Comic Sans a go-go!
January 8, 2010 9:59 AM   Subscribe

My computer thinks its hilarious to randomly make things in my browser Comic Sans. Make it stop.

It looks like my browser has decided to display "bold" as "Comic Sans bold" in most Web pages. I've reset my settings, looked to make sure the default font was Times New Roman, no weird stylesheet activated ... what in the world is going on?

(Links to image examples.) The Yahoo website looks funny, as does Youtube and any links in iGoogle. Ironically, Metafilter looks (somewhat) normal, if a bit ... over-bolded.

Any idea what's going on? I might go crazy if I don't figure it out. I can only take so much Comic Sans.
posted by elisabethjw to Technology (19 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does it do the same thing in different browsers: IE/Safari/Firefox?
posted by paulg at 5:55 AM on January 9, 2010

Which browser, which version, and which OS?
posted by TheNewWazoo at 10:01 AM on January 8, 2010

Uninstall comic sans altogether?
posted by jckll at 10:02 AM on January 8, 2010

In Firefox, you can use FireBug->Inspect Element to determine what exactly is setting that style.

In Safari (and I assume Chrome), you can do the same thing with the Web Inspector.
posted by mkultra at 10:15 AM on January 8, 2010

Usually a corrupt font... Find a fresh windows installation, copy all the files in windows/fonts over and replace your current ones? If possible, delete them all and start fresh?
posted by CharlesV42 at 10:38 AM on January 8, 2010

I'd start by moving Comic Sans out of your Fonts folder and see what happens (you can always move it back if, for some reason, you need Comic Sans for something later). If not, then I'd go with CharlesV42's suggestion of reinstalling all your system fonts.

I'm also concerned that, in your example, Metafilter has a white background and serifed fonts. But, maybe you like it that way.
posted by General Malaise at 10:41 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Does anyone have access to your computer? Because this would be a hilarious practical joke.
posted by desjardins at 10:43 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding desjardins, that was my first thought. Go into your browser options and check your default font.
posted by The Pusher Robot at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

All browsers will let you specify a custom stylesheet which could be used to perform this prank, so check that. With Firefox it's a file named userContent.css in the profile dir (or an extension like Stylish), with IE it's under Accessibility options, with Safari it's under Advanced options.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2010

And now I re-read the question and see that you've already done that. Firebug will definitely be able to tell you where the style declaration is coming from, so if you're using Firefox that's what I'd try.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:27 AM on January 8, 2010

In your computer's defense, that is pretty funny.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It's not anyone else in my office. I just started working here. As I said, I checked the stylesheets and default fonts and everything checked out. I will try moving the font (I don't have permission to uninstall--tried that).

Firefox AND Safari. Mac OS X.
posted by elisabethjw at 12:22 PM on January 8, 2010

Best answer: If you open the fonts folder and open Arial, does it look like Arial or Comic Sans?
posted by Lanark at 12:57 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Could it be that this problem isn't actually in your browser, but it's the way your Windows theme settings have been set up? Are you sure you're not seeing comic sans anywhere outside your browser?
posted by Vorteks at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2010

Wait, this is a work system? And you're new?

Sounds like the previous user left you a present. And it IS pretty funny. But I would get whoever is responsible for your systems to take care of it. Since it's two browsers, it's clearly a system-level change.
posted by mad bomber what bombs at midnight at 1:59 PM on January 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

If this is a work computer, then it's conceivable that you could get in trouble for messing around with system stuff. (I know, it sounds crazy and stupid! But that doesn't mean it's not true. Veteran of many corporate IT departments here.)

Call the IT person. File a ticket, or whatever the equivalent is. CYA, etc etc.
posted by ErikaB at 2:35 PM on January 8, 2010

Response by poster: No, it was fine yesterday. I'm not brand new. I've had the administrators look at it -- I'll check Arial when I get in on Monday!
posted by elisabethjw at 2:51 PM on January 8, 2010

My fiance has the exact same issue! Same OS, same browsers. I hope someone has an answer, it is REALLY annoying.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:56 AM on January 9, 2010 [1 favorite]

Something else to try - open Font Book, press Command-A to select all the fonts, then select File, Validate Fonts.
If anything fails validation you can right click and disable it.
posted by Lanark at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2010

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