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So I have just re-installed Leopard on my MacBook and recovered from my Time Machine only to find I have font rendering issues with the Helvetica font:

This happens in browser or in apps like Mail. Can anybody offer a solution?

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Have you tried clearing the font caches with sudo atsutil databases -remove; atsutil server -shutdown; atsutil server -ping? – user495470 Mar 13 '12 at 12:15

You may have a problem with your font caches. Download a copy of the free Onyx for Leopard, and execute a maintenance/cleaning task for Fonts:


It is recommended that you restart your computer after that. Take the time to see the other maintenance/cleaning options around. It's good to use Onyx every now and then to start from scratch. I use Cocktail which is essentially the same (but paid). I use it probably 4 times a year, but it helps keeping things clean.

Mac OS X doesn't really need these utilities to work, because it does have its own cleaning scripts and jobs, but after so many years of OS X experience, I've noted that some things can escape (or get corrupted) and these small utilities (either one) will save you some time.

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It looks like the Helvetica Fractions font, which is pretty much incompatible with OS X. You may need to remove it entirely.

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I was forced to update to Leopard 10.5.8 to get MS Office working. This update did in turn fix the issue with the Helvetica font. Many thanks guys.

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When you are able, can you please accept your answer? Thanks! – daviesgeek Mar 13 '12 at 19:20

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