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OTF font problems after Windows update KB2753842 is installed

UPDATE 20 December, 2012

Microsoft has released an updated version of this patch that corrects the problem with the original. If you already have it installed (see the information below) and are having problems with OTF and PostScript fonts in PowerPoint or other applications, we suggest removing the existing patch, then, if you wish, let Windows Update apply the new patch.

Here's the latest information from Microsoft about the updated patch

Microsoft Security Update KB2753842 can cause font display problems

This update, released on 12 December 2012, causes problems with OpenType (OTF) fonts in PowerPoint. If your computer has installed KB2753842 and you use OTF fonts, you may experience:

Since this is a Windows update, not an Office-specific one, other programs will be affected as well. We've already seen reports of OTF troubles in CorelDraw, Flash, Quark Xpress, Freehand and others.

CorelDraw instructor Foster Coburn at Graphics Unleashed reports problems with more than just PowerPoint . He mentions that this update will disable both OTF and PostScript (PFM/PFB) fonts in CorelDraw and Quark XPress.

Microsoft has been informed of the problem. We were told that the update would be "pulled". As of the evening of 17 December, 2012, US Eastern Time, that has not yet happened. It's still being offered as an "Important" update.


If you're experiencing problems with text, change the text's font to Arial, Calibri or another of the TrueType fonts supplied with Windows or Microsoft Office. If the text problems go away, it's likely that the update has caused the problem

Removing the update will fix the problem.

Troy Chollar's blog post explains more about the problem and shows you how to fix it.

If you have Windows XP, the instructions are slightly different. Foster Coburn of Graphics Unleashed explains how to remove the update from Windows XP here.

If you don't see the update right away, restart Windows. Sometimes it doesn't appear until after a restart.

Once you remove the update, Windows Update will probably keep wanting to re-install it. Obviously, you don't want that.

John Wilson explains how to prevent specific updates from re-installing.

Are there risks to removing the update? The risks seem minimal, and in any case the update is certain to cause problems for anyone using OTF fonts. Weigh that against the likelihood of running into the actual problem the update is likely to protect you from. Here's the detail from Microsoft so you can judge for yourself:

MS12-078: Description of the security update for the Windows OpenType Compact Font Format (CFF) driver: December 11, 2012

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OTF font problems after Windows update KB2753842 is installed
Last update 02 January, 2013
Created: 14 December, 2012