.

Now today tat font has disappeared again, I'm presuming because that same Windows update has gone through.

Is there a way I can stop Arial Narrow disappearing all the time?

I have too much formatted in it to change to a different font, which is a real pain.

For future files though it seems as if I may need to find something in Windows that looks like it.

Thankyou for any assistance.
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Question by:Glen_Sydney
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40445718
I have Windows 8.1 running natively and Updates do not get rid of fonts.

Go to Control Panel, Fonts and see if you see the multiple Arial font that includes Narrow.  See the reference below:

Windows-8-Fonts

Then in this control panel window, select (left side) Font Settings and consider clicking on Restore Default Font Settings.  See if that brings back Narrow.

On my machine (native US English), I have "Hide fonts based on language settings" selected.
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Author Comment

by:Glen_Sydney
ID: 40445734
Thankyou for your reply.

At the first step in Arial I can see: Arial Black, Arial Bold, Arial Bold Italic, Arial Italic and Arial Regular.

So Arial Narrow is not there.   I presume it would have been before, as I use it extensively.

I tried clicking on 'Restore Default Font Settings' but all it did was greyed out that box and nothing happened.

Interestingly if I open an Excel file from Mac Finder (i.e. in Numbers) I can see the use of Arial Narrow font normally.

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40445738
Make sure the user name for Windows 8 is a member of the administrators group.

If something has screwed up Windows 8.1, you may need to do a Windows 8 Refresh from Action Center, Recovery options. This will keep your data but make you reinstall software like Office.

The problem here is in Windows and not Office. Something has damaged the Windows operating system.
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Author Comment

by:Glen_Sydney
ID: 40446260
Thankyou for that.

I'd have preferred not to have to reinstall Office and have to set it all up again (Custom toolbars, Outlook multiple  email accounts etc).

Out of curiosity I did another System Restore back to a restore point I had on 8 November, which was before a Windows 'critical update' on 13 November.

Once again my Arial Narrow font has came back to life !

Now, if only I could keep it here!
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40446266
Updates do not affect my fonts. I am entirely up to date. Since you cannot reset the fonts, something else is wrong.

Try running SFC /SCANNOW and see if that helps. I think, however, you might need to do a refresh.
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Author Comment

by:Glen_Sydney
ID: 40448675
Thanks, I tried that but not sure that I did it right.

I run 'Start 8' on Windows 8 in Parallels on an iMac, so I typed    SFC /SCANNOW   into the 'search programs and files' box.   Momentarily what looked like a DOS prompt flashed up then disappeared.

Pardon my ignorance but how should I run SFC /SCANNOW ?

By the way Arial Narrow has disappeared again.   This is all rather frustrating.  

I wonder why doing a System Restore to before the last Windows update keeps bringing the font back?   Coincidental perhaps?

Maybe I should give up and do a search & replace with another font in every Excel file as they come up for use, but there doesn't seem to be another Windows font that is as good narrow as that one.

Thanks again.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40448810
If you want Arial Narrow back (it works on my Windows 8.1 machine) you may need to do a Windows 8 refresh.
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Author Comment

by:Glen_Sydney
ID: 40448857
Thanks that may be my only option.

It is just the hassle of reinstalling MS Office and setting everything up again.

Might have to be one of those tasks left for a rainy day, or work without it.

Still puzzled what broke it in the first place.
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40448862
I do not know why it broke. I use Windows 8.1 Pro 64-bit with Office 2013 Home / Business I think, and fonts always worked for me despite all updates.

I rebuilt Windows 8 ground up, updated it and then installed Windows 8.1 over a year ago, and only then installed Office (again) and then new software versions in most cases.
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Author Comment

by:Glen_Sydney
ID: 40452331
Thankyou for the suggestions.

For the time being I am replacing the use of Arial Narrow with another font (Calibri).

It is time consuming but I wouldn't want to go through the heartache of reinstalling Office only to have the same thing happen again.   If it can happen once................

Alas, another of life's little mysteries in Windows.
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Author Comment

by:Glen_Sydney
ID: 40463740
I happened to notice my Arial Narrow font returned without me (seemingly) doing anything about it.

Now I'm really mystified!
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Accepted Solution

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John Hurst earned 500 total points
ID: 40464327
It is possible that System Restore or SFC had an effect after a few restarts, but that seems unlikely.

If it is working, use it.

I think my overall answer still is reasonable and at some point, and possibly for another reason, you will need to refresh / rebuild Windows 8.

Until then, if it is working, use it.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Glen_Sydney
ID: 40489998
Thankyou for your advice.   :-)
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Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40489999
Thank you Glen, and I was happy to help.
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