All of a sudden, the font for Google websites turned bold in Firefox.
Pretty much all Google sites were affected including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google search, you get the picture… It was strange because I didn’t modify a thing and it just happened. Although I found the solution, it wasn’t easy so rather than keep it to myself, below I’ll explain what happened and how I fixed it.
First off, here’s what it looks like when you get hit with this strange font bug.
Note: The issue also occurred on my WordPress blog interface… freaky
Root cause? Why did it break anyway?
The cause seems to be a font issue with the Verdana and/or Arial fonts, but reinstalling them didn’t do a thing for me. On the other hand, it could also be related to hardware acceleration in Firefox. In different cases, only one of the two solutions above actually worked, so if the first one doesn’t solve it for you, the second one should.
Now that we agree we have a problem, let’s see what we can do about it.
Close Firefox then Right-Click the Firefox.exe or FirefoxPortable.exe executables then Click Troubleshoot compatibility from the Context menu. If you don’t know where these files are located, by default Firefox installs them in the Program files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox folder. However, if you’re using the Portable version of Firefox via Dropbox like I am, you will need to track it down to where you dropped it in your Dropbox folder or USB Drive.
You’ll get a window just like the one below. Click Try recommended settings
Click Start the program
Note – depending on your settings, you may be asked to give it permission
Hey! What do you know? The problem’s gone and it’s all back to normal!
Step 4 – Save the fix!
Hopefully everything looks right again so be sure to Click Next to save the config changes and close everything out.
Mystery AND problem solved!
Now if for some reason you want to undo to the changes you just made, just Right-Click the Firefox executable again, Click the Compatibility Tab and Un-check the Run this program in compatibility mode for check box
If that didn’t work for you, check out the second solution below.
First of all, provided you’ve done all of the above, make sure you uncheck the Run this program in compatibility mode for… option.
Now, go back to Firefox and press the Alt key to show the top menu and click Tools, then Options.
In the Options window that comes up, click Advanced in the top icons, then select the General tab. Now, you will want to uncheck the box next to Use hardware acceleration when available.
Now, restart Firefox and things should be back to normal.