Incorrect text display

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Slowpoke47
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Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

Starting several days ago, the text generated on FireFox has become distorted and also tiny (screen magnification to be able to type this 170%). The changes seem to be unrelated to any particular website. The actual effect is not fully evident in this screenshot:
Text display errors.png
Everything other than FF displays as expected. FF displays normally if this (dual boot) computer is booted into Win7, and our other machine, also dual boot, has no problems in either Mint or Win7 with FF display. I have reviewed the various config choices in the FF menu, and tried some alternate font selections and sizes, but the display remains almost unreadable. Changing screen resolution likewise makes no difference, and in any case, since everything else appears fine, that shouldn't be a factor. Could settings for cookies be at fault?

Today I plan to compare the FF settings in our two machines looking for differences. Meanwhile, perhaps the experts here have some suggestion of how to fix this.
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ACE_
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by ACE_ »

One possible cause:

Close your browser
Open your Synaptic Package Manager
On the left side, click on [Fonts]
On the right side, look for the the fonts [Dejavu] and [Liberation]
If they are not installed, right-click on each of them and mark them for installation
{Apply]
Restart your browser
Slowpoke47
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

ACE_ wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 11:40 am
One possible cause:

Close your browser
Open your Synaptic Package Manager
On the left side, click on [Fonts]
On the right side, look for the the fonts [Dejavu] and [Liberation]
If they are not installed, right-click on each of them and mark them for installation
{Apply]
Restart your browser
Thanks for responding.

Not sure what you see in your Synaptic screen, but in this one (Mate 19.2) there is no font (or any other individual) listing. Searching for dejavu in installed packages does show it as installed. As you may know, it is the default in FF.
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ACE_
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by ACE_ »

The other font is Liberation
It contains a variant of Arial, Times and Courier

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install fonts-liberation
... or you can download MS Corefonts (you will have to accept the license agreement)

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer
Slowpoke47
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

Ace- Thanks for your suggestions and interest. I may not have been clear enough in my explanation. At some point last Tuesday, the text display on FF only and on this machine only suffered some sort of downgrade, causing the text to appear deformed and tiny, legible only with magnification. Note that local content displays as expected. This did not happen while the browser was open, as it would have been immediately obvious. If there were a system-wide erroneous display, I would look for a corrupted font or suchlike, but this relates to FF only.

Having compared the FF settings between our two machines running Mate 19.2, I find no differences. Both computers are running at native resolution, and in any case, using the wrong res would show up machine-wide, not just in the text on the browser.

Another oddball occurrence is that the National Weather Service radar page, one of our retained tabs,which up to now on Mint has displayed with incorrect overlapping elements, now shows properly in that respect, but has the same text error as elsewhere online.
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by ACE_ »

Whenever you install or update Firefox in Linux, if there is an abnormality in how fonts are being displayed, usually very tiny, you should first check to see if the following fonts have been installed: Dejavu and Liberation. I have experienced this in the past and it was the installation of the Liberation font package which corrected the issue, in my case. Adjusting the configuration settings in Firefox itself will usually only correct the issue in one page but cause additional display issues in other pages.
Slowpoke47
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

ACE_ wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:28 pm
Whenever you install or update Firefox in Linux, if there is an abnormality in how fonts are being displayed, usually very tiny, you should first check to see if the following fonts have been installed: Dejavu and Liberation.
Pkg Mgr says liberation, liberation2, and dejavu core all installed, latest (per Pkg Mgr) versions.
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Flemur »

Slowpoke47 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:07 am
Everything other than FF displays as expected.
It looks like a "bitmap" font, or possibly an aliased regular font. Check your FF font settings (Prefs -> scroll to appearance) and DON'T set them to "sans" or "serif" or such, choose a real font name, like "Arial", for all the settings. Also check the size settings...

Also do this:

Code: Select all

rm -r ~/.cache/mozilla
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by ACE_ »

How about mscorefonts ?
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

Flemur wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:41 pm
Slowpoke47 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:07 am
Everything other than FF displays as expected.
It looks like a "bitmap" font, or possibly an aliased regular font. Check your FF font settings (Prefs -> scroll to appearance) and DON'T set them to "sans" or "serif" or such, choose a real font name, like "Arial", for all the settings. Also check the size settings...

Also do this:

Code: Select all

rm -r ~/.cache/mozilla
Results of code input:

Code: Select all

steve@steve-Inspiron-519:~$ rm -r ~/.cache/mozilla
steve@steve-Inspiron-519:~$ 
Re fonts- no Arial, or any other font I recognize, is offered. BTW, these settings were not changed by any user here.
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Flemur
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Flemur »

Slowpoke47 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:10 pm
Results of code input:

Code: Select all

steve@steve-Inspiron-519:~$ rm -r ~/.cache/mozilla
steve@steve-Inspiron-519:~$ 
Re fonts- no Arial, or any other font I recognize, is offered. BTW, these settings were not changed by any user here.
The 'rm' looks fine, but you don't see a list of fonts like this - >
fonts.gif
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by lsemmens »

Just as a thought. Could it not be just a scaling issue where, somehow the default scale size has been changed? Occasionally if I accidentally hit the ctrl key whilst scrolling I change the screen resolution in my browser.
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Slowpoke47
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

My latest thought on this issue is that the display errors result from an improperly coded update. I looked at the update history and found that the most recent one was installed on 12/28/19. Here’s the update:Update-history
Update history.png
My recollection has been that the problem began perhaps on the 29th or 30th, but although my memory is as good as ever, it seems to be somewhat shorter in recent years.

Is it possible to remove an installed update, a la Win7, in order to test this theory?

Another option would be to use a backup. Since my backups are weekly, on Mondays, the newest one, from the 30th of December, was made after the suspect update, but I can use the 12/23 backup.

I considered trying to reverse engineer the defective behavior via Pkg Mgr but that seems like hit and (mostly) miss as I wouldn’t know all of what to look for, other than by date.
Slowpoke47
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

Flemur wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:27 pm
The 'rm' looks fine, but you don't see a list of fonts like this - >
fonts.gif
No, the only result of that command was the two lines posted. Would appreciate your comment on my previous today's post.
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Flemur »

lsemmens wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 10:38 pm
Just as a thought. Could it not be just a scaling issue where, somehow the default scale size has been changed?
That can also cause some fonts to look like his picture (bitmap or aliased), which happens in 'wine' programs; a fix is
<edit mode="assign" name="embeddedbitmap"><bool>false</bool></edit>
in the the ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Flemur »

Slowpoke47 wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:05 am
Flemur wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 9:27 pm
The 'rm' looks fine, but you don't see a list of fonts like this - >
fonts.gif
No, the only result of that command was the two lines posted. Would appreciate your comment on my previous today's post.
The 'rm' command doesn't return anything if it worked OK. But...

The picture is of the firefox FONT SELECTION gui, in response to your statement
Re fonts- no Arial, or any other font I recognize, is offered.
So: do you see a list of fonts in firefox, and have you selected fonts that are NOT named 'sans', etc, but are real font names?
The reason I asked is that, if the sans/serif/monospace fonts aren't defined, whatever you get by using those values looks bad. The font command (I forget what it is) which is supposed to tell what they're set to, returns a false value if they're not set to an existing font.

Here's how those defaults are set in a font config file:

Code: Select all

  <alias> <family>serif</family>      <prefer><family>Tinos</family></prefer> </alias>
  <alias> <family>sans-serif</family> <prefer><family>Arial</family></prefer> </alias>
  <alias> <family>sans</family>       <prefer><family>Arial</family></prefer> </alias>
  <alias> <family>monospace</family>  <prefer><family>Cousine</family></prefer> </alias>
I had problems with 'monospace' font looking bad until I added that to ~/.config/fontconfig/fonts.conf; I remove a lot of fonts, so my guess is that I removed the font that 'monospace' was set to...

EDIT: you should try firefox in 'safe mode', or exit FF, do

Code: Select all

mv ~/.mozilla ~/.mozilla.save
to get a blank profile, then restart FF.
Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] if/when it is solved!
Your data and OS are backed up....right?
Slowpoke47
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

Flemur- Thank you for your response. Before I run the commands you have posted, I'm considering using a backup taken before the display errors appeared. Other elements besides the text have changed in appearance and there may be issues I haven't spotted yet. I would save your suggested commands to be entered after a restore from backup, unless that resolves the problems.

Is it possible to uninstall a specific update, as in Windows?

Re the fonts- I looked at the dropdown menu in FF preferences and there is nothing there that I have ever seen elsewhere- perhaps no Arial, or other "established" fonts due to some copyright issue?
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by ACE_ »

Did you apply the following code ?

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer
Slowpoke47
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

ACE_ wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 3:22 pm
Did you apply the following code ?

Code: Select all

sudo apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer
Thanks for your interest. Currently pursuing the theory that the distorted text is a symptom, not the actual problem.
Slowpoke47
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Re: Incorrect text display

Post by Slowpoke47 »

Important correction- on closer examination I have found subtle text abnormalities in some docs as well as in FF. Sorry for the misinformation.

Today compared installed pkgs and updates between our two computers, both running Mate 19.2. The other one displays text correctly. In this s/shot, the left-pane entry dated 12/28 is mintreport 1.1.4 which is installed in both machines. The 5 entries in the left pane not highlighted are installs and reinstalls of the same musescore pkgs as shown currently installed in the right pane.
Pkg Mgr history, Dec 27.png
None of these are installed in the other machine. Please comment on my thought to remove them one at a time to see if the text is then corrected. To my uninformed eye, looks like at least some may have to do with graphics.
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