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?

  • 1
    Have you tried clearing the font caches with sudo atsutil databases -remove; atsutil server -shutdown; atsutil server -ping?
    – Lri
    Commented Mar 13, 2012 at 12:15

3 Answers 3


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.


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


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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