Bug 9923 - All glyphs displayed as missing in some Microsoft Office apps
Summary: All glyphs displayed as missing in some Microsoft Office apps
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: DejaVu
Classification: Unclassified
Component: Sans (show other bugs)
Version: unspecified
Hardware: x86-64 (AMD64) Windows (All)
: medium normal
Assignee: Deja Vu bugs
QA Contact:
: 11625 (view as bug list)
Depends on:
Reported: 2007-02-08 14:37 UTC by Martin von Gagern
Modified: 2009-09-11 17:03 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
i915 platform:
i915 features:


Description Martin von Gagern 2007-02-08 14:37:06 UTC
With some DejaVu fonts and some Microsoft Office apps, all characters are replaced by the "Missing Glyph" character. That means not some exotic glyphs, but basic ASCII letters and the simple space character as well.

Note that it's only some apps, and the glyphs are even present in the character table (Insert/Symbol?) of that app. But even when I enter the symbols through this dialog, they are still not displayed in the main document.

I have encountered several similar cases, which I'll list here.

Windows XP with Office XP Small Business Edition German:
In Microsoft Publisher the following fonts won't work:
Sans, Sans Condensed, LGC Sans, LGC Sans Condensed.
The Serif versions seem to work, and all fonts seem to work in Word and Excel.

Windows 2000 with Office 2003 Student and Teacher Edition German:
In Microsoft PowerPoint the Sans Condensed font won't work.
Sans and LGC Sans Condensed do work, and Sans Condensed works in Microsoft Word.

Windows XP with Office 2003 French:
In PowerPoint the Sans Condensed font won't work.
This was Denis Jacquerye (moyogo) reproducing the issue on IRC, thanks there!
Comment 1 Doug McClean 2007-03-01 15:10:49 UTC
I have encountered this problem on Windows XP and MS Office 2003 US English (both using SP2), and with DejaVu Sans and DejaVu LGC Sans.

In MS Outlook, the search and help textboxes on the toolbar display text using the empty glyphs, and dialog boxes for the calendar (for reminders, accepting/rejecting meetings, etc.) display empty glyphs. There may be more instances of this, but those are the main areas I have noticed this.
Comment 2 John Karp 2007-09-26 11:03:21 UTC
*** Bug 11625 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***
Comment 3 Doug McClean 2008-01-08 11:02:25 UTC
I did some testing today, and found that this problem started (for me, anyway) with version 2.10; anything version 2.9 and older seems to work fine with everything I do in Outlook.
Comment 4 Tony Cowderoy 2008-05-04 02:51:28 UTC
I have encountered similar problems with Office 2003.  DejaVu worked fine in Office 97 before I upgraded.  I want to adopt DejaVu as the standard presentation font for my business, so fixing the problems with Powerpoint is critical for me.  Thank you Doug for mentioning that 2.9 and earlier work OK.  That seems to be a successful temporary fix.  BTW, has anyone tested this in MS Office 2007?

I would like to suggest that this bug should be given a higher priority.  I understand that DejaVu is becoming the default font for a lot of OpenOffice.org distributions.  If the problem with MS Office is not fixed, that will cause interoperability problems for OOo users.  That will hinder the adoption of FLOSS applications in business and government.
Comment 5 Doug McClean 2008-05-15 11:28:04 UTC
My employer just upgraded us to Office 2007 today; I tested everything I had trouble with previously and couldn't duplicate this bug (using version 2.24; I didn't try any earlier versions since the newest one worked).
Comment 6 Phil 2009-07-07 02:42:10 UTC
I also have this problem. It only seems to be with Publisher & Powerpoint and also only with Sans...
I have v2.11 of the font, XP pro sp 3 and office 2003. 
Imagine my embarrassment when, whilst trying to convince the charity I work for to adopt the Deja Vu family, my presentation came out covered in missing glyph boxes... not very convincing after all! Sans condensed, mono & light seem to render fine.
Comment 7 Phil 2009-07-07 03:03:00 UTC
Just updated to 2.28 LGC but still get the boxes... :o(
Comment 8 Tony Cowderoy 2009-07-07 03:07:22 UTC
2.29 seems to work OK for me on XP SP3 and Office 2003.  Alternatively, try going back to 2.9 or earlier, which worked OK.
Comment 9 int0focus 2009-09-01 05:44:18 UTC
This bug was present for me in Sans and Sans Condensed versions 2.10 to 2.29 inclusive.

System: Windows XP SP3, English (UK), Microsoft Office 2003 SP3.

To reproduce:
1. In Windows Control Panel, set the Icon font to DejaVu Sans Condensed.
2. Start Microsoft Word (or any other Office 2003 app), and mouse-over any of the drop-down boxes in the toolbar (e.g. Paragraph Style, Font Name, etc.), or over the "Type a question for help" box in the top-right of the window.

If the text within these boxes was visible before the mouse-over action, then it changes to the dreaded blank rectangles on mouse-over.  Sometimes, the text within the boxes is already blank rectangles before the mouse-over action.

I have just installed DejaVu fonts version 2.30, and I can no longer reproduce the problem!  I would guess that this issue had finally been resolved in commit r2358 (which contributed to version 2.30), as described here:

Other reporters (Phil, Doug and Tony) might want to give 2.30 a try.
Comment 10 Doug McClean 2009-09-11 17:03:30 UTC
With the few Office 2003 products I have left (Visio and Project), I was able to reproduce the bug with 2.29, but I was not able to reproduce the problem with 2.30. Looks like it might be fixed!

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