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Why is content missing on some web sites when using IE9?

If you are using Internet Explorer 9 you may have run across web pages where only a background color is loading or pieces of content are missing. If you have been wondering why this is happening, the answer might be that you have the PostScript Type 1 font Helvetica installed on your computer.

IE9 has display issues when it tries to use this specific font. This is not the first issue that has been linked back to PostScript Type 1 fonts like Helvetica. We’ve previously detailed a problem Outlook 2010 has with this font (and other PostScript Type 1) fonts in the article Help! Outlook 2010 Keeps Freezing and then Restarting!

The extent of the problem depends on how Helvetica was used. The problem causes less significant issues if the font is only applied to parts of the site. On the other hand, if it’s applied to the whole page, then all of the content of the page just doesn’t appear.Basically, as a viewer of web pages you don’t have many choices to deal with this problem. You can do one of three things:

  1. Use another browser such as Firefox
  2.  Uninstall the font Helvetica
  3.  Uninstall IE9 and reinstall IE8

If you don’t want to use another browser and don’t need Helvetica, then uninstalling Helvetica is a good option. Uninstalling fonts is an easy process; you can just follow these steps:

  1.  Click on the Start Orb in the bottom left corner of your screen.  The Start menu opens.
  2.  Click on Control Panel.
  3.  In the search box that is located in the top right corner of the dialog box, type in “Fonts.”  A list of options appears.
  4.   Click on “View installed fonts.”  A list of the fonts that are installed on your computer will appear.
  5.  Look to see if Helvetica is listed.  If so, select it and then press your delete key.  (You will need to provide an administrative username and password.)

Note:  If you get a warning message saying that the fonts cannot be deleted because they are being used, first drag the fonts to your desktop, and then see if you can delete them from the dialog box and the desktop.  If this does not work, you may need to start Windows in safe mode, and then delete the fonts.

If you need Helvetica, and you still want to use Internet Explorer, then uninstalling IE9 and reinstalling IE8 may be a good choice for you. If so, please see our blog article How to Uninstall Internet Explorer 9 for detailed instructions.


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